Undelivered letters from the 17th century (Or: Treasure in The Hague)

A news story from last week: thousands of unread mail from the 17th century were found recently in The Hague, some letters still unopened and unread. (Dutch news link || English news link).  A museum in The Hague has had them since 1926 but they have only recently been studied.

Undelivered letters - Hague museum for Communication

Photograph: Hague Museum for Communication

With letters from aristocrats, spies, merchants and more, the collection is a wonderful look at the Netherlands as it existed back in the 17th century. Most news articles report about a letter which was delivered to a man and returned unopened – likely he suspected that it contained news that he was the father of an unwanted child.

It’ll be interesting to see if and when the letters would be digitized – there are bound to be many interesting reads. Also interesting: the 600 pieces that are still sealed can be read without opening them at all – that’s modern day technology for you!

Categories: Culture, The Hague | Leave a comment

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