Arthur Schnitzler: Correspondence and Papers

Scope and Content

The collection contains two main sections. A., Works manuscripts, includes drafts of Schnitzler's works, collections of source materials, film scripts, autobiographical writings and juvenilia. There are also copies of some unpublished works made by Schnitzler's son Heinrich. B., Correspondence, includes letters from, among others, Robert Adam, Peter Altenberg, Hermann Bahr, Georg Brandes, Ernst von Dohnanyi, Sigmund Freud, Thomas Mann, Max Reinhardt, Gustav Schwarzkopf and S. Fischer Verlag.

Administrative / Biographical History

Arthur Schnitzler (1862-1931), Austrian dramatist, novelist, short story writer and critic, was born in Vienna, the son of Professor Johann Schnitzler, a distinguished Jewish throat specialist. He attended the High School in Vienna, before studying medicine at the University of Vienna, 1879-1885; he opened his own practice in 1893. In his early life Schnitzler developed an interest in psychiatry, and Sigmund Freud became one of his close acquaintances.

At the age of 31 Schnitzler gave up his hospital post and took to writing. Starting in the 1890s he began to write plays which explored the relationship between the sexes through stories of sexual intrigue. His plays Anatol (1893) and Libelei (1895) helped to make him famous in Austria and Germany. His Hands around, or La ronde (1921), created a scandal in German theatre and provoked anti-semitic riots in Berlin. He was cleared at an obscenity trial, but chose to ban any further European performances of the play during his lifetime.

After the collapse of the Habsburg monarchy Schnitzler concentrated on writing fiction. His works include Sterben (1895) and Der weg ins freie (The road to the opera, 1905), and the short stories Lieutenant Gustl (1900) and Frulein Else (1926). He spent most of his later years in Vienna, concentrating on his writing.

Access Information

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

Acquisition Information

Transferred from Schnitzler's home in Vienna, 1938.


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

Other Finding Aids

A catalogue is available in the Manuscripts Reading Room.

Related Material

Further material can be found in the Schnitzler archive housed in the German Literature Archives, Marbacher Institute, Germany (see


For further information see G. Neumann and J. Muller, Der nachlass Arthur Schnitzler, Munich, 1969 (in German).