German Culture Collections

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Dust jacket of W.G. Sebald’s Austerlitz (München: C. Hanser, 2001). Gift of Roger E. Stoddard, 2008. GC9.Se210.2001a

German Culture Collections

Houghton Library's collection of 19th- and 20th-century German-language materials focuses on literature, music and philosophy.

Manuscript collections of notable writers include the papers of Richard Beer-Hofmann, Bertolt Brecht, Heinrich Heine, Hugo von Hofmannsthal, W.G. Sebald's translator Michael Hulse, Thomas Mann, Rainer Maria Rilke, Stefan Zweig, and others.

In addition, the collections include the papers of philosopher Franz Clemens Brentano, artists Lyonel Feininger and George Grosz, architect Walter Gropius, politician Ruth Fischer, musicians Rudolf Kolisch and Louis Krasner, sociologist Leo Lowenthal, music collector Hans Moldenhauer, and critic and translator Harry Zohn. Also notable is the "My Life in Germany" collection, containing over 260 autobiographies of German individuals submitted to a 1940 essay contest.

The published works of many major German, Austrian, and Swiss writers have been collected aggressively. Houghton's print collections contain complete or nearly-complete collections of the works of Peter Altenberg, Ingeborg Bachmann, Thomas Bernhard, Heinrich Böll, Bertolt Brecht, Elias Canetti, Paul Celan, Richard Dehmel, Heimito von Doderer, Alfred Döblin, Annette von Drost-Hülshoff, Günter Eich, Hans Enzensberger, Lion Feuchtwanger, Theodor Fontane, Friedrich Frieherr de la Motte Fouqué, Max Frisch, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Günter Grass, Peter Handke, Gerhart Hauptmann, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, Heinrich Heine, Hermann Hesse, E.T.A. Hoffmann, Hugo von Hofmannsthal (see the Karl Jacoby collection of printed works by Hofmannsthal), Friedrich Hölderlin, Ödön Edmund Josef von Horváth, Jean Paul, Franz Kafka, Karl Kraus, Else Lasker-Schüler, Siegfried Lenz, Heinrich Mann, Thomas Mann, Conrad Ferdinand Meyer, Freidrich Nietzsche, Rainer Maria Rilke, Nelly Sachs, August and Friedrich von Schlegel, Arno Schmidt, W.G. Sebald, Carl Spitteler, Adalbert Stifter, Ludwig Tieck, B. Traven, Christa Wolf, Stefan Zweig, and many others, along with runs of various German literary periodicals.

For more information on the history of the collection, see
Walsh, James E. “Twenty Years of German Collection-Building, 1966--1986: An Exhibition.” Harvard Library Bulletin. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Library. Volume XXXIII, Number 4 (Fall 1985): 425 – 443.

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