Organization and Inventory of the Lobkowicz Music Collection

The Lobkowicz Music Archive forms part of The Lobkowicz Library, located from 1657 until 1942 at the family’s ducal residence in Roudnice nad Labem. Throughout the 19th century, the library was reorganized, inventoried, and recorded in a handwritten catalogue, which remains the only existing inventory of the collection until today. Only selected parts of the library (e.g., incunabula, Spanish and Italian prints) have been published in printed catalogues.

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The cataloguing scheme was designed by a Lobkowicz librarian, Jan Kašpar Boušek (1757–1828). His call- number system – after adjustments by his successors Josef Dvořák (1796–1874) and Max Dvořák the Elder (1843–1909) – remains valid today. The library was organized in ten rooms according to subject and format. The call numbers consist of a Roman numeral (I–X), which indicates the room of the library, a capital letter (the stack), a lower-case letter (the shelf), and an Arabic numeral (position of volume on the shelf). The music collection was located in room X and received its catalogue in 1893. The original 19th-century call-number system withstood turbulent 20th-century events, including confiscation of the collection by both the Nazi and Communist regimes, destruction of the original furnishings for which the call-number system was designed, and repeated relocations of the materials. After the restitution to the Lobkowicz family, the music collection found its new permanent home at Nelahozeves Castle.

In 2013, the project of modern cataloguing of the music materials began. The goal was to make information on this part of the collection available to scholars and the general public. The cataloguing of music materials located in Room X of the Lobkowicz Library was completed in 2019. These materials include music primarily related to the era of the great music patron Franz Joseph Maximilian Lobkowicz (1772–1816), as well as to later generations of the Lobkowicz family.

The earlier part of the music collection, which holds – among much else – Baroque tablatures for plucked instruments, was dispersed during the 19th-century reorganization of the library within the call number II (literature and fine arts). Cataloguing of these materials will be done in the second phase of the project. Information on the major part of this collection is, however, included in RISM (Répertoire International des Sources Musicales), the international online database for music sources. Room II also includes the libretto collection, separated during the 19th century from the scores and performing parts as a result of the format reorganization of the library. Cataloguing of this part of the collection will thus require extensive research to trace particular works, often bound in volumes with generic titles or mixed with other genres.

The 1893 music inventory was undertaken by a librarian and not a music specialist, therefore the catalogue entries are often terse and uninformative, and do not meet modern cataloguing standards. Many works were also misidentified or unidentified. Among the main goals of the cataloguing process was to identify most of the erroneously attributed works or compositions listed as anonymous.

As the cataloguing was done by a relatively large and changing team of people, including musicology students and interns, we would kindly ask you for your understanding in case of potential inaccuracies, typing mistakes, etc. The catalogue records are currently undergoing continuous revision and editing.


The music collection cataloguing project of 2013–2019 was directed by Dr. Kathryn Libin (Vassar College), Mgr. Soňa Černocká (The Lobkowicz Collections), and Dr. Petr Slouka (The Lobkowicz Collections), with the assistance of Alex Bartholomew, Dr. Alison DeSimone, Joseph Gusmano, Eleonore Kinsky, Ava Linvog, and Ella Middleton. The project received financial support from The Achelis and Bodman Foundation and Vassar College's Louise Boyd Dale Fund.

Selected Bibliography, The Lobkowicz Music Archive and Library:

Boldan, Kamil – Urbánková, Emma. "Rekonstrukce knihovny Bohuslava Hasištejnského z Lobkovic. Katalog inkunábulí roudnické lobkovické knihovny." Prague: Národní knihovna České republiky, 2009.

De Barbieri, Laura, with Jaroslava Kašparová, Alena Richterová and Jana Fojtíková. “Nelahozeves [Mühlhausen a.d. Moldau] 1–1a.” Handbuch deutscher historischer Buchbestände in Europa. Hildesheim, Zürich: Olms-Weidmann, 1998. 102–119. [Section 1a contains information specific to the music archive by Fojtíková, 116–119.]

Dvořák, Josef. "Merkwürdigkeiten der Fürstlich von Lobkowitzischen Schlossbibliothek zu Raudnitz an der Elbe in Böhmen." Serapeum, 1 (1843: 1–11).

Dvořák, Max and Bohumil Matějka. "Soupis památek historických a uměleckých v politickém okresu roudnickém. Díl II., Zámek roudnický." Prague: Archeologická komise při České akademii věd, 1907. (Soupis památek historických a uměleckých v království českém od pravěku do počátku XIX. století, sv. XXVII).

–––. "Topographie der Historischen und Kunst-Denkmale der politischer Bezirk Raudnitz. Teil II., Raudnitzer Schloss." Prague: Verlag der archaeologischen Commision bei der Böhmischen Kaiser Franz Josef Akademie für Wissenschaften, Litteratur und Kunst, 1910. (Topographie der Historischen und Kunst-Denkmale im Königreiche Böhmen von der Urzeit bis zum Anfange des XIX. Jahrhunderts, T. XXVII).

Richterová, Alena. “Vývoj roudnické lobkovické knihovny (na základě průzkumu archívních pramenů).” Prague: Státní knihovna České socialistické republiky, 1989.