Traces analysed

‘The trace’ is what remains, the flotsam and jetsam of the past that ends up in archives, special places for conserving them, and which also accumulate in our lives. Traces are the kind of stuff found in handbags, cupboards and attics, as well as in museums, libraries and archives. They include letters, wages-slips, photographs, shopping lists, appointment diaries, sketch-maps, draft Wills, notes and copies… The traces that remain are wider than just written documents, certainly wider than letters alone. Discussions of many traces can be accessed from the links below, with new traces added regularly. The companion is the Curiosities section of the WWW website, which provides analyses of particular kinds of traces, ones that stretch the boundaries of what ‘a letter’ is.

Last updated: 4 August 2022