The Robert Schumann House Archive hosts the biggest Schumann collection in the world. Its emphasis is on the comprehensive autobiographical, literary and musical legacy of the composer which the city of Zwickau was able to purchase in 1925 from the couple’s oldest daughter Marie, then living in Interlaken in Switzerland. Founded as “Schumann Museum” the collection always had its focus on Clara Schumann (née Wieck) as well. The most important autograph manuscripts encompass first drafts for Schumann’s opera ‚Genoveva‘ Op. 81 and his song cycle ‚Poet’s Love‘ Op. 48, the working manuscripts regarding his ‚Album for the Young‘ Op. 68, the ‚Carneval Jest from Vienna’ Op. 26 and the autograph of the score of the overture to ‚Hermann and Dorothea‘ Op. 136. But for example there are also interesting autograph sketches, title drafts and manuscript copies to all his four symphonies. In addition the Robert Schumann House hosts numerous autograph albums, among these the so-called ‚Brautbuch‘ and the legendary ‚Blumentagebuch‘, Clara Schumann’s diary during the time Robert Schumann lived in Endenich. A lot of photographs, original paintings created by artists like Eduard Bendemann, Carl Jäger and Franz von Lenbach complement the collection which encompasses a huge number of music prints as well. Particularly noteworthy is Schumann’s collection of the first editions of his complete works. Among the archive’s collection of playbills most important is Clara Schumann’s complete collection of all her concert programmes.
An index to the complete programme collection is to be found here.
Parts of this valuable collection are presented in the permanent exhibition of the Robert Schumann House with regard to life and work of Robert and Clara Schumann. In temporary exhibitions also recent acquisitions are regularly presented to the public.
The autograph manuscripts (music manuscripts and text documents) by Robert and Clara Schumann are catalogued in the SWB online catalog, a bibliographical database of more than 1200 German libraries (Library siglum: Zwi 17).
Music manuscripts by other composers are listed in RISM (Library siglum: D-Zsch).
Letters by Robert and Clara Schumann are registered in the Schumann letter database, jointly supervised by the Robert Schumann House and the Robert Schumann Research Centre in Düsseldorf (Library siglum: D-Zsch).
Because of its extraordinary archive collections the Robert Schumann House is a unique resource for biographical and musicological research regarding the artist couple and its contemporaries. The archive is the place to go for scientists from all around the world. Besides the two scientific staff positions of the Robert Schumann Research Centre in Düsseldorf, existing since 1986, an additional staff member was appointed for the New Complete Edition of Robert Schumann’s Works in Zwickau in 1992. Also the independent research work of the Robert Schumann House Zwickau is continuing to date. In cooperation with the Dresden College of music it publishes the Schumann-Briefedition (Schumann Letters’ Edition). The second series‘ — Schumann’s correspondence with friends and artist friends — is a long-term research project funded for 15 years by the Saxon Academy of Sciences and Humanities in Leipzig and involving staff positions in Dresden and the Robert Schumann House Zwickau.