Emigrants' Letters from the USA, Canada and Australia

Scope and Content

Letters written by emigrants to the USA, Canada and Australia to their friends and families in the British Isles, 1745-1911, with related papers. The collection includes a few original letters, but mainly comprises xeroxes, transcripts or microfilms of originals. Also includes: Database of emigrant individuals giving details of their place of departure, occupation, who they wrote to, where the settled and other pieces of information.

Administrative / Biographical History

Most of the letters in the collection were collected by Charlotte Erickson and the staff of the Survey of Sources for American Studies during their work in the 1950s, whilst others were donated or purchased.


Divided into sections as follows: 1. Miscellaneous; 2. Cowan Letters; 3. Dallas Jones III; 4. Fridge Letters; 5. Additional.

Access Information


Acquisition Information

The collection is made up of several different accessions made between 1957 and 1986, of which the main one is M627. Very little documentation has been kept on these additional accessions; some appear to have been given to the Archives Division by unknown donors, others seem to have been purchased. The earlier accessions were all listed together in Sections 1, 2, 3 and 4. Section 5 is made up of later deposits.

Other Finding Aids

Detailed catalogue available from Archives staff. Access to the database is currently available via the Archives Reading Room.

Archivist's Note

Sources: Copied from LSE Archives CALM database

Conditions Governing Use

Most items can be photocopied, subject to handling and copyright restrictions. No material may be published without the prior permission of both the copyright holder and the Library. All applications for publication must be made to the Archivist in the first instance, but responsibility for ensuring copyright clearance rests with the user.


Some of the letters have been reproduced in print in Charlotte Erickson's 'Invisible immigrants: the adaptation of English and Scottish immigrants in nineteenth century America', London, LSE, 1972.