Once in a while, you run into a tiny gem of a website. Letters of Note, according to its compiler, Shaun Usher, is "a blog-based archive of fascinating correspondence, complete with scans and transcripts of the original missives where available." Here you will find everything from a letter penned on his deathbed to his newborn grandson by World War II pilot Clyde S. Shield, whose military career spanned Pearl Harbor to the testing of the delivery system for the atomic bomb, to an explicit memo sent by Matt Stone to the Motion Picture Association of America on adjustments he and partner Trey Parker would make to their film "South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut," to qualify for an R, rather than NC-17, rating.
Each letter is preceded by a few paragraphs setting up the circumstances under which it was written. If available, a scan of the original is included, as well as the source of the document. You can browse the site's archive, which includes more than 900 letters written by, to or about such disparate notables as Abraham Lincoln, Agatha Christie and Al Capone to Walt Disney, Walt Whitman and Wil Wheaton. The archive can be searched by six different parameters, and a sidebar includes the most popular letters.
Although Usher welcomes contributions, he stresses that he has "a seemingly endless supply of correspondence to plough through" and that "fakes will be sneered at."
DESCRIPTION A fascinating collection of correspondence
TARGET AUDIENCE Letter readers and writers
BOTTOM LINE Just like those well-known potato chips, betchya can't read just one.