The Manskopf Collection is an extensive collection of historical images and documents, primarily from the fields of music and theater. Many of the images are now digitally accessible from the Johann Christian Senckenberg University Library in Frankfurt am Main.
The Frankfurt wine merchant Friedrich Nicolas Manskopf(1869–1928) had already started collecting memorabilia from musicians and actors as a schoolboy in Frankfurt and during his stays abroad from 1887 to 1893 in Lyon, London and Paris: autographs and letters, printed portraits, caricatures and photos, theater bills, concert programs, Posters and memorabilia owned by composers. When Manskopf returned to Frankfurt, he set up a private museum. He organized exhibitions on individual musicians or subjects and provided loans for other music and theater exhibitions. After his death, his heirs donated the collection to the city of Frankfurt. Since 1947 it has been part of the music and theater department of the Johann Christian Senckenberg University Library. The printmaking collection dates from around 1700 to 1928, the photo collection, which was also expanded after Manskopf's death, from around 1860 to 1944.
The Manskopf Museum of Music History was taken over as a donation from the City and University Library of Frankfurt am Main in 1929. The collection includes theater and concert programs , around 2000 concert and theater posters (including valuable Parisian color lithographs from the 1890s), opera libretti from the end of the 18th to the beginning of the 20th century, musical instruments, oil paintings, memorabilia, and around 500 music manuscripts and 300 printed music, approx. 10,000 letter autographs by musicians and actors as well as an important portrait collection from the fields of music and theater (approx. 1750 to 1928).
The digitized images of the collection are freely accessible to everyone on the website of the University of Frankfurt.
The aim of the project is the filming, digitization and internet processing of the portrait collection from the former Manskopf Museum of Music History, which is particularly important for music and theater history. There are around 30,000 units that are to be made generally accessible as valuable source material for science and practice in the future. The aim of this project is to give users the opportunity to view, select and order the material they are looking for from their PC using the thesaurus.
The start page first presents the basic features of the portrait collection and provides a link to the history of the collection. In the navigation column on the left edge of the screen there is a help link that gives some elementary information on how to use the offer. If you first want to get an overview of the available material, various browsing accesses can be used.
The information available includes the title, the list of the persons represented and the persons involved, the place of publication and the reference to the object type of the digitized image. Clicking on the "signature" then takes you to a new page on which a digital reproduction of the image can be seen in addition to the formal description of the object. Above all, the high quality of the image materials provided make the Manskopf collection a very useful working tool for anyone interested in cultural history.