Archive of Concert Life

From 2013 to 2016, the Musicological Documentation department at the SIM carried out a digitization project resulting in the “Archive of Concert Life.” The purpose of this project was to preserve, digitize and analyze records of concert life that have traditionally been regarded as “ephemeral” and of lesser importance, such as concert programs, concert reviews and certain sound recordings of classical western art music. The project consisted of four parts:


The program collection of the SIM comprises approximately 12,000 concert, opera, theater and revue programs from the 1770s to the 1990s. Most are from Berlin, but there are programs from other parts of Germany and other countries as well. more

Berlin-Brandenburg Concert Guide, 1920–2012

A second subproject was the digitization of the Berlin concert guide series Führer durch die Konzertsäle Berlins, which was founded by Gotthard Schierse and later published under the title Konzertführer Berlin Brandenburg (Berlin-Brandenburg Concert Guide). The Gotthard Schierse Foundation donated a set of these guides (the most extensive continuous set of any collection) to the Universität der Künste (University of the Arts) in Berlin, which has kept them in its archives. These and additional issues from the estate of Gotthard Schierse and from the SIMPK collections were digitized, supplied with metadata and structural data, and published online under the name Collection Konzertführer Berlin Brandenburg 1920–2012. The collection contains 1,841 issues with approximately a quarter of a million concert notices. more

Viennese School

The aim of this subproject was to use the collection of documents concerning the Viennese School’s performance theory to demonstrate how records regarding performance practice and musical interpretation can be collected in digital form and put online, where they can be searched, annotated and linked to using modern techniques of knowledge organization. more

Topography of Berlin Concert Life, 1880–1945

The Topography of Berlin Concert Life 1880–1945 consists of an interactive map marking approximately 250 historical places of interest, including ministries, schools, music publishers, musical instrument makers, concert halls and residences of performers and composers. more

Go directly to the resources

Project information

Project team
Anja Fischer M.A. (library staff), Dr. Julia Heimerdinger (research assistant, project management), Ralf Kwasny M.A. (research assistant, Vienna School sub-project), Sabrina Radatz B.A. (library staff)

Project duration
July 2013 to October 2014 (BKM funding), Follow-up funding until 2016 from the estate of Ursula and Dr Ernst Friedhelm Suchalla


Carsten Schmidt

Head Librarian and Head of the Division for Musicological Documentation

+49 30 254 81 140