The Personal Correspondence of the War Service Bureau is a pedagogical project to teach digital editing with the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) markup to students. The letters of the Rutgers College War Service Bureau collection (1917-1919) encompass many vivid and diverse perspectives on the war experience, from men of different military ranks and socio-economic backgrounds, to chaplains, medical personnel, women working in the war effort, and women left at home. We focus on a subset of letters that shed light on the topics of mental illness (shell shock), Spanish influenza, physical injury, death, loneliness, and grief.

First war letter
Silvers's first letter to the Rutgers men in service.

The edition uses a minimal computing approach to keep technical and editorial complexity to a minimum. Encoders tag information on people, places, and events, which may be reused to create tables and visualizations, such as the correspondence maps included on selected correspondent letter anthologies.