Archive of Women in Music, Frankfurt am Main

Feminale of Music

The logo shows a red silhouette showing the profile of a woman from whose hair numerous notes stream out.

»When Elke Mascha Blankenburg started – after her 'Emma' article 'Vergessene Komponistinnen' 1977 – the whole thing began as a private collection. As a working group, which became an association in 1979, it obtained a legal basis and from then on the Archive of Women in Music grew up.« – Heike Matthiesen, Director of the Internationaler Arbeitskreis Frau und Musik

Carrier and employer of the archive is the Internationaler Arbeitskreis Frau und Musik e. V. The legal structure became necessary as the ever-growing collection became a reference library, formerly in Kassel and since 2001 in Frankfurt.

The Archive of Women in Music is a reference and specialized library documenting the creative achievements of women in music. It also disposes archive rooms in the integrative hotel and work space »hoffmanns höfe«, Frankfurt, as well as a reading room, four other rooms and a treasure chamber. Its tasks include the preservation, research and provision of information and media, publication, presentation, stimulation of scientific discourse, cooperation, networking and consulting, initiation of concerts as well as of projects of research, exhibition and performance.

The collection comprises over 25,000 media by more than 1800 women composers from 52 countries in a period from the 9th century to the present day: literature, AV media, compositions, grey literature, specialized journals, university publications and much more. It looks after more than 30 artistic estates, including Barbara Heller (*1936), Elke Mascha Blankenburg (1943–2013) and Felicitas Kukuck (1914–2001), whom we presented at FEMINALE OF MUSIC. Various projects, including the 'Composer in Residence - International Scholarships' complete the work of the archive. The journal of the archive is the only professional journal on women in electronic music in German language. Since 1993 it has been called »VivaVoce« and it has published interviews with female composers and conductors, articles on historical and contemporary female composers as well as concert, book and CD reviews. As part of the project to digitize the archive's holdings for the Digital German Women's Archive, all editions of »VivaVoce« were digitized in 2018 and should soon be available for digital research.

Central goals and priorities:

  • Long-term archiving and preservation of important cultural assets

  • Improved research options via the archive's database

  • Visibility in the i.d.a. umbrella organization and its catalog META

  • Integration in thematically accompanying essays in the DDF-Portal on topics of women's music history and movement

  • Increased visibility of holdings from the archive

40 Years Archive of Women in Music

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Mo, 06.04.2020 – Fri, 01.05.2020

The ZKM honors female composers with a four-week digital festival