Whether you're looking for those all-important primary sources for a paper or are an art aficionado, a literate voyeur or a history buff, you'll enjoy the Smithsonian's archive of illustrated letters from artists. While the site is very simple at first blush, it holds a wealth of interesting information by and about famous artists.
Browse by date or artist name to read scans of actual letters, all with fantastic illustrations. Some of the scans are frustratingly undersized, like this letter from John Frazee to his wife Lydia Frazee. The train drawn across the page is tiny in the scan, teasing the viewer with the promise of a delightful ink drawing, but delivering only nose prints on our monitors.
Fortunately, only a few of the letters leave the reader squinting. Helen Lockwood Colburn's letter about the countryside has wonderfully sharp illustrations of her rural life. The Smithsonian's Archives of American Art is continuously updating their online collections and exhibits with treasures from their archives. They're a great resource for schoolwork, research or just poking around online.
Letter from Helen Lockwood Colburn, digitized by the Smithsonian Archives of American Art