On Fri, 16 Feb 2018 21:30:41 -0500, Nancy Gish <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>But we may learn more in 2020 when his letters to Emily are released.
Concerning the letters from Eliot to Emily Hale, the archivists possesses the paper and ink but someone else, presumably the Eliot estate, holds the copyright to the words. The archive may let the letters be read in 2020 but may not have a legal obligation to do so. Possibly the Eliot estate may make some deal for the archive to withhold examination of the letters until the estate publishes them. Or possibly the archive could keep them secret while preparing them for publication on its own once they become public domain. In the U.S. the copyright will expire at the end of 2035 or 2036.
Something similar occurred when James Miller wanted to publish Jean Verdenal's letters to Eliot. Although Harvard had the letters (that were donated by Eliot's sister-in-law and with copyright owned by the Verdenal estate) Valerie Eliot was able to prevent them from being read by Miller until the first volume of "The Letters of TSE" was published.
Here is a page on the archivists.org website about copyright and unpublished material: