I feel like I ran a marathon today. Fifteen to twenty students in the library, all excited, but absolutely confused by the 100 year old handwriting. I raced from student to student helping with identification, file opening/saving problems, and basic questions. They have never heard of three-and four-letter state abbreviations such as Colo. and Tex. and see them as possible words. Then, "w" looks like "m" and "o" and "e" seem impossible to decipher.
Just as the period was nearing its end, I felt the mood in the room shift. The girls began talking about what stories in the letters, and the people revealed in the words. Now they were reading for the tale, not just the words themselves.