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West Virginia war letters exhibit opens at Cultural Center


In commemoration of Veterans Day, a new exhibit, “ ‘Hope to See You Soon’: A Collection of West Virginia War Letters,” has opened in the West Virginia State Archives Library at the Cultural Center in the State Capitol Complex, Charleston.

The letters, photographs and other documents in the exhibit are from the collections of the West Virginia State Archives and its West Virginia Veterans Memorial Archives. Designed to complement the Nov. 11 television broadcast of “War Letters” as part of PBS’s American Experience series (, the exhibit will remain on display through December.

Letters in the exhibit, which were written by West Virginia soldiers in the Civil War, World War I, World War II, the Korean War and Vietnam, give first-hand accounts of battles and daily life in the service, seek information about people and events back home, and offer advice to family and friends. Other correspondence in the display include several letters written by family members to soldiers overseas, a message left at the West Virginia Veterans Memorial for a soldier killed in Vietnam and a letter of condolence from the parents of a deceased soldier’s war buddy.

Transcriptions of selected letters from the exhibit are available on the West Virginia Division of Culture and History’s website at

The West Virginia State Archives welcomes the donation of materials documenting the war-time experiences of West Virginians, whether they served overseas or worked on the home front. For more information about making a donation to the Archives, contact Fredrick Armstrong at (304) 558-0220, ext. 164. For more information about the “War Letters” exhibit, call the Cultural Center at (304) 558-0162.

Cultural Center hours are 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday. The Archives Library is closed on Sunday. Admission is free.

The West Virginia Division of Culture and History, an agency of the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts, brings together the state’s past, present and future through programs and services in the areas of archives and history, the arts, historic preservation and museums. The Cultural Center is West Virginia’s official showcase for the arts. Visit the Division’s website at for more information about programs of the Division. The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.

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