Paul Hirsch Music Library: Catalogue

Scope and Content

Volume IV of the catalogue of the Paul Hirsch Music Library, 526 typescript pages. The volume is in German with the exception of one of two title pages, which is in English. There is a table of contents at the beginning.

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

Transferred from the Music Department, Cambridge University Library, 1978.

Other Finding Aids


Archivist's Note

Description compiled by Robert Steiner, Department of Manuscripts and University Archives. The history of Paul Hirsch and his music library was compiled with reference to the British Library website (

Custodial History

The catalogue was provided by Paul Hirsch for use in the Music Room when his collection was housed at Cambridge University Library, and was donated by him to the library in 1948.

Related Material

Cambridge University Library holds correspondence and accounts relating to the Paul Hirsch Music Library, MS.Add.8577.