I was reflecting on this blog posting. It's amazing to me that some genealogists are lucky enough to have letters from 1848 (or earlier). My oldest family letter in my possession is from 1920 and is in Slovak, so I can't even read it. Then it occurred to me that although I didn't inherit any old letters, I possessed dozens of letters from my older relatives in my files. I may not be the recipient of old letters, but I could be the one who compiled such letters, many of which describe events that happened in the 19th century, for future generations.
So I have my three-ring binder and mylar sheet protectors ready. I'm slowly but surely preserving all letters from family members to me regarding genealogy. For better or worse, I'm also tossing out letters from strangers requesting genealogical help for families not related to me. I don't want others to get confused.
This seems to be the first of many preservation projects I will start doing. I need to preserve all my original documents including newspaper obituaries, vital records, and miscellanea. I'll probably keep it all in three-ring binders in sheet protectors (archival quality, of course), in alphabetical order by the person's name. I'm sure there are thousands of ways to preserve this stuff. I could do family by family, but that seems so overwhelming. Who needs to trade in file cabinets for 500 binders? or more? However, if you have any useful suggestions, I'm all ears.