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Liederkranz Collection

Call Number



1837-1987, inclusive


Deutscher Liederkranz der Stadt New York


200 Linear Feet
in 208 boxes and 1 flat-file folder

Language of Materials

Materials are in English and German.


The Liederkranz of the City of New York is an amateur organization, founded in 1847 as a male singing society, that grew to include choruses, an orchestra, a scholarship competition and fund (the Liederkranz Foundation), and a membership "Dedicated to the Promotion of MUSIC and CULTURE." The Liederkranz Collection is comprised of music scores and parts, documents produced by the Liederkranz of the City of New York, and related documents and items that have been obtained by the club since it began in 1847. The bulk of the collection is choral and orchestral scores and parts.

Historical/Biographical Note

On January 9, 1847, twenty-five men of German heritage founded the "Deutscher Liederkranz der Stadt New York," a male singing society that provided a musical and social outlet for German-American men and also sought to perpetuate the tradition of German music, in both the folk and classical traditions.

By 1861, the society was invited to sing with the Philharmonic Society Orchestra, and its performances of Wagner excerpts at the Metropolitan Opera House and in Boston and Philadelphia were among the first performances of Wagner in the United States. The Chorus sang at the World Columbian Exposition in Chicago. Ferrucio Busoni performed piano works at this concert and others on the Liederkranz's tour. Many well-known musicians have collaborated with the Liederkranz, including Jenny Lind, Victor Herbert, Ernestine Schumann-Heink, Raphael Josephi, Lille Lehman, Helen Traubel, and Lauritz Melchior. The Club has also feted Engelbert Humperdinck, Richard Strauss, and Siegfried Wagner. Well-known members of the Liederkranz include Carl Schurz and William Steinway, who acted intermittently as President from 1867 until 1896. Honorary members have included President Theodore Roosevelt, Dr. Walter Damrosch, and Lauritz Melchior.

The Liederkranz has been involved in numerous charitable efforts for the benefit of New York City and its institutions, the Quaker Fund for German Relief, the destitute of the Chicago Fire, etc. The Society established the Liederkranz Foundation, Inc. on April 8, 1948 for the purpose of providing support to young singers and musicians to further their careers.


The subseries of Series I are arranged alphabetically, by composer's name. Where there is no composer's name, the work's title is used. Folders containing groups of miscellaneous incomplete parts/works are found at the end of a series.

Subseries II.B, II.D, II.E, II.F, and II.G are arranged chronologically. Subseries II.C is divided roughly into three parts, with all Liederkranz concert programs first, followed by Liederkranz dramatic production programs, and then all dinner/event programs. Within each of these divisions, the programs are ordered chronologically. Subseries II.A has been arranged alphabetically after the subseries' first item, which is contained in its own box.

The programs of Subseries III.A are separated by organization, and then arranged chronologically. Subseries III.B is arranged chronologically.

Series IV is arranged alphabetically by composer name. The folder number in this series refers to the item number.

Series 5, which is comprised of five items, is ordered as the items would appear if extracted in order from their corresponding place in Series 1 to Series 3.

  1. Series I: Music
  2. Series II: Liederkranz Produced/Obtained Documents/Objects
  3. Series III: Materials Produced by Other Music Associations and Related Organizations
  4. Series IV: Printed Sheet Music, Choral
  5. Oversize - Series IC: Music, Choral
  6. Oversize - Series IIA: Liederkranz Library Documents/Materials

Scope and Contents

The Liederkranz Collection is comprised of music scores and parts, Liederkranz Club and Liederkranz Foundation produced documents, and related documents and items that have been obtained by the club since it began in 1847. The bulk of the collection is choral orchestral scores and parts.


SERIES 1: Music

Series I contains music of various instrumentation, as well as libretti for musical works. The bulk of the series is comprised of works for chorus. The series has been divided into the subseries below.

Subseries IA: Manuscript

Contains all music, regardless of instrumentation, and some libretti, that is in manuscript. In instances where a folder of related items (e.g., a set of parts) contained both typoscript and manuscript, the folder has been filed as manuscript.

Subseries IB: Choral Printing Plates

Contains printing plates mounted on wood blocks (with the exception of the work by Türk, folder 50, a plate, unmounted.) The plates are for various four-part choral (TTBB) lieder. All text is in German.

Subseries IC: Choral

Contains printed choral music. Here, this refers to any musical work with chorus. While most of the music here is sheet music (score/parts) for chorus alone, there are some exceptions (e.g., Liszt's "Des Glocken des Strassburger Münsters," which is comprised of a conductor's score and orchestra parts, but no choral parts.)

Subseries ID: Choral Collections

Contains collections of choral music bound together in books. Most of the series is comprised of part books for four-part männerchor.

Subseries IE: Piano-Vocal

Contains music for written, or arranged, for solo voice and piano.

Subseries IF: Lyrics

Contains lyrics without music. This includes lyrics printed as song cards, broadsheets, photocopies, etc.

Subseries IG: Piano

Is comprised of piano music, both solo and duo.

SERIES II: Liederkranz Produced/Obtained Documents/Objects

Subseries IIA: Liederkranz Library Documents / Materials

Contains documents and materials related to the Liederkranz library. The series is mainly comprised of inventories of library holdings.

Subseries IIB: Correspondence

Contains all correspondence to and from the Liederkranz Society, and/or its members. The series has been ordered chronologically.

Subseries IIC: Liederkranz Programs

Contains programs, mainly to concerts and plays, but also to dinners, at which a Liederkranz ensemble might or might not have performed. The series is divided roughly into three parts, with all Liederkranz concert programs first, followed by Liederkranz dramatic production programs, and then all dinner/event programs. Within each of these divisions, the programs are ordered chronologically.

Subseries IID: Letters, Invitations, Memoranda to Liederkranz Members

Includes all documents that would have been given to a Liederkranz member during their membership with the organization. This includes invitations to events, event protocol, meeting minutes, etc. The series has been ordered chronologically.

Subseries IIE: Roll Books

Contains roll books used by Liederkranz Orchestra to track the attendance of its members. The series has been arranged chronologically, with the exception of the last roll book, which is for the 2nd Basses of the Liederkranz Chorus.

Subseries IIF: Liederkranz News[letter]

Contains issues of the "L.K. News," which was the member newsletter of the New York Liederkranz. The series has been ordered chronologically.

Subseries IIG: Miscellanea obtained by the Liederkranz

Contains various items that have somehow been obtained by the Liederkranz. The series has been ordered chronologically.

SERIES III: Materials Produced by Other Music Associations and Related Organizations

Subseries IIIA: Programs

Contains programs of non-LK, or non-LK specific (e.g., The Grand Benefit Concerts) concerts/events.

Subseries IIIB: Miscellanea

Contains miscellaneous items from other (non-LK) music associations and related organizations. This series has been ordered chronologically.

SERIES IV: Printed Sheet Music Collection.

Comprised of the organization's printed sheet music collection.


Conditions Governing Access

Materials are open without restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright (or related rights to publicity and privacy) for materials in this collection was not transferred to New York University. Permission to use materials must be secured from the copyright holder. Please contact the Fales Library and Special Collections,, 212-998-2596.

Preferred Citation

Identification of item, date; Liederkranz Collection; MSS 130; box number; folder number, or electronic record identifier; The Fales Library & Special Collections, New York University.

Location of Materials

Some materials are stored offsite and advance notice is required for use. Please request materials at least two business days prior to your research visit to coordinate access.


In December 1999 the Liederkranz of the City of New York donated its library of music scores and parts, Liederkranz Club and Liederkranz Foundation documents, and related materials to NYU.

Separated Material

Unnecessary duplicates of scores and sheet music in the collection have been removed. The duplicates relate to Series IV, Printed Music. Each box is listed below with the boxes from Series IV that they relate to:

Box 1, Liederkranz duplicates, 1-4.

Box 2, Liederkranz duplicates, 5-9.

Box 3, Liederkranz duplicates, 10-17

Box 4, Liederkranz duplicates, 18-21

Box 5, Liederkranz duplicates, 21-22

Box 6, Liederkranz duplicates, 22-25

Box 7, Liederkranz duplicates, 26-28

Box 8, Liederkranz duplicates, 29-32

Box 9, Liederkranz duplicates, 33-36

Box 10, Liederkranz duplicates, 37-39

Box 11, Liederkranz duplicates, 40-43

Box 12, Liederkranz duplicates, 44-47

Box 13, Liederkranz duplicates, 48-52

Box 14, Liederkranz duplicates, 53-57

Box 15, Liederkranz duplicates, 58-62

Box 16, Liederkranz duplicates, 63-65

Box 17, Liederkranz duplicates, 66-69

Box 18, Liederkranz duplicates, 70-72

Box 19, Liederkranz duplicates, 73-76

Box 20, Liederkranz duplicates, 77-82

Box 21, Liederkranz duplicates, 83-89

Box 22, Liederkranz duplicates, 90-94

Box 23, Liederkranz duplicates, 95-98

Box 24, Liederkranz duplicates, 99-112

Box 25, Liederkranz duplicates, 113-116

Box 26, Liederkranz duplicates, 117-122

Box 27, Liederkranz duplicates, 123-127

Box 28, Liederkranz duplicates, 128-134

Box 29, Liederkranz duplicates, 135-136

Box 30, Liederkranz duplicates, 137-141

Box 31, Liederkranz duplicates, 142-149

Box 32, Liederkranz duplicates, 150-156

Box 33, Liederkranz duplicates, 157-161

Box 34, Liederkranz duplicates, 162-163

Box 35, Liederkranz duplicates, 164-165

Box 36, Liederkranz duplicates, 166-167

Box 37, Liederkranz duplicates, 168-169

Box 38, Liederkranz duplicates, 170-171

Box 39, Liederkranz duplicates, 172-173

Box 40, Liederkranz duplicates, 174-175

The following books have been removed from the collection, and now reside in the Fales Library. They have been cataloged individually and are searchable in Bobcat.

Aus ruhmreicher Zeit: Deutsche-amerikanische Dichtungen aus dem ersten Jahre des Weltkrieges, ed. Irving T. Sanders, F.C. Stechert Co., New York, 1915.

Berthold Litzmann, Das deutsche Drama in den litterarischen Bewegungen der Gegerwart : Vorlesungen gehalten an der Universität Bonn, Leipzig, Leopold Voss, 1894.

Frankfurter Evangelisches Gesangbuch, Moritz Diesterweg, Frankfurt am Main, 1886.

Hamerling, Robert, Ahasver in Rom, J.F. Richter, Hamburg, 1885.

Mühlbach, L., ausgewählte Werke, 16 vols., Otto Janke, Berlin 1868.

Spengler, Oswald, Der Untergang des Abendlandes, 2 vols., Beck, München, 1922.

Starck, Johann Friedrich, Tägliches Handbuch in guten und bösen Tagen, Vereinsbuchhandlung, Stuttgart, 1886.

Sybel, Heinrich von, Die begründung des Deutschen Reiches durch Wilhelm I, vol. 6 (of 7), R. Oldenbourg, München, 1894.

Weber, Karl Julius, (here: anonymous), Demokritos, oder, Hinterlassene Papiere eines lachenden Philosophen / von dem Verfasser der "Briefe eines in Deutschland reisenden Deutschen," 12 vols. in 6 books, Hempels Klassiker-Ausgaben, Leipzig, [year].

Werner, Richard, Das Buch von der Deutschen Flotte, Velhagen and Klasing, Bielefeld and Leipzig, 1893

Collection processed by

Rachel Conrad, 2001-2002, and Daniel Callahan, September 2003 – January 2004.

About this Guide

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on 2024-02-06 14:12:38 -0500.
Language: Description is written in: English, Latin script.

Processing Information Note

In March 2016, boxes from Series I, Series II, Series III, and Oversize were renumbered to numerically follow Series I. Researchers with citations to previous box numbers may contact for assistance with identifying new box numbers.

Edition of this Guide

This version was derived from Liederkranz Finding Aid.doc


Fales Library and Special Collections
Fales Library and Special Collections
Elmer Holmes Bobst Library
70 Washington Square South
2nd Floor
New York, NY 10012