Sep 17, 2020

The Longest Love Letter

A new donation found its way to the Women‘s History Archives earlier this year, that of Guðrún Lárusdóttir (1880–1938), the second woman parliamentarian and writer, and of her husband Sigurbjörn Á Gíslason (1876–1969).

In December 1900 the couple was secretly betrothed and living in separate countries. The then twenty-year-old Guðrún asked her fiancé to send her a longer letter next time around. Sigurbjörn certainly complied and sent her a letter that was 2.5 meters and written on both sides, so five meters of text. His goal was for the letter to be long enough to hug her since he physically could not. They were married in 1902. Their collection of letters spans three decades and their love never wilted it seems. More information on the collection is available in Icelandic.

In September, the Nation Broadcasting Company (RÚV) talked to Rakel Adolphsdóttir of the archives. The interview is available on their website.

During the year 2020 the Women’s History Archive has received twelve donations of private collections, big and small. They contain letters, minutes of meetings, speeches, photographs, posters, flyers and so on. Please contact us if you wish to donate material.

Photo by Emma Björk Hjálmarsdóttir.