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Inventory of the Lilly von Webern papers, [ca. 1850]-1944
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  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography
  • Remarks

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Lilly von Webern Papers,
    Date (inclusive): [ca. 1850]-1944
    Collection number: ARCHIVES WEBERN 1
    Creator: Webern, Lilly von, 1886-1944
    Extent: Number of containers: 4 boxes
    Repository: The Music Library
    Berkeley, California 94720-6000
    Shelf location: For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information


      Victoria Hamlin, San Francisco, September 18, 1985.


    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of the Music Library.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Lilly von Webern papers, ARCHIVES WEBERN 1, The Music Library, University of California, Berkeley.


    Lilly von Webern (b. Judenburg, Austria, August 25, 1886; d. (?) Malverne, New York, after January 3, 1944).


    Lilly von Webern was the first cousin of the composer, Anton von Webern (b. Vienna, December 3, 1886; d. Mittersill, Austria, September 15, 1945). This collection represents the personal memorabilia of Lilly, much of it probably was passed on to her by her mother, Elsa Kleinpell von Webern. Only a few peripheral items (see nos. 77 and 108) pertain to Anton, the composer. Nevertheless, these materials constitute primary genealogical documentation of the Webern family in Austria and the United States from the mid-1850s to 1944.
    Hans Moldenhauer and Rosaleen Moldenhauer in their definitive study Anton von Webern: A Chronicle of his Life and Work (London: Victor Gollancz, Ltd., 1978), 803 pp., trace the genealogy of the Webern family in detail. The authors report (p. 651, fn. 3) that The Webern Archive, a division of the Moldenhauer Archives in Seattle, Washington, retains the memorabilia of Guido von Webern (1888-1962), the beloved brother of Lilly (see folders 16-25, a collection of 114 letters from Guido to Lilly). Thus, the archival materials at Seattle and Berkeley are literally "brother and sister" collections.
    This inventory takes as its point of departure Lilly's position within the Webern family, and it radiates outward to other members. There are a few documents pertaining to her mother's side, the Kleinpell's; most relate to her father's side persons who bore the name of "von Webern."
    Among these documents Lilly's name is variously spelled: "Lyly," "Lily," "Lillian," and "Lilly." The most recent letter in the collection (no. 26) uses the form "Lily."
    Lilly's mother was Elsa (Kleinpell) von Webern (b. July 17, 1856; d. in the United States, probably Brooklyn, New York, date unknown). Her father was Josef Edvard von Webern, b. March 5, 1852; d. Neustadt, December 24, 1896. Elsa and Josef were married in Salzburg on January 26, 1880, and they had three children: Lilly, Guido, and Erich. After Josef's death in 1896 Elsa and her three children moved from their home in Neustadt, near Vienna (Schloglgasse Strasse 6) to Vienna (Tigergasse Strasse 14), then to Drosendorf, Austria in 1906. In 1907, a relative, Dr. Henry Kleinpell, sponsored the family's move to America (see Moldenhauer, p. 652). According to letters addressed to Lilly, she lived in Cedar Rapids, Iowa (1908), Waterloo, Iowa (1909), Ballyheather, Ardmore, Pennsylvania (1910), Brooklyn, New York (at least four addresses 1910s and 1920s), and Malverne, New York (at least three addresses during the 1930s and 1940s).
    Lilly never married. Apparently she lived with her mother, then her brothers much or all of her life. The nature of her professional career is unknown.
    The papers include memorabilia (personal letters and photographs, diaries of her father, family photographs, etc.)