Lippmann+Rau Music Archive
International Archive for Jazz and Popular Music of the Lippmann+Rau Foundation, Eisenach
What's the Lippmann+Rau Music Archive?
The archive is attending to the history of Jazz and Popular Music.
In 1999 several dedicated members of the Jazz Club Eisenach took the decision to launch the "International Jazz Archive Eisenach". The original aim was to collect materials on the subject of Jazz, and place these at the disposal of all the members of the society. In addition, 40 years of club history (founded in 1959) were to be reviewed and all club activities to be recorded. After many years of cordial solidarity with the German Jazz and Blues enthusiast Günter Boas (1920-1993) his major collection - following his death - was handed over to the founders of the archive, for whom it constituted a very respectable foundation on which to build. They met once a week, usually on a Monday evening, in order to go through Günter Boas' old records together, or to sort out other items found in people's attics, to cut out newspaper articles and to arrange photos in proper order. The small archive which came into existence with modest means and time ressources, began to grow rapidly through gifts from club members and other sympathisers ... and was threatening to outgrow its passionate amateur archivists.
In the meantime the idea of setting up a foundation had established itself among the circle of the founders of the archive. With the establishment of the Lippmann+Rau Foundation in 2006 a legal form was found which allowed the historic building ("The Old Malthouse"), which houses the Jazz Club and the Archive, to be taken over from the town of Eisenach. Simultaneously the establishing of the foundation would enable the cultural heritage of Horst Lippmann (1927 - 1997), an Eisenacher by birth, and of his business partner Fritz Rau (*1930) to be suitably recognised. Through their concert artists agency (based in Frankfurt on Main) Lippmann +Rau had rendered outstanding service to German and (North and South) American Jazz, Blues, Rock, and Folk, thereby gaining international standing and respect. Alongside Fritz Rau himself, other significant German musicians (e.g. Udo Lindenberg), artists (e.g. Johannes Heisig), writers (e.g. Eva Demski) or film producers (e.g. Wim Wenders) belong to the board of trustees.
In 2009 - for the 50th anniversary of the Jazz Club and the 10th birthday of the Archive - events moved very quickly indeed. The Lippmann + Rau Foundation, which had acted as the body responsible for the Eisenach Jazz Archive, signed a cooperation agreement with the LISZT School of Music Weimar. The cooperation is being financially supported by the "Pro-Excellence" fund of the State of Thüringen (Thuringia). Thanks to this funding the archive was able to be placed in the hands of professionals and since then is being run by three members of staff from the LISZT School of Music Weimar. The contents of the archive nevertheless have remained the property of the Eisenach Lippmann+Rau Foundation. In the course of this re-structuring the archive has been renamed the Lippmann+Rau Music Archive. A second, explanatory heading "The International Archive for Jazz and Popular Music of the Lippmann+Rau Foundation" has been added in order to indicate the breadth and internationality of the musical assets through the name itself. The new team of archivists got straight down to work in examining and systematising the stocks in summer 2009. Nearly a year was necessary for that work before in summer 2010 the task of cataloguing could begin. This is being conducted at the highest technical level currently available. Via an open-access online catalogue (OPAC), which is connected to a library and archive network covering the whole of Germany, those materials in the archive which have been entered using a standardised procedure can now be explored and accessed for research purposes. The intake has not finished yet. It's a longtime process which will take years.
What exactly is the archive collecting? The archiving team - in line with Horst Lippmann's and Fritz Rau's thinking - advocates a broad view of Jazz and "Popular Music", which means that all historic forms of musical performance are taken to be relevant. Alongside different Jazz styles like Dixieland, Bebop, Cool, Free and Fusion, that also includes Blues, Pop, Rock, Country, R'n'B, Soul, Gospel, Spiritual, Reggae, HipHop, Heavy Metal, Techno, Folk, Chanson etc., in all their national versions. With regard to types of media there are no restrictions. The archive collects schellack and vinyl records as well as CDs, MCs, tape recordings, VHS videos, DVDs, photographs, negatives, drawings, pictures, books, magazines, brochures, promotional articles, instruments and radios. The whole of the archive's contents have been gifted by private collectors. In case you are interested in passing your collection on to the Archive please do not hesitate to get in touch with us. Researchers, students, pupils and other interested parties are able to visit the archive during its opening hours and to conduct research into its material.