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Collection Hannah Arendt Papers

Rights and Access

Dedication of Rights by Hannah Arendt

Hannah Arendt dedicated the copyright in her unpublished papers in this Collection to the public, with the important exception of papers that, at the time of her death in 1975, were the subject of contracts with publishers, including Harcourt Trade Publishers, New York, NY.

Specifically, Arendt stated “I hereby dedicate to the public my literary rights in the unpublished writings in these papers and in other collections of papers in the custody of the Library of Congress, except that the use of these rights shall be reserved to me during my lifetime, and reserved to my estate, after my death, for a period not to exceed twenty years.” Despite knowledge of the dedication of the rights to the public, the Hannah Arendt Bluecher Literary Trust has reportedly claimed to retain the rights in her unpublished papers in the Library's Arendt collection, and the Library is hereby alerting researchers accordingly. The Library's position remains that, under the terms of the gift agreement, all unpublished Arendt writings in this Collection that were not under publication contracts in 1975 are free to use and reuse.

The Georges Borchardt, Inc. Agency is the Trust's literary agent. All inquiries about rights to publish Arendt's written or spoken words related to her contracted publications should be addressed to Valerie Borchardt at the Georges Borchardt, Inc. Agency (

Rights in Materials Created by Others

The Library has obtained permission for the use of many other materials created by others, and presents additional materials pursuant to fair use under United States copyright law. Researchers should watch for documents that may be copyrighted (for example, published in the United States less than 95 years ago, or unpublished and the author died less than 70 years ago).

You are responsible for deciding whether your use of the items in this collection is legal. You will need written permission from the rights holders to copy, distribute, or otherwise use copyrighted materials except as allowed by fair use or other statutory exemptions. Some materials may be protected under international law. You may also need permission from holders of other rights, such as publicity and/or privacy rights.

Rights to Arendt Writings Outside the Library of Congress Collections

The Hannah Arendt Bluecher Literary Trust is a legal entity established in the Last Will and Testament of Hannah Arendt (1906-1975). Jerome Kohn is the current Trustee of said Trust. The Trust holds rights of copyright to Arendt's writings outside this Collection and other collections of papers in the custody of the Library of Congress, with the sole exception of the books she published during her lifetime. The rights to those books remain with their publishers as long as the works remain in print. All rights to any work that falls out of print revert to the Trust. Inquiries may be addressed to literary trustee Jerome Kohn ( ).

Art Resource curates a collection of Arendt-related photographs, the rights to which belong to the Trust, for which the contact person is Michael Slade (

Credit Line and Links to Additional Information

Credit Line: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Hannah Arendt Papers

More about Copyright and other Restrictions.

For guidance about compiling full citations consult Citing Primary Sources.