Paul Hirsch Music Library: Correspondence and accounts

Scope and Content

Six bundles of correspondence and accounts, 1936-1951 and 1958-1968.

Administrative / Biographical History

Paul Hirsch (1881-1951) was born in Frankfurt on 24 February 1881. He began to collect music in 1897, initially focusing on Mozart before building up large collections relating to Beethoven and Schubert, and acquiring copies of virtually all the major operas. During the 1930s, Hirsch found it increasingly difficult to maintain his contacts in the book trade. As a result of the political problems in Germany, he moved to Cambridge in 1936, where for a brief period the Paul Hirsch Music Library was housed at Cambridge University Library. In 1946 Hirsch sold his library to the British Museum. By this time, the collection amounted to around eighteen thousand items. Hirsch died in Cambridge on 23 November 1951.

Access Information

Open for consultation by holders of a Reader's Ticket valid for the Manuscripts Reading Room.

Acquisition Information

Presented by Percy Muir, c. 1975.


Description compiled by Robert Steiner, Department of Manuscripts and University Archives.

Other Finding Aids



The history of Paul Hirsch and his music library was compiled with reference to the British Library website (