The collection currently boasts nearly 2,000 items, comprising historical source materials in various languages such as handwritten letters, postcards, visual sources, newspaper articles, concert programmes, pages from albums, and other documents. These include numerous autographic materials that have never before been published, providing insights into the music-related activities of women from the late 18th to the end of the 20th century. Addressing the core question of how, where, when and why musically active women contributed to musical culture in 19th- and 20th-century Europe enables a paradigm shift away from a historiography of music focused on works of art towards one that reveals the music-related activities of women. This approach will combine philology and an examination of source material with discourses on cultural science. Innovative research methods and concepts for researching identity, networks, mobility and cultural transfer will be applied to music history and exploited to the full for musicological gender research.

The project will help preserve our cultural heritage for future generations, archiving documents securely in a manner that is appropriate for their conservation, cataloguing them in depth and making the catalogued data permanently accessible thanks to cooperative partnerships with the Herzog August Bibliothek Wolfenbüttel and the Kalliope shared catalogue. The Herzog August Bibliothek will ensure that the digitised documents and editions on its website remain accessible by using persistent URLs, which guarantee that the electronic documents can be cited.

Funding: Pro*Niedersachsen
Duration: 2016–2022
Participants: FMG: Prof. Susanne Rode-Breymann, Prof. Nicole K. Strohmann, Viola Herbst, Dr Katharina Talkner, Anne Fiebig, Dr Maren Bagge, Christine Weber; HAB: Torsten Schaßan, Andrea Opitz, Henrike Fricke-Steyer

Project findings:; PURL:

Image: Letter from Marie Lehmann to an unknown gentleman, Vienna, 3 February 1886. Archive fmg, shelf mark: Rara/FMG Lehmann,M.1.