Monday, November 9, 2009

One year later

It was one year ago yesterday, that I started on the Camfield series of letters. In the last year I have transcribed and posted 226 of the letters in this group. Certainly not the 365 I was shooting for but still better than 4 letters a week. Thus far, the letters have spanned 35 years, starting in 1875 and through 1909.

In addition to transcribing them I have spent a considerable amount of time researching people or topics mentioned. Occasionally this has kept me from working on things I'd rather be doing but all in all I have learned so much about my family that I'm happy with the journey they have taken me on.

I try not to read too far ahead, mostly because it takes time away from transcription. I know I am getting close to the end of the current batch of photographs and will have to start formatting the last batch soon.

I also have to decide when to stop. I certainly have no intention of publishing the letters written by my mother or her siblings. I haven't quite figured out exactly where the stopping point will be. Perhaps I will simply skip over the letters written by those of my mother's generation and stop when the remaining letters run out.

Although I do not know how many letters are left in this group I do not foresee it taking another year to complete. Therefore I should be starting on the Carlisle group sometime next year. I would like to have Ashley's Civil War letters to include with this group so I really need to figure out how I am going to obtain them. I would love to travel to Michigan and photograph them as I did all the others but haven't quite worked out how I can make that happen. There are other options and with letters in the Camfield series still awaiting my attention, I guess I really should not get too far ahead of myself.


Thomas MacEntee said...


You should be very proud of your accomplishment! I love reading the Camfield letters especially for glimpses they allow me (and the rest of your readers) into what life was like in the late 19th and early 20th century.

And it is difficult to know when to stop - this is true with any "art work" or creative piece. A true artist just knows when the time arrives. You'll know when that time is.

GrannyPam said...

Apple, I have enjoyed every letter, and I know the balance will be interesting, too. Once again, if you do come to Michigan, I can offer you a place to stay, and help photographing the letters. Bently is just about an hour from my home.

Charley "Apple" Grabowski said...

Thomas - Thanks! With the Hall family letters it was easy because I just stopped when the letters ran out. I didn't foresee this dilema when I started this group.

Pam - I'll gladly take you up on your offer - when I get to photographing the diaries. Ashley's letters are at WMU in Kalamazoo! I have no idea why Aunt Tamerson donated them there rather than add them to the collection at the Bentley.

Greta Koehl said...

Absolutely amazing. I have also tried to do a certain amount of transcription this year, but have fallen far short of that goal and even farther short of what you have accomplished. Although I am certain you will know when it is time to stop, I cannot say that I won't be sad when it happens.

Sheri Fenley said...

Well I am not sure this song is appropriate but it is the only one I know :)


Amy Coffin said...

I have enjoyed this letter series very much. Thank you for sharing them with us!

Charley "Apple" Grabowski said...

Thank you ladies! If you all weren't reading along and supporting me I probably would have quit transcribing several months ago.

Joan said...

Apple, I wish I had you as a role model a few years ago, when I transcribed my Uncle Ralph's letters. I wouldna made so many missteps and backtracks.