The Jack Peirs Project

The Jack Peirs project began as a conversation between a student and his professor. History major, Marco Dracopoli ’14, approached his professor, Dr. Ian Isherwood, about writing a research paper on leadership in the trenches. The resulting paper “A New Officer for a New Army: Major Hugh J.C. Peirs in the Great War” was based on his ancestor’s First World War letters. Brainstorming the possibilities of the collection with the Dracopoli family and with Special Collections college archivist Amy Lucadamo, we decided to build a digital history project around the letters. The goal of the project is to make these letters available to the largest number of people and to provide a learning opportunity for our students.

We will be releasing each of the Peirs letters on the hundredth anniversary of the day in which he composed them, with annotations and commentary by Gettysburg College staff and students. Please feel free to engage with the site, to use in it in your research (properly attributed), and in your classroom. Bookmark our page, share our posts on social media, and follow H.J.C. Peirs on twitter @jackpeirs.

We are indebted to the Dracopoli/Zorich family through whose generosity this project would not be possible.

The project is based around the papers of Major Hugh Peirs who was a British Army officer in the Great War. The papers belong to the Dracopoli Family (Marco Dracopoli '14 was one of our majors) and they have generously let us build a website around them. We are releasing one letter (and transcription) to the day in which Peirs wrote it. Peirs himself tweets @jackpeirs. Each letter will have commentary and a place for comments by visitors.