Schnitzler Presscuttings Archive, 1891-1937

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 29 EUL MS214
  • Dates of Creation
  • Name of Creator
  • Language of Material
      German, English, Russian, Danish, Italian, and French.
  • Physical Description
      45 boxes

Scope and Content

The collection brings together an extensive body of evidence on the reception of Schnitzler's work and contains mainly press-cuttings (c.21,000) relating to the life and works of Arthur Schnitzler, collected during the period 1891-1937. German-speaking countries are well represented, and articles are also included in English, Danish, Russian, Italian and French. The sections concerning Leibelei and Reigen are the largest (aprox. 1,200 cuttings). The collection also includes illustrations, cartoons, offprints, playbills and programmes. Realia such as a red ribbon commemorating Schnitzler's fiftieth birthday and knitting patterns for caps and kneewarmers to clothe the troops in the Great War are also held. There are a number of early editions of Schnitzler's own publications from journals and newspapers; for example, Leutnant Gustl which was published in Neue Freie Presse no. 13053 under the title Lieutenant Gustl on December 1900.

Administrative / Biographical History

Arthur Schnitzler (1862-1931), dramatist, novelist and critic, was one of the principal figures in the Viennese fin de siecle movement. He was born in Vienna to a bourgoisie Jewish household and was the son of Johann Schnitzler. He trained as a doctor initially and was particularly interested in psychology and psychiatry. He began his literary career in the 1890s and became known to a wide audience through his play Leibelei which was produced in 1895, building on the reputation of Anatol which was released in 1893. Many of his works, such as La Ronde (1921) and Leutnant Gustl (1900), provoked controversy. His play Professor Bernhardi could not be shown until 1918, 6 years after completion, due to censoring. After establishing his career as a dramatist, he turned to fiction with great success, publishing works such as Sterben (1895) and Frulein Else (1924).


The cuttings were originally stored in custom-made wooden cabinets. The cuttings were filed in bundles for each of Schnitzler's works, as they had been arranged during his lifetime. Many cuttings contain annotations by Schnitzler himself. This crude classification combined with the fragile state of some of the items and the lack of index impeded research. The Research Fund of the University of Exeter and the&xD6;sterreichische Akademie der Wissenschaft initiated a project to sort the cuttings, to rebox them and to index them. The full extent of the task was never achieved, but 380 microfiches were produced along with a catalogue. The collection is now kept in 45 box files.

Access Information

Usual EUL arrangements apply. The microfiche collection is stored at the Main Library of the University of Exeter (shelved at 838.9/S-21/UNI).


Description compiled 5 September 2003 and entered by Charlotte Berry, Archivist, 9 September 2003.

Other Finding Aids

A catalogue of the collection was prepared by Ingrid Leis during a joint project of the Research Group of the University of Exeter and theCHamp;xD6;sterreiche Akademie der Wissenschaft in 1990.

Alternative Form Available

A set of copies was made on microform. This microfiche collection is stored at the Main Library of the University of Exeter (shelved at 838.9/SCH-21/UNI).

Conditions Governing Use

Usual EUL restrictions apply

Custodial History

This collection of press cuttings was started by Arthur Schnitzler in the 1890s. He subscribed to press-cuttings agencies to supply him with all published cuttings concerning his life and writings. His main supplier was the 'Observer' agency in Vienna, which was founded in 1896. The collection was continued by his son Heinrich, who was an actor and producer, and was subsequently donated by the Schnitzler family to H.B. Garland who was Professor in the German Dept. of the University of Exeter from 1947-1972. His widow donated the collection to the University Library in 1982.

Related Material

Papers of Schnitzler are held at Cambridge University Library, Department of Manuscripts. See also the Schnitzler archive which is held at the German Literature Archives, Marbacher Institute, Germany (see


Yates, W.E. 1990. 'The tendentious reception of Professor Bernhardi: documentation in Schnitzler's collection of press cuttings', Austrian Studies, 1, 108-131Yates, W.E. 1992. Schnitzler, Hofmannsthal and the Austrian Theatre, New Haven, London: Yale University Press, 1992