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COLLECTION Identifier: MS Thr 518

Albi Rosenthal collection of letters between composers and music publishers,

Collection of 18th, 19th, and 20th-century autograph manuscript letters between composers and music publishers, collected by music antiquarian Albi Rosenthal from the early 1970s through about 2002.


  • 1704-1966.

Language of Materials

Collection materials are in German, French, Italian, Latin, and English.

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material.


1 collection (3 boxes (1.5 linear feet))

This collection of autograph manuscripts includes letters, postcards, contracts, receipts, lists of works, portrait engravings, a few scores, declarations of copyright, biographical sketches, music notation, and other associated documents compiled by the music antiquarian Albi Rosenthal, and concerns the relationship between composers and their publishers.

The collection is centered on important composers, including Bellini, Berlioz, Boccherini, Chopin, Elgar, Joseph Haydn, Mendelssohn Bartholdy, Puccini, Rossini, Schumann, Johann Strauss, Richard Strauss, Stravinsky, Verdi and Wagner, as well as some lesser-known composers such as Bianchini, Martin Gerbert, Guglielmi, Gyrowetz, Onslow, Pleyel, and Steibelt. Music publishers include Breitkopf & Härtel, Haslinger, Hoffmeister & Kuhnel, Kistner & Siegel & Co., Lucca, Ricordi, Schlesinger, Simrock and many others.

Biographical / Historical

Albi Rosenthal was born in Munich, Germany on 1914 October 5 and died in Oxford, United Kingdom on 2004 August 3. He was an English antiquarian music dealer who founded A. Rosenthal Ltd., Oxford.


Arranged alphabetically by correspondent.

Physical Location



Collection originally compiled by music antiquarian Albi Rosenthal from the early 1970s through about 2002. Purchased in 2007 by John Milton Ward from J & J Lubrano Music Antiquarians.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

2007TW-2150. Deposit of John Milton and Ruth Neils Ward; received: 2007 November 30.

Related Materials

See also the John Milton and Ruth Neils Ward Collection of the Harvard Theatre Collection itemized in the HOLLIS database. The collection is comprised of thousands of books, scores, librettos, playbills, illustrations, contracts, and ephemera relating to public performances that incorporate music in an essential way, such as ballet, opera, social dance, pantomime, operetta, and burlesque.

See curatorial file for translations, transcriptions, and dealer notes concerning this material.

Processing Information

Processed by: Bonnie B. Salt, with the assistance of Andrea Cawelti.

Collection was received with translations, transcriptions, and dealer's notes of some letters. Some of the information for the notes below was taken from these materials. These papers have been retained in the Curatorial file. The collection also arrived in the repository with item numbers already established, and we have attempted to retain those numbers.
Link to catalog
Rosenthal, Albi, 1914-, collector. Albi Rosenthal collection of letters between composers and music publishers: Guide.
Harvard Theatre Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard College Library
Description rules

Repository Details

Part of the Houghton Library Repository

Houghton Library is Harvard College's principal repository for rare books and manuscripts, literary and performing arts archives, and more. The library's holdings of primary source material are managed by an expert staff and shared with scholars, students and the public in the reading room.

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