Holdings Music History

The Music Library of the German Historical Institute in Rome is a specialist musicological library. Since its creation in 1960, it has supported the work of the Music History Department. The Music Library is also considered an important reference point for historical-musical research at an international level as well as a meeting and exchange forum for individuals working in the fields of research, culture, media and musical practice. Finally, it represents an ideal environment for the development of interdisciplinary studies.The music library resources cover an extended range of themes and are designed to satisfy the needs of modern research activity. Main fields are Italian and German music, musical theatre, sacred music and contemporary music. Italian regional music history is available in numerous rare titles. The rich collection of printed music includes a considerable number of complete works of musical monuments and rare editions.

The library's first core collection, in 1958, comprised around 700 volumes from the Bibliotheca Hertziana. Today, its collection consists of around 68.000 bibliographical works, books and scores, plus around 3.700 audio sources and around 2.700 reproductions of musical sources on microforms and photocopies.

On the open shelves in the reading room numerous encyclopaedias, bibliographies and catalogues are available, which also include hard to obtain materials, especially relating to Italian libraries and collections.

Special Collections

  • A vast collection of rare librettos (operas, oratorios and cantatas), including an almost complete collection of printed texts for the public opera performances in Venice between 1637 and 1734;
  • An extensive collection of musical treatises spanning from the middle ages to the XIX century, part of which is first edition;
  • Manuscripts/rare prints/reprints of historical sources;
  • Contemporary music scores, including the Accademia Tedesca Roma Villa Massimo music collection with the compositions by fellows;
  • The DHI Roma’s Music History Section series: Analecta musicologica and Concentus musicus.

Electronic Media and Digital Collections

The DHI Roma library pays particular attention to the provision of electronic media. A number of PCs with the OPAC research function and online access to numerous databases and full-texts are available adjacent to the reading room. These include:

Specialist databases/encyclopaedias
•    RILM Abstracts of Music Literature
•    RIPM Retrospective Index to Music Periodicals
•    Grove Music Online
•    MGG Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart online

•    JSTOR
•    Electronic journals
•    Electronic resources available through German national licences

Digital services provided by the DHI Roma

  • Virtual libretto portal – digitalisation of the libretto collection in collaboration with the Bavarian State Library in Munich;
  • Partitura – Library operatic resources belonging to the noble Roman houses of Doria Pamphilj and Massimo;
  • Virtual thematic portal  Representations of Peace in Early Modern Europe – in collaboration with the Leibniz Institute of European History – Mainz (IEG), the Germanisches Nationalmuseum – Nuremberg (GNM), the Herzog August Library – Wolfenbüttel (HAB) and the Polish Academy of Sciences (IH PAN, Warsaw) "Tadeusz Manteuffel" Institute of Historical Science.