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Otto E. Albrecht Collection

Otto Edwin Albrecht (1899-1984) was an internationally known music bibliographer and professor of romance languages and musicology at the University of Pennsylvania.

The front cover of a family album compiled by Florence Josephine Craig Albrecht in 1888

Collection Overview

This collection documents his professional career and contains extensive information on his research relating to the history of music in Boston, New York and Philadelphia, the location of European music manuscripts in the United States, and his work identifying sources for Répertoire International des Sources Musicales; his work with music organizations including the American Musicological Society and the Music Library Association; and his work at and for the University of Pennsylvania's Music Library. He served as the first music librarian and the music library was named in his honor.

The collection also documents Albrecht’s avid theater and opera attendance, including opera glasses and detailed notes documenting near-daily performances (singers, actors, locations, premieres). Researchers interested in theatrical productions, concert reception history, and music manuscript sources will find this material fascinating.

Albrecht's most famous work in the area of music bibliography is A Census of Autograph Music Manuscripts of European Composers in American Libraries (published by Penn's press in 1953). He left a rich legacy of students who revered him and who learned to love music research as much as he did. This legacy is reflected in the Otto E. Albrecht Music Library which grew from a small collection to one of the foremost collections in the Atlantic region (and East Coast) under his most impressive care.