You’ve got mail

It’s getting hard to imagine life before cheap phone calls and “The Internet”. But  in the 1950’s and 1960’s, moving to the other end of the world was a pretty radical thing to do. Letters were the only practical way to keep in touch, particularly in the form of aerograms (single sheet, folding letters).

Letter from Oma Kooij

Aerograms were economical and convenient, taking typically around a week to travel between the Netherlands and Australia.

Mum and Dad kept any family correspondence and there are hundreds of letters in the archive. Of course, these are (with rare exceptions) letters from friends and relatives rather than those they sent themselves, but they represent an interesting snapshot of family history from the late sixties.

While all the correspondence is in Dutch, Google Translate does a passable job with the letters. Here is Dutch Transcription of the letter above and here is a English Translation. So… here is my next task, scanning and transcribing hundreds of letters… I have set myself a target of 25 letters a month to scan and transcribe, so this will be a ‘work in progress’ for a few years…

Here are 25 letters which I scanned in April. You will need a password…  please email me ( and I’ll send it to you.