Rare Book & Manuscript Library

Hector Berlioz papers, 1825-1994

Summary Information

At a Glance

Call No.: MS#0108
Bib ID 4079190 View CLIO record
Creator(s) Berlioz, Hector, 1803-1869; Barzun, Jacques, 1907-2012; Barzun, 1881-1973
Title Hector Berlioz papers, 1825-1994
Physical Description 27 linear feet (50 boxes 5 oversize folders 228 phonograph records 37 record jackets)
Language(s) French .
Access You will need to make an appointment in advance to use this collection material in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room. You can schedule an appointment once you've submitted your request through your Special Collections Research Account.

This collection is located on-site.

This collection has no restrictions.



This collection is arranged into 10 series.



Correspondence, manuscripts, papers, essays, etc. relating to Berlioz, and 19th century arts and literature. The correspondence includes original Berlioz letters and over 200 copies of letters relating to Berlioz and the romantic era, written by musicians, critics, historians, and literateurs of the past century. There are many photostats of letters and manuscripts obtained from the principal libraries of the world which hold original Berlioz material. The collection includes much printed material in the form of music scores, published letters, essays, clippings, biographies, music and book catalogues, program notes, and playbills.

Using the Collection

Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Restrictions on Access

You will need to make an appointment in advance to use this collection material in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room. You can schedule an appointment once you've submitted your request through your Special Collections Research Account.

This collection is located on-site.

This collection has no restrictions.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

Readers must use microfilm of materials specified above.

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. The RBML maintains ownership of the physical material only. Copyright remains with the creator and his/her heirs. The responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.

Preferred Citation

Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Hector Berlioz papers; Box and Folder; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.


Materials may have been added to the collection since this finding aid was prepared. Contact rbml@columbia.edu for more information.

Alternate Form Available

W.H. Auden letters are on: microfilm.

LE SONGE D'HʹERODE is on: microfilm.

ROMEO ET JULIETTE is on: microfilm.

Type of reproduction--Photostatic copies in part

Ownership and Custodial History

This collection was assembled by Professor Jacques Barzun of Columbia University and by his father, Professor Henri-Martin Barzun. Gift of Jacques Barzun, 1953-1994. In addition to materials assembled by Barzun, the collection also includes Berlioz original manuscripts and correspondence donated by friends of the library in memory of Ronald Baughman.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Source of acquisition--Barzun, Jacques. Method of acquisition--Gift; Accession number--M76-04.

Printed misc: Source of acquisition--Barzun, Jacques. Method of acquisition--Gift; Date of acquisition--1991. Accession number--M-1991.

Papers: Source of acquisition--Barzun, Jacques. Method of acquisition--Gift; Date of acquisition--12/20/93. Accession number--M-93-12-20.

Papers: Source of acquisition--Barzun, Jacques. Method of acquisition--Gift; Date of acquisition--12/15/94. Accession number--M-94-12-15.

About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Processing Information

Cataloged Christina Hilton Fenn 04/04/89.

Printed misc Processed BRC 12/30/91.

Papers Processed HR 01/18/94.

Papers Processed HR 01/18/95.

Additions processed by HR-4/76, 1/80, 4/81, 1/94 and 1/95; by TS-6/82; by KD-7/87; by BRC-12/91, by JG 02/02.

Revision Description

2010-01-21 Legacy finding aid created from Pro Cite.

2019-05-20 EAD was imported spring 2019 as part of the ArchivesSpace Phase II migration.

Subject Headings

The subject headings listed below are found in this collection. Links below allow searches at Columbia University through the Archival Collections Portal and through CLIO, the catalog for Columbia University Libraries, as well as ArchiveGRID, a catalog that allows users to search the holdings of multiple research libraries and archives.

All links open new windows.


Heading "CUL Archives:"
"CUL Collections:"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
Announcements Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Audiotapes Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Biographies (literary works) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Brochures Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Essays Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Invitations Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Lists (document genres) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Lithographs Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Manuscripts (documents) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Notes (documents) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Phonograph records Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Photographic prints Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Pictures (object genre) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Playbills Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Posters Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Programs (documents) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Proofs (printed matter) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Record covers Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Scores (documents for music) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID


Heading "CUL Archives:"
"CUL Collections:"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
Arts, French Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Auden, W. H. (Wystan Hugh), 1907-1973 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Baillet, Gaston Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Bentley, Eric, 1916- Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Berlioz, Harriet Smithson, 1800-1854 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Bizet, Georges, 1838-1875 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Boucher, Anthony, 1911-1968 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Catalogs Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Collectors Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Composers Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Composers -- France Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Cousins, Norman Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Indy, Vincent d', 1851-1931 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Kahn, Otto H., 1867-1934 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Leinsdorf, Erich, 1912-1993 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Malherbe, Charles Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Marlowe, Julia, 1865-1950 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, Felix, 1809-1847 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Meyerbeer, Giacomo, 1791-1864 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Music -- France -- 19th century Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Music critics Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Musicians Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Musicians Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Musicologists Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Parry, C. Hubert H (Charles Hubert Hastings), 1848-1918 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Prod'homme, J.-G (Jacques-Gabriel), 1871-1956 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Rolland, Romain, 1866-1944 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Saint-Saëns, Camille, 1835-1921 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Searle, Humphrey Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Shaw, Bernard, 1856-1950 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Starkie, Enid Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Strauss, Richard, 1864-1949 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Trilling, Lionel, 1905-1975 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Verdi, Giuseppe, 1813-1901 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Viardot-García, Pauline, 1821-1910 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Wagner, Richard, 1813-1883 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Weeks, Edward, 1898-1989 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

History / Biographical Note

Biographical / Historical

Louis Hector Berlioz (1803 - 1869), French composer conductor and writer on music, was born at La Cote Saint Andre near Grenoble. As a boy he learnt the flute, guitar, and, from treatises alone, harmony. He never studied the piano, his first compositions were romances and small chamber pieces. In 1821 he left La Cote Saint Andre to study medicine in Paris - the career chosen for him by his father. However, after two years he abandoned medicine and devoted the rest of his life to the composition of music and writing on the subject. Berlioz was a major force in the development of musical form during the Romantic era. He established program music as the romantic musical form, and started the genre of the symphonic poem. Berlioz stands out for his innovative approach in almost all areas of composition. He played a decisive role in the development of program music and modern orchestration, emancipating the procedure of orchestration for generations of later composers. As a musical critic he admired above all Gluck and Beethoven, expressed doubt about Wagner, and fought endlessly against the second-rate. Among the most powerful influences on him were Shakespeare, whose plays were to inspire three major works, and the Shakespearean actress Harriet Smithson, whom he idolized, pursued and, after a bizarre courtship, eventually married in 1833. Beethoven's symphonies too made a strong impact along with Goethe's Faust and the works of the English Romantics such as Moore, Scott and Byron.