We are the DDB: The Archive of Women and Music

Since its foundation in 1979, Das Archiv Frau und Musik has been dedicated to documenting the history of women's music and promoting women who create music. Das Archiv, which is located in Frankfurt am Main, collects, preserves and publishes the creative work of composers, conductors and musicians.

"Damen Gesang- und Trompeter-Corps' Carmen '"(Ladies Singing and Trumpeting Corps' Carmen) (ca. 1900), Archiv Frau und Musik (Public Domain Mark 1.0)

With its approximately 28,000 media units by and over 2,000 composers and conductors, Das Archiv Frau und Musik is the world's largest archive of its kind. The collection includes music, sound recordings, literature and grey literature on composers and musicians from the 9th to the 21st century in the field of classical music as well as rock, pop and jazz. One focus is on original scores and letters from the 18th to the 21st century as well as on the estates of female composers. The work of Das Archiv is aimed primarily at composers and musicians, educational institutions, organisers and scientists.

Elke Mascha Blankenburg - Group photo with female musicians (early 1990), Archiv Frau und Musik, rights reserved - Free access

History of Das Archiv

In the autumn of 1977, the conductor Elke Mascha Blankenburg wrote an article in the magazine emma about forgotten female composers and called for "compositions by women to be excavated and performed". A short time later, musicians and composers from all over the world gathered to form a working group. She and the members of the International Working Group Woman and Music, founded in 1979, soon put Blankenburg's appeal into practice and searched through numerous music libraries. In order to bundle the finds, they created Das Archiv Frau und Musik.

"Maramoh, d├ęcision pour un changement", Leni Alexander, Archiv Frau und Musik, rights reserved - Free access

Highlights of Das Archiv are the world's largest collection of postcards of women's brass bands from the Imperial era at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century, as well as the estates of composers such as Leni Alexander and Felicitas Kukuck.

Further information can be found on the  webseite of Archiv Frau und Musik.

If you have any questions, please contact: info [at] archiv-frau-musik.de