German Music Archive
In fulfilment of the legal brief of the German National Library, the German Music Archive (Deutsches Musikarchiv) of the German National Library undertakes the central collection of sheet music and sound recordings and serves as the music bibliography information centre for Germany.
The Music Archive (Musikarchiv) was founded in 1970 and continues the activities of the Deutsche Musik-Phonothek, which existed from 1961 - 1969. Based until recently in Berlin, it was relocated to the German National Library's Leipzig site in December 2010.
German music publishers and sound carrier producers are required to submit two deposit copies of publications to the German National Library under the Law regarding the German National Library. These then form the basis of the collection. After being processed by the German Music Archive in Leipzig, one copy is forwarded for archiving and use to the Frankfurt site of the German National Library where sheet music and sound recordings published in 1993 or later can now be accessed in the multimedia reading room.
Previously the focus of the German Music Archive was on the collection of sound recordings issued since 1970 and sheet music since 1973. The move to Leipzig, however, brings together the Leipzig stocks of sheet music and sound recordings with those of the German Music Archive.
The collection of sheet music in Leipzig now also includes the stock of the German National Library from 1943.
The collection of sound recordings, including shellac records, phonograph cylinders and piano rolls, dates back to the beginning of sound recording production in the 19th century. The material is from collectors' bequests and purchases. The collection of sound recordings also contains sound carriers and microforms which were collected from the 1960s onwards in the former GDR.
Following the acquisition of the Music Information Centre of the Association of Composers and Musical Scholars of the GDR (MIZ), sound recording tapes, notes and working card files are available documenting the musical life and production of the former GDR in the area of serious music.
In July 2000 GEMA, the German society for musical performance and mechanical reproduction rights, designated the German Music Archive as the home for its music collection. The entire inventory of the GEMA archive - comprising 210,000 pieces of music - was simultaneously transferred to the German Music Archive. These items can be used in the music reading room and sought in the catalogue of the German National Library.
The legal deposit copies are the basis of the bibliographic music services. Authority files of personal names, corporate bodies and uniform titles are available in machine-readable form for research purposes and as cataloguing tools. As a supplement, the German Music Archive has built up a database of reverse-bound musical material on loan, the Bonner Katalog, which is constantly updated in the catalogue of the German National Library.
Last update: 24.4.2013