The program collection of the SIM comprises approximately 12,000 concert, opera, theater and revue programs from the 1770s to the 1990s that come from a number of cities and states but mostly from Berlin.
Created for immediate use, these brochures and leaflets are invaluable documents of music culture, and they are documents that are seldom systematically collected and catalogued, in contrast to books or newspapers. Some sets – like the programs collected by Berlin organist Bernhard Irrgang (1869–1916) of his own concerts – have a unique character, while other programs document the existence of event venues about which nothing more is currently known.
The objective of the programs project is to preserve these documents with due conservational care while also allowing the public to view them and make use of them, thereby raising awareness of their importance. One key consideration during the cataloguing process is acquiring information about these documents and their contents that can be shared later on. The quality and depth of the data collection are of crucial importance, both with regard to the discoverability of the documents as well as their use for research and for the interested public. It is possible to search the collection by date, personal names or instruments, for example. To this end, detailed information about the programs has been stored in a database, and digital copies of the documents have been incorporated into the Digital Collections of the Staatliches Institut für Musikforschung Preußischer Kulturbesitz.
The program collection was collated once more when the project began in the summer of 2013, and between November 2013 and September 2014, it was digitized. When the catalogue database was set up in May 2014, the programs, the events documented in the programs, and the results from the subproject on the Viennese School up to May 2016 were catalogued, and the digital copies were exported to the Digital Collections of the institute with the application Goobi.
For the festival “100 Jahre Gegenwart” (100 Years of Now) at the House of World Cultures (HKW) in Berlin, project director Julia Heimerdinger curated the exhibition Die Anwesenden werden gebeten, den Schlusschor stehend mitzusingen: Der Erste Weltkrieg im Konzert. (“Those present are asked to stand while singing the final chorus: Concerts during the First World War.”). The exhibition ran from September 30 to October 4, 2015, at the HKW and was opened with the concert Vaterländische Ouverture [Rekonstruktion] (Patriotic Overture [Reconstruction]) by the ensemble zeitkratzer.