Historical catalogues and old shelf numbers

Similarly to the musical scores of instrumental music kept in "Schrank (Cabinet) II", the music of the Catholic Court Church and the Royal Private Music Collection have been timely inventoried and catalogued. Whereas, however, the catalogue for "Schrank II" had been lost and has only been possible to reconstruct from the title labels of the manuscripts, the situation with the collections of the new project was precisely the opposite: the major part of the catalogues has been preserved and formed the method of determination for the sources to be developed in the project.

The inventories have primarily been undertaken on the basis of the same classification system as applied to the "Schrank II" collections – by cabinet, compartment and (as appropriate) position. In the process, a certain amount of overlapping took place. For example, in the synopsis of the collections of musical scores from the period of the double monarchy in Saxony and Poland, it was revealed that not only a "Schrank II" with instrumental music existed, but also a "Schrank II" with church music as well as a "Schrank 2" with manuscripts from the Maria Antonia Collection. In other cases, only a simple numbering of the musical scores was conducted. Unlike the manuscripts of the "Schrank II" Project, the shelf numbers listed in the catalogues only occasionally additionally appear in the music. It is often the case that the old manuscript shelf numbers can only be reconstructed from other information contained in the inventories or on the basis of other indications.

Seven of the eight historical catalogues of the project are preserved in SLUB, while a further inventory is kept in the Berlin State Library. In the course of the project all catalogues have been digitized and are now available in the internet.

Tabular overview

The following tabular overview leads directly to the digitized inventories and provides information on the literature abbreviations assigned to the historical catalogues in the RISM database as well as the citation formats (standardisation) of the old shelf numbers used therein. For further details of the catalogues see the subsequent paragraphs.

Catalogue titles and date of originRISM literature abbreviationsStandardised old shelf number (examples)

Catalogo della Musica di Chiesa 1765 [Database Edition]

CatChiesa 1765Schrank I/A/1/6
Schrank III/27/1 (for anonyma)
Catalogo della Musica di Chiesa [ca. 1780]CatChiesa 1780Schrank III/S/6/1
Schrank III/24/1 (for anonyma)
Zelenka: Inventarium rerum Musicarum Variorum Authorum Ecclesia Servientium [1726–1739]ZelenkaI 1726no.7
Catalogo De libri Numerati [ca. 1747]
(Sammlung Maria Antonia)
CatLibriNumerati 1747no.I/1
Catalogo Dei Libri di Musica con i numeri negri [mid-18th century]
(Maria Antonia Collection)

Catalogo della Musica, e de' Libretti di S. A. R. Maria Antonia [ca. 1781–1787]

CatMariaAntoniaSchrank 3/1
Schrank 5/7
Catalogo della Musica, e de' Libretti di S. A. Augusto III. [ca. 1781–1787]CatAugustIIISchrank 1/1
Catalogue fragment from Maria Josepha CollectionCatMariaJosepha[-]

The catalogues and old shelf numbers of the Catholic Court Church

Shortly after the Seven Years' War had ended, a thorough inventory of the collections of musical scores of the Catholic Court Church was conducted under the supervision of the Dresden "church composer" Johann Georg Schürer. The three-volume "Catalogo <thematico> della Musica di Chiesa <catholica in Dresda> composta Da diversi Autori secondo l’Alfabetto 1765" lists the music kept in three cabinets by cabinet, initial letter of the composer, compartment and position as well as with a music incipit in each case. Anonyma are listed without initial letters at the end of the third volume.

A second inventory ensued some fifteen years later. Of the catalogue created according to the same principle as the earlier catalogo, only the third volume has been preserved. "Catalogo della Musica di Chiesa composta Da diversi Autori secondo l'Alfabetto: Armaro IIIza Principando dalla Littera S. sino al Z. con l'aggiunta degl'Autori senza Nome [circa 1780]". This catalogue actually lists more incipits than its predecessor by even reproducing incipits for all movements of the masses.

The collections of musical scores formerly in the possession of Jan Dismas Zelenka (1679 - 1745) make up a significant proportion of the total volume of the Dresden Court Church music. Zelenka listed them from 1726 to 1739 in his "Inventarium rerum Musicarum Variorum Authorum Ecclesia Servientium". Here the music sheets appear sorted by genre and then mostly numbered consecutively. 

The KPMS catalogues and old shelf numbers

The collection made by Princess Maria Antonia Walpurgis forms the most comprehensive single collection in the Royal Private Music Collection holdings, of which a total of three different catalogues have been preserved. The earliest catalogue, the "Catalogo De libri Numerati Musicali D[i]: S: A: R: M[aria]: A[ntonia]: D[uchessa] de B[avaria]” was probably made shortly before the departure of the Elector's daughter to Dresden in 1747 while she was still in Munich and enumerates the manuscripts in Roman numerals, while any works included are enumerated in Arabic numerals. The second inventory, notated in the same volume as the "Libri numerati", bears the title "Catalogo Dei Libri di Musica con i numeri negri" and lists not only sources she later acquired in Dresden, but also music originating from the collection of Friedrich Christian. Here too, the collections of musical scores are enumerated in Roman numerals – starting from the number one. It is probable that shortly following the death of Maria Antonia in 1780, her son Friedrich August III arranged for an inventory of the previous parts of the collections to be carried out. The catalogues, written in one volume, on the collections of Maria Antonia and Friedrich August II bear the titles “Catalogo della Musica, e de' Libretti di S. A. R. Maria Antonia” and “Catalogo della Musica, e de' Libretti di S. A. Augusto III.”. Here the manuscripts are listed with cabinet and position in Arabic numerals in each case.

For the part of the Maria Josepha Collection, which after her death came into the possession of King August III, an untitled and undated catalogue, preserved only in fragments, is of interest, which is kept in SLUB under the signature Bibl.Arch.III.Hb,Vol.787.c. This catalogue, whose front cover-piece has been torn out, is less systematically listed than the others. No details of a standardised old shelf number were provided when documenting the manuscripts in the RISM database, due to the extremely inconsistent numbering of the manuscripts.