Week 6, 9th – 13th November

This week I have been continuing to catalogue letters sent to Hilda Pendlebury using the template in Microsoft Word (explained in the previous blog post).

Christmas letter home
Letter sent home by John, Christmas 1940 Copyright: British School at Athens

Whilst reading the letters, which is necessary when cataloguing to item-level, I have been learning more about John and Hilda Pendlebury and people that they knew. The more I read, the more light is shed onto the characters that appear in the collection.

The letter that John sent home for Christmas in December 1940 reveals something of his attitude towards authority. ..

I am making a grand collection of tickings off – usually beginning “In future you should NOT repeat NOT”. As far as I can see the authorities are not unlike Greek grannies and are apt to stand roofs scolding people.

The amount of time it takes to catalogue each letter is extremely variable depending on how easy it is to understand the content of the letter, and how easy it is to read. Below is an example of a letter which took me a little while to decipher. It is from Hilda’s mother and mainly describes her illness, discusses David and Joan [John and Hilda’s children] and gives news of other extended family members.

Letter from mother to Hilda side 2
Side 2 of a letter to Hilda Pendlebury from her mother Copyright: British School at Athens

Next week I will continue cataloguing correspondence sent to Hilda Pendlebury, then make a start on cataloguing correspondence sent to John’s parents.

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