February 15, 2001 Hannah Arendt Papers Available in Electronic Format
Complete Collection Available On Site at Library of Congress and Two Other Institutions; Selections Available Online
Contact: Guy Lamolinara (202) 707-9217
The papers of the author, educator and political philosopher Hannah Arendt (1906-1975) are one of the principal sources for the study of modern intellectual life. Located in the Manuscript Division at the Library of Congress, they constitute a large and diverse collection reflecting a complex career. The papers contain correspondence, articles, lectures, speeches, book manuscripts, transcripts of Adolf Eichmann's trial proceedings, notes and printed matter pertaining to Arendt's writings and academic career. The entire collection has been digitized and will be available beginning this summer to researchers in reading rooms at the Library of Congress, the New School University in New York City and the Hannah Arendt Center at the University of Oldenburg in Germany. Parts of the collection are now available on the Library's American Memory Web site www.loc.gov; the final release of the online collection will be this summer. The current preview of selections from Arendt's writings also includes an essay on Arendt's intellectual history, a chronology of her life and an index of all folders in the Arendt Papers.
The digitization of the Hannah Arendt Papers is made possible through the generous support of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Internet distribution of the Hannah Arendt Papers at the Library of Congress presented formidable copyright challenges, given the quantity and complexity of the materials involved. In view of the lengthy process that would have been necessary to secure permission to release the entire collection online, the decision was made to concentrate on sections of the papers most useful for researchers on Arendt and her work. With the advice of special consultant Professor Jerome Kohn of the New School University, the project staff identified four document series as the top priorities for seeking copyright permissions: the "Adolf Eichmann File," "Subject File," "Speeches and Writings File" and the "General" section of the "Correspondence File." The preview release offers selections highlighted by Professor Kohn, primarily from within the "Speeches and Writing File," with some additional material from other relevant files.
A special online presentation by Professor Kohn, "The World of Hannah Arendt," is also currently available. The presentation provides an illustrated overview of Arendt's life and career.
"The Hannah Arendt Papers" is one of more than 90 available from American Memory, a project of the National Digital Library Program of the Library of Congress. More than 5 million American historical items are offered, fulfilling the Library's goal as its Gift to the Nation during its Bicentennial, celebrated on April 24, 2000.
The American Memory collections cover the breadth of U.S. history, from the nation's founding, the wars it has fought, the Great Depression and the great inventors to baseball, the civil rights and women's suffrage movements, modern music and theater, the conservation movement and photography. The online papers of Presidents Washington, Jefferson and Lincoln bring to life these men and their times. A century later, film brought a new dimension to the public's perception of the careers of presidents such as Theodore Roosevelt, footage of whom is also on the site.