Are the letters publicly available (online)?
No. Donated letters are only made publicly available to the extent that they have been legally released by donors. Details can be found in the Property and Publication Consent Agreement that must accompany each love letter submission.
How can I access the digitized love letters?
Unfortunately, you cannot access the digitized love letters at the moment, as the project is still in its set-up phase. The digitization of love letters and their accessibility is one of our main “Gruß & Kuss” project goals and will probably only be realized towards the end of the three project years. If you would like to know more about our love letters now or would like to actively work with them, you are welcome to participate in the project “Gruß & Kuss – Briefe digital. Bürger*Innen erhalten Liebesbriefe” and explore and digitize love letters together with us!
How is personal data handled when love letters are donated?
Data protection is very important to us. Therefore, each letter donor can decide in detail in which way their love letters may be used or whether they may be used at all beyond archiving them. If desired, the letters can be anonymized so that no conclusions can be drawn about the original authors; individual passages of letters or entire correspondences can also be blacked out upon request.
May the love letters be used for scientific work and other publications?
In principle, yes. However, for any use, whether for scientific papers or for other publications such as press articles, formal permission must be requested from the Love Letter Archive. Since the love letters are private and sensitive documents, a contractual obligation to comply with the data protection requirements under the German General Data Protection Regulation (DS-GVO) is also recorded. In addition, in any case love letters will only be made available for use if donors have agreed to this in their individual contracts.
What’s the deal with the contracts I have to sign for Gruß & Kuss?
In order to be able to actively work with and on the love letters, it is necessary to sign a privacy contract and a post-use contract. Since the love letters are private written testimonies that provide an intimate insight into people’s relationships, it must be ensured that all personal rights are protected. The data protection contract obligates users to comply with data protection requirements and to treat personal data confidentially. The post-use agreement allows the Love Letter Archive to use all transcriptions made during Gruß & Kuss events for research purposes.
What does participation in the Gruß & Kuss events cost?
Participation in all events and workshops is and will always remain free of charge.
I have handwritten love letters that I cannot decipher. Can the Love Letter Archive help me transcribe or decipher them?
The Love Letter Archive works with a small team of motivated employees. Unfortunately, in addition to our numerous archival activities, it is not possible for us to make transcriptions of letters or decipher illegible passages as a service provider would. Should you decide to donate love letters to the Love Letter Archive and release them for scientific use, we will first digitize these letters and eventually transcribe them later in the process. However, this may take some time.