Top of page

Collection Gisella Selden-Goth Collection

About this Collection

Musicologist and collector Gisella Selden-Goth (1884-1975) amassed an extraordinary collection of holograph music manuscripts during her lifetime, including works by Bach, Chopin, Haydn, and Mozart. In 1963, she placed her collection on deposit with the Library of Congress. The twenty-eight manuscripts were microfilmed and returned to Selden-Goth on loan during her lifetime, with the understanding that they would then be sent back to the Library of Congress. Each year she converted one or more manuscripts from deposit status to gift status. After her death in 1975, those manuscripts that were formally donated came to the Library of Congress and make up this digital collection. Four manuscripts had not been converted to gift and were sold to private collectors.

The Selden-Goth manuscripts at the Library of Congress are all individually cataloged. They share a common call number for the collection: ML31.S4, followed by a unique item number. The digital collection contains all the holograph manuscripts, which are distinguished by a lower-case “a” appended to the call number: ML31.S4a. Selden-Goth’s personal Autographen album, ML31.S4g no. 1, is also included in the digital collection. This is a chronological register of her manuscript acquisitions dating from the first one she received as a gift in 1912 up to 1939, shortly after she left her home in Florence, Italy and brought her prized collection to the United States to keep it safe during World War II.