The papers contain materials from all phases of the long and varied life of Alma Mahler, from handwritten diaries from her youth to musical compositions, as well as material pertaining to the literary work of Franz Werfel, including autograph manuscripts of most of his major prose, dramatic works, and poetry. The collection comprises 101 boxes of correspondence, writings, and memorabilia; 15 boxes of photographs; six boxes of audio recordings; and one box of oversized materials.
The correspondence in the collection includes some 1400 folders and over 1200 correspondents. The overwhelming majority of the letters date from after 1930 and, especially, after the exile of Alma Mahler and Franz Werfel from Austria, upon the Anschluss in 1938. Many earlier items were undoubtedly lost due to the circumstances of exile. Correspondents notably include Arnold Schoenberg, Hugo von Hofmannsthal, Arthur Schnitzler, Wilhelm Furtwängler, Fritz von Unruh, and Thornton Wilder.
The collection includes only a few isolated original items related to Gustav Mahler: a poetic text (“Symphonisches Fragment”), several letters to Anna von Mildenburg dating to the mid-1890s, and two items addressed to Mahler from Prince Montenuovo in 1907.
Also included are 11 boxes of materials pertaining to Professor Adolf Klarmann’s research and writing on Werfel; to Werfel scholarship contributed by other researchers; and to Klarmann’s editorial work in producing the collected works of Werfel.
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