This project began as a conversation between a student and his professor. History major, Marco Dracopoli ’14, approached his professor, Dr. Ian Isherwood, about writing a research paper on leadership in the trenches. The resulting paper “A New Officer for a New Army: Major Hugh J.C. Peirs in the Great War” was based on his ancestor’s First World War letters. Brainstorming the possibilities of the collection with the Dracopoli family and with college archivist Amy Lucadamo, we decided to build a digital history project around the letters. The goal of the project is to make these letters available to the largest number of people and to provide a learning opportunity for our students.
We will be releasing each of the Peirs letters on the hundredth anniversary of the day in which he composed them, with annotations and commentary by Gettysburg College staff and students. Please feel free to engage with the site, to use in it in your research (properly attributed), and in your classroom. Bookmark our page, share our posts on social media, and follow H.J.C. Peirs on twitter @jackpeirs.
We are indebted to the Dracopoli/Zorich family through whose generosity this project would not be possible. We are also grateful for the talented students, faculty, and staff who have devoted their time and expertise to the project.
Dr. Ian Isherwood, Assistant Director of Civil War Institute, Gettysburg College (2014-present)
Amy Lucadamo, College Archivist, Musselman Library, Gettysburg College (2014-present)
R.C. Miessler, Systems Librarian, Musselman Library, Gettysburg College (2014-present)
Jenna Fleming, student assistant (2014-2016)
Kevin Lavery, student assistant (2014-2016)
Melanie Fernandes, student assistant (2016-present)