Digitization of the IMD archives

Since May, 2010 IMD works intensely on the digitization of its extensive archive, one of the most important collections for the 20th and 21st century music history in general. It mainly hosts material on the history of the International Summer Course for New Music Darmstadt.

Besides preserving the archives by digitization a web data base will enable researchers all over the world to research the stock. Cooperations with the universities of Hamburg, Basel and Münster will create a research network that aims at giving new impulses to the source based research on the music of our time.


An important partner for IMD's digitization project is the Hochschule für Gestaltung Karlsruhe (HfG). The team of the "Institute for Digital ›Gedächtnis‹“ under the direction of Jürgen Enge is responsible for the technical realization of the project and the integration of the different archive materials into one data base. The Deutsche Rundfunkarchiv (DRA) in Frankfurt am Main digitizes wide stocks of the IMD sound archive, a work that they had already begun in a former project in 1997. These early sound documents will now be integrated together with the new digitized contents into the data base.

The digitization project is made possible by the generous four-year support by Kulturfonds Frankfurt RheinMain and since 2014 by Hessische Kulturstiftung.


In a first step specialized data base prototypes were developed: Audio data base, text archive and photo data base. In 2013 these individual data base components are now combined and web research will be made possible.


Since the project start more than 12,000 document sheets have been scanned and tagged and approximately 2,500 audio files were digitized by the DRA.

Archive Digitization Team at IMD:
Gudrun Glemann
Nikolaus Heyduck
Jürgen Krebber (Project coordination)
Claudia Mayer-Haase
Dr. Thomas Schäfer




Institute for Digital "Gedächtnis" (HFG Karlsruhe)

Deutsches Rundfunkarchiv (DRA)

Text, photo and audio data base of IMD


This project is made possible by Kulturfonds Frankfurt RheinMain
and Hessische Kulturstiftung.


Logo Kulturfonds


Logo Hessische Kulturstiftung

CD Series "Darmstadt Aural Documents"

In 2010, the Munich based label NEOS Music and IMD began to publish the CD series "Darmstadt Aural Documents" which makes rarities from IMD's outstanding sound archive accessible. This is made possible by the extensive digitization of the sound documents in the IMD archive in collaboration with Deutsches Rundfunkarchiv (DRA).


The first CD-Box "Composers - Conductors" was released in 2010 and included recordings of works under the direction of their respective composers like Boulez, Brown, Furrer, Kagel, Pousseur, Stockhausen and others.


In 2012, NEOS published the second CD box with an important archive document of John Cage's legendary Darmstadt appearance in 1958: The talk Communication, held by Cage on September 9, 1958, completing his three-part lecture series Composition as Process. His text was intertwined with live performances of piano compositions: David Tudor played For Piano with Preparations by Christian Wolff, Bo Nilsson's Quantitäten as well as, together with Cage, his Variations I.

CD-Cover NEOS 11060

CD-Cover NEOS 11213

Box 1: Composers - Conductors

Box 2: John Cage - Communication

NEOS Music


Radio stories on the Darmstadt Summer Course on hr2-kultur

Under the direction of Stefan Fricke, radio editor for New Music at Hessischer Rundfunk Frankfurt, hr2-kultur broadcasted from September 2011 to June 2012 forty radiostories on the International Summer Course for New Music Darmstadt (in German language) and from September 2013 to Juy 2014 another series with 35 parts. Under the title „Bauhaus, Brennpunkt, Drehscheibe“ (Bauhaus, focus, hub) the unique radio project on the history of the Darmstadt Summer Course outlines important constants in the inside and outside view of this institution since its beginnings in 1946. The radio series was accomplished in close cooperation between Hessischer Rundfunk and IMD. Comprehensive sound materials from the Summer Course archives at IMD which had been digitized by Deutsches Rundfunkarchiv (DRA) in the course of IMD's archive digitization project were made accessible to the authors.