Scope and arrangement
The Hansen Family Papers comprise over 500 letters written from 1943 to 1946, and one photograph album containing over 100 photographs. Most of the letters were written by Walter and Edward Hansen, two young soldiers in the United States Army, to their mother, Anna Hansen, and their sister, Florence, of Brooklyn, New York. The letters provide not only a picture of the routine, everyday life of young soldiers during wartime, but also offer a glimpse of life on the home front as the Hansen brothers reflect on the letters they have received.
Walter Hansen's letters date from December 1942, when he entered the army at Fort Dix, New Jersey, to January 1946 as he is returning home on a train from the west coast.
Edward Hansen's correspondence begins in November1943 at Camp Upton on Long Island and ends with a letter from Germany in April 1946.
Other correspondents in the collection include members of the Callinan family. Anna Hansen's nephews, Dermot, Bob and Larry Callinan served in the armed forces during World War II and wrote occasionally to the Hansen family. A few letters from Lydia Callinan to her sister Anna Hansen are also included.
The letters in this collection have been arranged in strict chronological order to mimic as closely as possible the order in which Anna and Florence Hansen received the letters. If a letter was undated, the postmark on the accompanying envelope, if available, was used to date the letter.
One folder contains official correspondence (1943-1946) related to Edward Hansen's military service as well as some miscellaneous papers.
The photograph album contains over 100 photographs. Most of the photos are black and white snapshots, unlabeled and undated. Many of the photos appear to be of the Hansens and their extended family in Brooklyn. Over 30 of the photos appear to have been taken while Walter was posted in Alaska. A few appear to have been taken by or for Edward in Europe.
The Hansen family papers are arranged in two series:
- 3 boxes