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.
From our seminar Biographies of Luxembourgish male and female conscripts in the Wehrmacht and Reichsarbeitsdienst Research Seminar on studying personal experiences in Luxembourg during the Second World War in the B.A. program “Cultures Européennes – Histoire” at the University of Luxembourg, 20 students researched and discovered the Biographies of conscripts and their war experiences during the WWII in Luxembourg
In the first lectures, the students earned an overview of the topic and the research literature. In the next steps, the students had to analyse and understand the concept of a biography and the contextualization of the story of the individuals. With Knightlab, an open community of designers, developers, students, and educators at Northwestern University, to share information and digital storytelling projects, the students used a “timeline” for the biographies.
Here is one example for the timeline of a conscript:
#nodegoatday2021 – organised by Kaspar Gubler at the University of Bern team Warlux had the opportunity to introduce the Warlux data model with nodegoat and to discuss the use of relational data base with others.
nodegoat (https://nodegoat.net) is the data storage and data management platform for Warlux. We will list all our individuals in our case studies to grasp and visualise the links between the individuals. We will use this tool as our “database” for statistical overviews and our quantitative analysis. (The ego-documents, the result of our crowdsourcing project, we will use qualitative methodologies with another tool, not yet defined).
The current project WARLUX aims to study the biographies of young Luxembourgers, born between 1920 and 1927, who were drafted by the German Nazi authorities for Labour Service (Reichsarbeitsdienst) and the German Army (Wehrmacht). The conscription of young Luxembourgers is mostly displayed in documents, starting from police, enrolment registration records by regional authorities, lists of transportations and records about their service. However, for the study of biographies, a more personal insight of the affected people is required, as behind these administrative files ley 10.000 other stories.