Norman Leonard Jacobs was an engineer and surveyor with the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway in Canada. The collection consists of his correspondence with Bessie Frank (later Anathan), an acquaintance from Pittsburgh. Jacobs wrote of daily life in Canadian cities, interactions with First Nations tribes, and daily hardships encountered in the field (extreme cold, snowblindness, and lack of food), but also spoke of his work with pride and enthusiasm. In addition to the letters, Jacobs wrote twenty-eight pages of a "Diary of a Tenderfoot." Also included in the collection are two photobooks and various loose photographs, which display various aspects of camp life, details of work sites and landscape, as well as First Nations families, camps, and modes of transportation.