The “Love Letter” Archive
An archive in Germany collects love letters over the century until today – a citizen science approach
The archive is being digitised, indexed and made accessible in cooperation with the Technical University of Darmstadt. The archive records are stored at the Koblenz-Landau University Library (Koblenz Campus).
The archive shows Love letters how private writing changes over time. Love letter exists in wide circles of society; one gains an insight into the writing norms not only of individuals but also of milieus, age groups and genders. So it is not surprising that the love letter is differentiated along with the popular writing media from the little note to the love letter, from the telegram to the postcard, from the e-mail to the WhatsApp chat. The question is to what extent the functions of writing are being explored anew.
The Project Gruß & Kuss (Greeting & Kiss) initiates a crowd scouring project to collect love letters. Citizens can contribute every format of letters. The colleagues index and analyse the letters, preserve these and make the letters available for further research. The community relies on the participation of civil society as no state collection mandate exists to date.
LOVE LETTERS VS. WAR LETTERS
WARLUX’s current project collects letters from the war. At first glance, it seems to be the exact opposite of the Love Letter Project. However, the war letters and love letters are more similar to each other than expected. Even though the letters were written in a time of crisis and fear, the war letters show personal relationships with loved ones, expressions of love and affection. The soldier who wrote letters from the front,
carried within him the hope of seeing his spouse, friend or lover again soon and alive. The ambitious and admirable project of the love letter archive is therefore very similar to our concern here – and we would like to learn more about the content and the research of our colleagues from Germany.
If you are interested in participating in the love letter citizen science project please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
More information about the archive:
Citizens receive love letters