Bonn University and State Library

Adenauerallee 39 – 41
53113 Bonn

Tel.: 0049 (0)228 / 73-7352
Fax: 0049 (0)228 / 73-7546
Tel. Information: 0049 (0) 228 73 75 25
Head: Dr. Ulrich Meyer-Doerpinghaus


Opening hours:

Head of Department 5 (Manuscripts and Old Holdings): Dr Michael Herkenhoff
Special subjects: History, Ethnology and newspapers
Tel.: 0049 (0)228 / 73-7548

The Schumann autographs of Bonn University and State Library are available online as of now:

The same as Bonn University, Bonn University Library is a Prussian foundation going back to 1818. It was first housed in the main building of the University, the former Electoral Palace. In 1824, the Library was granted the right to collect legal deposit copies for the Prussian Rhine Province (until 1945). Thanks to a systematic acquisition policy and also purchases and donations of further complete collections (special holdings), the Library grew rapidly. Towards the end of the 19th century, it held more than 200,000, and at the beginning of World War II, there were more than 600,000 volumes. A devastating bombing raid on 18th October 1944 destroyed about 200,000 volumes (= 30% of total holdings) and a large part of the catalogues. After the war, the Library was first housed in various provisional places until in 1960 it could move into the new building at Adenauerallee, designed by Pierre Vago and Fritz Bornemann. Today, Bonn University and State Library with its holdings of about 2,000,000 media units is the central University Library of the Rhenish Friedrich Wilhelm University of Bonn. Together with another 160 libraries of institutes, seminars and hospitals, it provides approximately 34,000 students, 544 Prof. and 3935 scholars of the University with literature and information for research, teaching, studies and further education. At the same time, it is also the State Library for the Administrative District of Cologne, Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia.

Schumann holdings at Bonn University and State Library
The Schumann collection of Bonn University Library goes back to 1974. During that year, the Library was able to acquire as many as 36 music autographs by Robert Schumann. These included above all three study books of Robert Schumann, which had hardly been available to research prior to their acquisition. The collection of music autographs was rapidly expanded over the next few years. Two more study books were added still in 1974 to the three ones existing already. A sketch book of Robert Schumann from his time in Dresden could be acquired in October 1991. In 1998, the Library eventually purchased at auction at Sotheby’s the working manuscript of Schumann’s Spanish Song Cycle Op. 74 as well as two of his songs from the Spanish Love Songs Op. 138.

The correspondences were added at an early stage already to the well indexed music autographs in the catalogue raisonné by McCorkle. This is how Bonn University and State Library now holds:

  • 14 letters by Robert Schumann from 1828 – 1839 (shelf mark: Schumann 30)
  • 21 letters by Robert Schumann from 1840 – 1852 (shelf mark: Schumann 31)
  • 3 letters by Clara Schumann from 1838/1839 (shelf mark: Schumann 35)
  • 2 letters by Clara Schumann from 1841 (shelf mark: Schumann 36)
  • 4 letters by Clara Schumann from 1867 – 1879 (shelf mark: Schumann 37)
  • 13 letters by Clara Schumann from 1877 – 1896 (shelf mark: Schumann 38)
  • 27 letters by Clara Schumann from 1851 – 1881 (shelf mark: Schumann 42)
  • 5 letters and cards by Clara Schumann from 1866 – 1892 (Autog.slg)

Michael Herkenhoff

Literature: Michael Herkenhoff: Schumanniana in der Universitäts- und LandesbibliothekBonn: In: Pro Libris 2003 (3), pp. 117-120

Sheet from Sketch Book IV
Sheet from Sketch Book IV, made in 1831/32 (Bonn University and State Library, Schumann 16)

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