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Geiringer (Karl) papers
UArch FacP 46  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Access Restrictions
  • Use Restrictions
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Biographical Note
  • Scope and Content
  • Arrangement
  • Related Material

  • Title: Karl Geiringer papers
    Identifier/Call Number: UArch FacP 46
    Language of Material: English, German.
    Contributing Institution: UC Santa Barbara Library, Department of Special Research Collections
    Physical Description: 24.8 Linear Feet (28 document boxes, 9 oversize boxes, 5 audiocassettes, 41 tape reels, 22 videocassettes)
    Creator: Geiringer, Karl, 1899-1989
    Date (inclusive): approximately 1927-1989
    Abstract: Papers of Austrian musicologist Karl Geiringer (1899-1989).
    Physical Location: Special Research Collections, UC Santa Barbara Library

    Access Restrictions

    This collection may contain restricted materials. Please contact the Department of Special Collections at the UC Santa Barbara Library in advance to request access.

    Use Restrictions

    Property rights to the collection and physical objects belong to the Regents of the University of California acting through the Department of Special Research Collections at the UCSB Library. All applicable literary rights, including copyright to the collection and physical objects, are protected under Chapter 17 of the U.S. Copyright Code and are retained by the creator and the copyright owner, heir(s), or assigns.
    All requests to reproduce, quote from, or otherwise reuse collection materials must be submitted in writing to the Department of Special Research Collections at UCSB at special@ucsb.edu. Consent is given on behalf of the Regents of the University of California acting through the Department of Special Research Collections at UCSB as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission from the copyright owner. Such permission must be obtained from the copyright owner, heir(s), or assigns. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the copyright owner or their assigns for permission to publish where the UC Regents do not hold the copyright.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of Item], Karl Geiringer papers, UArch FacP 46. Department of Special Collections, UC Santa Barbara Library, University of California, Santa Barbara.

    Acquisition Information

    Gift of George Gardiner, 2007.

    Biographical Note

    Karl Geiringer (April 26, 1899–January 10, 1989) was an Austrian American musicologist, educator, and biographer of composers. He was educated in Vienna but at the beginning of the Nazi years he emigrated to England and ultimately the United States, where he had a lengthy and distinguished career at several universities. He was a noted authority on Brahms, Haydn, and the Bach family, and a prolific author.
    Geiringer was born in Vienna, the son of Louis and Martha (nee Wertheimer) Geiringer. He studied music history at the University of Vienna under Guido Adler and Curt Sachs, and studied composition under Hans Gál. He also studied at the University of Berlin under Curt Sachs. He received his Ph.D. in musicology from the University of Vienna in 1923.The topic of his doctoral thesis was the musical instruments appearing in Renaissance painting. Following his degree he worked as an editor for Adler's journal Denkmäler der Tonkunst in Österreich; he remained on the editorial board of this publication for the rest of his life.
    In 1930 he won a top position in the musicological field, as the curator of the archives at the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde, a position previously held by his mentor Eusebius Mandyczewski and other distinguished scholars. The job gave Geiringer access to much valuable primary source material on Western music, which he used extensively in his scholarship. An unusual responsibility Geiringer bore at the Gesellschaft archives was the curatorship of Joseph Haydn's skull, which had been stolen from his grave in 1809. In the first English edition of his Haydn biography (1946), Geiringer reminisced about bringing forth Haydn's head to show to visitors.
    In 1938, Austria was incorporated into Nazi Germany in the Anschluss. With the Nazi occupation, the Gesellschaft was closed.[4] Geiringer, although he had been baptized a Roman Catholic, was the child of Jewish parents; hence he and his family were in grave danger, and they fled the country. He first went to London, where he taught at the Royal Conservatory of Music and served as a broadcaster for the BBC. He also worked extensively as an editor for the Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians; according to his later colleagues he was "in all but name a co-editor".
    In 1940, Geiringer moved to America, becoming an American citizen in 1945. He taught first for a year as a visiting professor at Hamilton College in Clinton, N.Y. The following year he took up a professorial appointment at Boston University, where he directed the graduate program and remained for 21 years. Among his students was H. C. Robbins Landon. His final academic appointment began in 1962, when he moved to the University of California at Santa Barbara, in order to establish the graduate program in musicology. Throughout this time, he continued to publish extensively.
    In 1973 he became an emeritus professor, but continued to be very active: his colleagues said of him, "His 'retirement' ... proved to be more of a technicality than a reality—his teaching and research continued unabatedly and were interrupted only by death itself." He died in Santa Barbara at the age of 89 of complications from injuries sustained in a fall.
    Geiringer was twice married. His first wife, and longtime coauthor, was Irene Geiringer (1899–1983).
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karl_Geiringer, accessed on 8/18/2015

    Scope and Content

    The bulk of this collection consists of documents, photographs, clippings, off-prints, manuscripts, scores and audiovisual materials related to the musicological work and research of Karl Geiringer. In addition, the collection contains personal/biographical materials related to Karl and Bernice Geiringer, music programs and magazines, and interview transcripts.
    A large portion of the photographs are reprints used in Geiringer's publications and for teaching, mainly of composers and musical instruments, though there are some personal photographs. Clippings, in English and German, range from the 1930s through the 1990s. Some of the clippings folders include personal and work related items.
    Personal materials include clippings of articles honoring Geiringer, awards, and manuscripts to Geiringer's unpublished memoir This I Remember. Materials pertaining to Bernice Geiringer in this collection include correspondence, clippings, notes, and the manuscript to her memoir My Triumph Over Tragedy.
    Correspondence includes personal correspondence with family, ranging from 1911 through the 1980s, correspondence with academic colleagues and musicians, and editorial correspondence.
    Audiovisual materials include recorded lectures by Geiringer, concerts, and tributes, including the dedication of Karl Geiringer Hall at UCSB.


    The collection is divided into the following series: Series 1. Work, Series 2. Photographs, Series 3. Clippings, Series 4. Personal, Series 5. Correspondence, and Series 6. Audiovisual.

    Related Material

    Bernice Geiringer papers, PA Mss 40. Department of Special Collections, UC Santa Barbara Library, University of California, Santa Barbara.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Musicologists -- United States -- Archives
    Documentary photographs
    Geiringer, Karl, 1899-1989 -- Archives