This collection is comprised of more than 700 letters written by Herman Recht (1908-1971), a Navy yeoman, from Camp Peary (U.S. Naval Construction Training Center), near Williamsburg, Virginia, between October 1943 and February 1946, to his wife, Esther, in Clairton, Pennsylvania. There are no letters from Esther because, as he wrote her, saving them would make him homesick.
Recht had been a lawyer for eight and a half years before joining the Navy. He was very well read, and regularly came into Williamsburg to dine at the Williamsburg Lodge and borrow books from and read magazines in the William & Mary library where his interests ran from public affairs to the latest fiction. He often inquires about activities of the Jewish community in Clairton, and is a strong advocate for racial minorities. He is very knowledgeable about classical music. He reguarly reads the Pittsburgh Press and inquires about friends and family in Clairton and Pittsburgh. Gossip about friends from home is included in almost every letter.
Collection is open to all researchers. Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, such as the Virginia Public Records Act (Code of Virginia. § 42.1-76-91); and the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (Code of Virginia § 2.2-3705.5). Confidential material may include, but is not limited to, educational, medical, and personnel records. If sensitive material is found in this collection, please contact a staff member immediately. The disclosure of personally identifiable information pertaining to a living individual may have legal consequences for which the College of William and Mary assumes no responsibility.
Conditions Governing Use
Before publishing quotations or excerpts from any materials, permission must be obtained from the Curator of Manuscripts and Rare Books, and the holder of the copyright, if not Swem Library.