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Kindred Spirit Notebooks

Identifier: SC-MS-333

Scope and Contents

This collection contains notebooks collected from the Kindred Spirit mailbox located on Bird Island near Sunset Beach, North Carolina. Notebooks primarily date from 2012-2024. Also included are loose pages from notebooks, sealed letters, cards, photographs, pens and other ephemeral material discovered inside the notebooks or mailbox.


  • Creation: 1949-2023, Bulk dates 2012-2022

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research use.

PLEASE NOTE: Reproductions or photography of any material within the collection is prohibited.

Copyright Statement

Copyright retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

Historical Note

The idea for the "Kindred Spirit" mailbox originated with a man named Frank Nesmith and a woman he was dating at the time. The couple installed the first mailbox in the 1970s on Tubbs Inlet, which separates Sunset Beach and Ocean Isle. Inside the mailbox, the couple put a notebook and pen for visitors, otherwise known as “Kindred Spirits,” to write whatever they wish.

When the mailbox became endangered by the migrating Tubb’s Inlet in 1983, Nesmith moved it to Bird Island. At that time, Bird Island was separated from Sunset beach by another inlet called Mad Inlet. Visitors to the mailbox would have to wait for low tide to cross or wade through the waters at high tide. Over the years, Mad inlet has filled in and now visitors from Sunset Beach can make the trip unimpeded.

The notebooks collected from the Kindred Spirits mailbox contain a wide variety of entries written by visitors from around the world. Some entries are anonymous while others are signed and dated. Visitors share their thoughts, writing words of happiness, sadness, anger and many other emotions. Entries range from the lighthearted to the most personal human experiences, detailing youth, love, marriage, divorce, death and much more.


37 Containers (Contains 37 boxes and 1 oversize folder)

Language of Materials



This collection is arrange chronologically by year. Notebooks that begin in one year and end in the next year (for example, November 2016 - February 2017) are located in the year that they originated (Notebooks, 2016).

Acquisition Information

This collection was donated by Frank Nesmith on January 24, 2013.


Addition: April 28, 2014, by Frank Nesmith and Jacqueline DeGroot.  Addition: September 29, 2014, by Jacqueline DeGroot. Addition: April 20, 2015, by Jacqueline DeGroot. Addition: December 14, 2015, by Jacqueline DeGroot. Addition: 2016 by Volunteers. Addition: 2017 by Volunteers. Addition: October 2018 by Volunteers Addition: April 2019 by Volunteers Addition: July 2019 by Volunteers Addition: August 2019 by Volunteers Addition: November 2019 by Volunteers Addition: January 2020 by Volunteers Addition: September 2020 by Volunteers Addition: February 2021 by Volunteers Addition: July 2021 by Volunteers Addition: October 2021 by Volunteers Addition: April 2022 by Volunteers Addition: August 2022 by Volunteers Addition: January 2023 by Volunteers Addition: May 2023 by Volunteers Addition: December 2023 by Volunteers Addition: January 2024 by Volunteers

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Rebecca Baugnon, Abigail Clanton, Kate Edwards, Christine Hockaday, Gavin Nelson, and Samantha Perkins.

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Repository Details

Part of the Randall Library Special Collections Repository