Discoverability of Forgotten Repertoire: Lieder by Carl Gottlieb Reissiger in an American Woman’s Bound Music Collection




Gerber, Steven K.

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Owner-bound volumes of 19th-century vocal music collected by talented amateurs are a hidden treasure of important, out-of-print repertoire. While individual items of sheet music in library holdings have often been catalogued or indexed in online consortia, the contents of bound volumes in archives and special collections are not often thoroughly described at the item level. Examination of the bound sheet music of influential American writer and reformer Julia Ward Howe (1819-1909) reveals her high level of interest in the Lieder of Dresden composer and conductor Carl Gottlieb Reissiger (1798-1859). Several sets comprising a total of 50 of Reissiger’s songs appear in her collection, greatly outnumbering Lieder and art song by others. Most are not held by USA WorldCat libraries, nor digitized in IMSLP or other online venues. This body of work provides a window into the musical style of this prominent German musician, and offers material for several recital-length performances or recordings of his resurrected repertoire. Contents of similar collector-bound musical volumes, wherever they exist, should be made more discoverable to scholars and performers through more detailed WorldCat records and digitization for open-access.


Research poster exhibited and discussed at International Association of Music Libraries and Archives (IAML) and International Musicological Society (IMS) joint 2015 Conference, held at The Juilliard School, New York, NY on June 21-26, 2015. Conference theme: Music Research in the Digital Age.


Discoverability, Sheet music, German Lieder, Howe, Julia Ward, Reissiger, Carl Gottlieb, Open access, Thematic catalogue, IMSLP