Ethics and jurisdiction of archiving, formats of quarrel

Two days after I ordered the material donated to Kvindehistorisk samling, I received an email telling that my request to view the material was declined, but that I could fill out an application to view it. I reckoned that since the material came from an individual archive creator, it was not cleared for Tracing the Spirit together with the general NSU archive. I applied, and it got accepted.

In the cardboard boxes sent from Viborg to Copenhagen I for example found lists of all the participants in the study circle on women and capitalism with contact information (dating from the 1970s and probably invalid today). It still made the difference between consciously published, edited and intentionally complete material like the publications in the NSU writing series, and all the processual documents produced in and around NSU sessions, very apparent.

In the administrative material in the Sessions package of the general NSU archive, there were also some outright quarreling in writing about budgets, travel refunds or people who had promised to chair a study circle but failed to show up to a session. I was fascinated by the format of quarrel (fax and telegrams). But if I had been part of these discussions some 40 years ago, I would also have been grateful that there are regulations limiting public distribution of small, old and situational bursts of anger on paper.

By Hild Borchgrevink, 29 August 2019. More info at

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