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Historical Schott Archive Acquired by State Libraries in Berlin and Munich and Six Research Institutions

The historical archive of the music publisher Schott represents a unique cultural asset. There is no other German music publishing house archive that is as big and comprehensive. It comprises the business records (correspondence; records of printers, engravers, and copyists; accounting books) from 1787 to 1945 and the entire historical archive that relates to production, music manuscripts, and first editions from 1810 to around 1950. The archive includes several hundred music autograph manuscripts and thousands of letters from famous composers such as Ludwig van Beethoven, Frederic Chopin, Werner Egk, Joseph Haas, Karl Amadeus Hartmann, Paul Hindemith, Engelbert Humperdinck, Franz Liszt, Bohuslav Martinů, Luigi Nono, Jacques Offenbach, Carl Orff, Hans Pfitzner, Maurice Ravel, Max Reger, Hermann Reutter, Ernst Toch, Richard Wagner, Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari and Bernd Alois Zimmermann. The archive, which had previously been at the head office in Mainz and was owned by the Strecker Foundation, was added to the Register of Archives with National Significance (Verzeichnis national wertvoller Archive) in 2004. Schott Verlag, founded in 1770, is one of the oldest music publishers in the world that is still in existence.

Dividing this inestimably valuable archive among the two state libraries in Berlin and Munich and other research institutions ensures the best possible use of materials within each respective collection context. Digitization is planned in order to provide worldwide access to all the archival materials, independent of location. The archive will be processed in a cooperative manner. Rolf Griebel, director of the Bavarian State Library, said:

“That the archive can now be secured and made accessible for scholarship after multi-year marathon rounds of negotiations is a stroke of luck that cannot be valued too highly. I would like to thank the appraisers and the numerous sponsors who made this purchase possible, especially the Cultural Foundation of the German Federal States, the Federal Government Commissioners for Culture and Media, and the Carl Friedrich von Siemens-Stiftung.”

Barbara Schneider-Kempf, director of the Berlin State Library, added:

“The Schott archive reflects European music history from the eighteenth to the twentieth century in every facet. Making such archives visible worldwide and accessible for research to the greatest extent possible is the central goal of libraries. I am certain that there will be a flurry of research as soon as the music autographs, correspondence, and other documents have been processed, digitized, and brought together again in a virtual environment."

Additional sponsors that contributed to financing the purchase through individual institutions are the Ernst von Siemens Musikstiftung, the Berthold Leibinger Stiftung, the Wüstenrot-Stiftung, the Carl-Orff-Stiftung, the Fondation Hindemith, the State of Baden-Württemberg, the Arbeitskreis selbständiger Kultur-Institute e.V., individual sponsors of the Max Reger Institute, and the Freunde der Universitätsbibliothek Frankfurt am Main e.V. The partial purchases made by the Fondation Hindemith and the Carl-Orff-Stiftung can also be understood as financial support that enabled the purchase of the entire archive.

The Schott archive will be housed and processed by the following institutions: Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin – Preußischer Kulturbesitz, Beethoven-Haus (Konvolut Ludwig van Beethoven), Carl-Orff-Stiftung (Konvolut Carl Orff), Fondation Hindemith (Konvolut Paul Hindemith), Max-Reger-Institut/Elsa-Reger-Stiftung (Konvolut Max Reger), Stiftung Akademie der Künste Berlin (Konvolut Bernd Alois Zimmermann), Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg (Engelbert Humperdinck).

Category: Library collections

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