Liederkranz collection, ca. 1847-1987

Deutscher Liederkranz der Stadt New York


286 linear ft. (198 boxes).
Organized into four series: Series 1. Music; Subseries 1A. Manuscript; Subseries 1B. Choral printing plates; Subseries 1C. Choral; Subseries 1D. Choral Collections; Subseries 1E. Piano-Vocal; Subseries 1F. Lyrics; Subseries 1G. Piano; Series 2. Liederkranz Produced/Obtained Documents/Objects; Subseries 2A. LK Library Documents / Materials; Subseries 2B. Correspondence; Subseries 2C. Liederkranz Programs; Subseries 2D. Letters, Invitations, Memoranda to LK Membersl; Subseries 2E. Roll Books; Subseries 2F. L.K. News[letter]; Subseries 2G. Miscellanea obtained by the LK; Series 3. Materials Produced by Other Music Associations and Related Organizations; Subseries 3A. Programs; Subseries 3B. Miscellanea; Series 4. Printed Sheet Music Collection Arranged primarily alphabetical by composer or title.
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.
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, and Lauritz Melchior. Well-known members of the LK 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.
Access: There are no restrictions on the use of the Liederkranz Collection. Appointments are necessary for the use of manuscript and archival materials.
Identification of item, date (if known); Liederkranz Collection; MSS 130; box number; folder number; Fales Library and Special Collections, New York University Libraries.
Permission to publish materials must be obtained in writing from the Director of Fales Library and Special Collections, Elmer Holmes Bobst Library, 70 Washington Square South, New York, N.Y. 10012.
Chiefly in English, with a significant portion in German.
Unpublished finding aid available; folder-level control.

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