Listening to Letters & the Penguin Post Office
January 31, 2015 § 2 Comments
I’ve recently discovered two letter-based podcasts and a PBS program featuring one of the world’s most unique post offices. I found them all interesting and thought you might, too.
Titanic Letters – In 2012, the BBC recorded a podcast series featuring letters written by some of those involved in the Titanic disaster. Some are written prior to the ship sinking, others in the chaotic aftermath. Each is read by a different personality. They’re very poignant. [Note: You’ll probably want to start at the bottom of the list so that you’re listening chronologically.]
John Adams Letters from the Front – The grandchildren and great-grandchildren of British WWI solider John Adams are collaborating on the creation of this podcast which shares his experiences in the war as told through the letters he wrote home. This series began in the fall of 2014 and will continue over the next few years with episodes being released 100 years to the month after the letters were written. Part of what I love about this project is that these hundred-year-old letters that connected a solider to his family are continuing to bring his family together.
Penguin Post Office – This is a recent episode of the PBS show Nature. Because it is a nature program, the main focus is on the colony of 3,000 gentoo penguins that take up summer residence next at Antarctica’s Port Lockroy, but the Port Lockroy post office is also featured. If the brutality of nature makes you squeamish, you may want to skip the Nature episode (spoiler alert: not all the penguins survive) and instead watch the Port Lockroy briefing film to learn a little bit about the world’s southern-most post office, which is a major Antarctic tourist attraction.
This is great! I have some scans of original letters sent by one of my great great uncles when he went searching for gold in Alaska during the gold rush. It is amazing to read them now.
That is super neat! I’m a huge fan of what I call “slice of life history” and old letters are such a great way to tap into the daily life of the past. I do wonder, in 150 years, what will provide people with a glimpse of what reality is like right now?