There is a total of around 20,000 objects in the collections of the Department of Musicology at the Institute of Art History and Musicology (handwritten and printed music, including valuable rare items; correspondence and written documents of all kinds) which document, in terms of content and/or provenance, parts of musical life and music history in the Mainz region as well as their research.
The origins of the Musicological Collections go back to the work of Mainz prelate and founder of the Working Group for Middle Rhine Music History e.V. Adam Bernhard Gottron (1889-1971), who, since his appointment as honorary professor in 1959, established research into regional music history as a focus of the then Musicological Institute's work.
Part of his written legacy came to the institute as the “Gottron Collection.” It includes several rare and unitary music manuscripts and prints, numerous source copies and excerpts for the preparation of scientific papers, as well as several closed collections taken over by Gottron, including a partial estate of Franz Willms (1893-1946).
Over time, the collections of the Department of Musicology have been expanded through donations, lifetime and posthumous bequests — from Josef Knettel (1875-1975) and Arno Lemke (1916-1988), among others. The largest part of the collection is the archive of the Mainz Choral Society and Ladies’ Choral Society with largely complete performance materials as well as files and documents from 1831-1969.
There is no purchase of objects planned to expand the collection. However, donations from private individuals and institutions are accepted whenever possible.
The collections can primarily be used by academics to research (regional) music history. In some cases, individual objects or parts of collections have become the subject of courses or projects involving students — for example in 2013/2014 in the teaching project ELaM — Musicology Publishing Lab.