In 1979 Gottfried von Einem decided to donate all documents related to his life and creative output to the Archive, Library and Collection of the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Vienna with the condition that these documents were intended to act as a self-contained set of holdings accessible to researchers. The Archive, Library, and Collection of the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Vienna was established with the founding of the Gesellschaft itself in 1812. Since that point the Archive has functioned as a comprehensive collection of documents from all areas of music. Among others, manuscripts from Johannes Brahms remain some of the numerous older documents in the Archive’s care. The Gottfried von Einem holdings – referred to as the “Einem Archive” – were not simply left to the Archive, but were in fact established under the watchful eye of the composer himself. In 1979, he donated all materials which were available to him at the time, and which he felt had documentary worth. These holdings were then subsequently enlarged by him regularly in the following years. After his death, the significantly larger remainder of his library was then added to the existing holdings.
Appreciating the Holdings
The Gottfried von Einem Archive documents first and foremost the life and creative work of the composer. The rich and varied nature of the material allows for research that can start from any number of perspectives. To that end – principally through the amount and quality of correspondence – there exist many cross-relationships between music, literature, art, culture and, to a lesser degree, contemporary and intellectual history. Among the correspondents associated with Einem one finds many of the most important personalities of the composer’s time. Because of these cross-relationships in the Einem Archive, it is a resource that could be of great use to anyone studying a relevant topic from this era, even if it is not necessarily music, but has to do with a person who either was or could have been in contact with Gottfried von Einem.