Academic journal article Fontes Artis Musicae

Musicologists and Librarians Working Together: The "Lendulet" Archive and Research Group, Budapest

Academic journal article Fontes Artis Musicae

Musicologists and Librarians Working Together: The "Lendulet" Archive and Research Group, Budapest

Article excerpt

I. The Archives

The Institute of Musicology of the Research Centre for the Humanities, Hungarian Academy of Sciences maintained until the summer of 2012 two large Archives of international interest functioning at the same time as research groups: the Bartok Archives preserving Bela Bartok's estate (2) and the Folk Music and Folk Dance Archives keeping not only Hungarian folk music and dance material but items collected among minorities, neighbouring peoples, Finno-Ugrian, Turkic and other ethnicities as well. (3) The third and youngest unit at our Institute is the "Lendulet" Archives and Research Group of twentieth21st-Century Hungarian Music, founded in July 2012. The establishment of this Archives was made possible by the "Lendulet" (Momentum) program of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. The leader of the project is Anna Dalos, musicologist and researcher of twentieth-century and contemporary music. The founding members of the research group-researchers of different fields of musicological research-are Peter Bozo (operetta), Veronika Kusz (Erno Dohnanyi's oeuvre), Adam Ignacz (pop music) and myself (history of music interpretation and history of the recording industry in Hungary) as well as the librarian Hajnalka Hanvay.

The archives is based on an already existing collection: the estate of Erno Dohnanyi preserved in the Dohnanyi Archives of the Institute of Musicology. It was established in 2002 but closed down in 2009 for lack of resources. The research staff of the former Dohnanyi Archives published five annuals (4) which contained, in addition to musicological studies on Dohnanyi's activity as a composer (5) and performer (6), studies and summaries of other Hungarian collections connected to Dohnanyi (7). The collection of the Dohnanyi Archives includes manuscripts and photocopies related to Erno Dohnanyi's oeuvre: letters, personal documents, family correspondence, photos and scrapbooks, most deriving from the composer's life between 1937 and 1960.

The Institute of Musicology has often been sought out by heirs of composers to deposit the posthumous estate of their relatives there. As the Institute had neither appropriate infrastructure nor sufficient space to store them, the majority of these bequests were transferred to other institutions in the best case or the family kept them shut off from research and, worst of all, they simply vanished.

It is naturally the task of the National Szechenyi Library (Orszagos Szechenyi Konyvtar, OSZK) to collect the Hungarian composers' manuscripts and preserve their estate. In point of fact, the music collection of the National Szechenyi Library holds manuscripts by several twentieth-century composers. (8) The main difference between the National Library and our Archives is, however, that the latter is specialized in contemporary music and considers-similar to the other collections of the Institute of Musicology-archiving and research work equally important. Nevertheless, our activity is unimaginable without cooperation with the National Szechenyi Library and other Hungarian and foreign collections.

The "Lendulet" Archives and Research Group of twentieth-21st-Centur y Hungarian Music will comprise three sorts of collections: (1) estates, (2) the continuously growing collection of living composers, and (3) digital collections. As a first step the leader of the Archives, Anna Dalos arrived at an agreement with more than thirty composers and heirs to composers concerning their property. Some collections are wholly in possession of the respective families. As mentioned before, some estates are kept by the family in smaller private archives (e.g. Jeno Adam (9) and Lajos Bardos (10)), others were donated to some institutions (like Leo Weiner's estate to the Music Academy; Laszlo Kalmar's to the Benedictine abbey in Pannonhalma while Andras Szollosy's works are preserved partly at the Liszt Academy in Budapest and partly at the Akademie der Kunste in Berlin). …

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