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Dear Ms. Reimitz,
Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!
It is certainly possible that you could discover immigrant correspondence at NARA, but it would be more likely to occur by random chance. Mostly likely, any correspondence was between the immigrant and a Federal agency than between the immigrant and their foreign-based family/friends. As a sample of the kinds of records NARA normally has, we searched on the term “immigration” within DocsTeach.
Instead, we suggest that you search historical organizations or Universities in the United States for information found in curated exhibits or primary sources such as the Historical Society of Pennsylvania Irish Immigrant Letters Home; the Johnstown Heritage Discovery Center Push and Pull of Immigration: Letters from America back Home; Michigan State University; University of Wisconsin-Madison; Brandeis University; and the City University of New York.
If the immigrants were French, we suggest you contact the Directeur des Archives de France, 60 rue des Francs-Bourgeois, 75141 Paris, France. The web site is https://www.archivesnationales.culture.gouv.fr/.
If they were English, we suggest you contact The National Archives of the United Kingdom, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 4DU, United Kingdom. The website is http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/
We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your research!
[Some information provided by Elizabeth Burnes, Subject Matter Expert]
Dear Ms Burnes,
Thank you very much for your extensive and informative answer! I will try the links you have provided and see if I can find any useful records there. I greatly appreciate your efforts in this matter!
Sorry, it should of course be Dear Ms Penn and Dear Ms Burnes
3 people found this helpful
Dear Tabea Reimitz:
The Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress holds personal and organizational records relating to American history. The collection includes the papers of many people who emigrated. Some of the collections have been digitized and are available on the Library's site at https://www.loc.gov/collections/manuscripts, and you may wish to review the digital collections to determine if they include materials of interest to you. Of particular interest, for example, may include the various U.S. Presidential papers; American Life Histories: Manuscripts from the Federal Writers' Project, 1936 to 1940; the papers of Alexander Graham Bell; and the American Colony in Jerusalem Collection, each of which contain materials relating to emigration. Some of these collections include plain text transcriptions (click "Show Text" on an image).
For more information about the Manuscript Division, see http://www.loc.gov/rr/mss/.
Best of luck in your research!
Library of Congress
Many thanks for the tips and links! The digital collections of the Library of Congress sound really exciting and promising, I will have a look at them and see if I find something suitable for my project.
2 people found this helpful
Hello Ms. Reimitz,
A colleague of mine brought this post to my attention, and I was curious to see if our Detainee Allies Letter Collection could be of any help with your research. We are currently uploading English translations for the letters and should be finished by the end of the week. Due to privacy concerns, we have had to redact any identifying information, but many of the letters discuss emigration.
The Detainee Allies Letter Collection (previously Otay Mesa Detention Center Detainee Letters) documents the hidden stories of hundreds of refugees from human rights hot spots around the world--including Honduras, El Salvador, Venezuela, Brazil, Cameroon, Eritrea and China. The letters are from detainees held at various detention centers under the authority of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE). These letters provide insight into the lives of asylum seekers and migrants both before and during detention. Identifying information has been redacted to protect the privacy and safety of the writers. Letters date from July 2018 to present.
Institutional Repository Specialist
San Diego State University