ArchiveGrid searches materials inventoried and cataloged in special collections across the United States. It is a wonderful way to locate unique materials that one can’t necessarily find online in Google and other internet searches.
It is important to remember that letters or family ephemera may be located hundreds or thousands of miles from where the person actually lived. I located letters written by a third-great-grandfather in an archives over a thousand miles from where he lived.
There may be restrictions on using these materials because they are in an archival collection and I’m waiting for a response about how copies can be obtained. It’s important to remember that just because you are the descendant of someone who wrote a letter or painted a picture you do not have automatic rights to use that item however you see fit–if you do not have possession of the actual item. If it is in an archival collection in a facility, that facility may have restrictions on how the item can be used.
So stay tuned.
Hopefully we will have an update–complete with images.