Aarhus University Seal

Jens Holt's archive at Aarhus University

In the Archives of University History at Aarhus University, an archive from Jens Holt has been discovered. This archive contains numerous correspondences between Holt and Hjelmslev which was ongoing for many years. There are many original letters with handwritten comments and added notes - even letters that are not included in the filings at the Royal Library of Copenhagen, which makes the two archives of correspondances between Holt and Hjelmslev somewhat supplementary to each other.

Holt’s archive was donated to the Archive of University History from Hans Arndt (Head of the Department of Linguistics in Aarhus from 1988 to 2002). Besides the correspondence between Holt and Hjelmslev, the donated material includes a large amount of interesting historical memories that defines Holt’s research and his work for the Department of Linguistics in Aarhus.


By judging on the amount of notes and papers on “hittitology” by Holt, there is no doubt that these characterize Holt as a dedicated man to this field. His work on documenting the hittite language demanded many notes and the Archive of University History in Aarhus includes the whole process of working on The Hittite Dictionary also known as “The Dictionary Project” (Ordbogsprojektet). There are several first drafts, materials and manuscripts from several authors and five indexes where each index is full of small cards with hittite words – each word is written on its own card with phonetic transcriptions and/or translations.

This archive also has two large files marked “1930-1956” and “1957-1969”. The first file consists mostly of applications to different funds for financial support for his hittitological project, and the second file is full of travelling information, applications for visa and travelling expenses related to the hittite dictionary project.

Another feature of Holt’s archive in Aarhus is small old-fashioned photographs called diapositives. These are made of small, transparent glassplates where a picture has been stamped on in the colours black and white. On these diapositives, we see events, texts and differents writing systems documented.

Furthermore in the archive


  • Notes on Les noms d'action en -σις(-τις) by Holt from 1941
  • Notes on Études d'aspects (1943). This is Holt's research on verbal categories from a structural linguistic point of view
  • Letters about Rationel Semantik (Pleremik) by Holt from 1946
  • Other peculiar letters such as Holt's request to defend his thesis in French