Research projects and projects in our library

 Portrait of J. S. Bach. Photo: Bach-Archiv Leipzig

Expanding the collection

The library of the Bach Archive does not only conduct regular inventory care, but also collects valuable graphics, first prints, autographs and important manuscripts from the antiquarian market. With some financial support over the recent years, we were able to add valuable rarities to the collection. Under them belongs a likeness of Johann Sebastian Bach, which is essential to the Bach iconography. The portrait was situated in private hands for over 100 years and therefore not accessible by the public. Since 2012, this treasure enriches not only our collection. With your sponsorship, you’ll enable purchases of this type in the first place and help us give the public access to these rare objects. Your support will be denoted on the respective object with an ex libris.


 Old manuscript. Photo: Bach Archive LeipzigBook patronage – restoration

The library of the Bach-Archivs owns a large collection of printed editions dating back to the 17th and 18th centuries – books that are often unique and contain handwritten entries which tell their own stories. Time has not passed by without leaving traces; especially the book covers often show substantial damage. Conservators can and must remedy these damages and apply their expertise so that these books are better preserved and permanently protected. We will show your commitment on a bookplate.


Bach Digital

The Bach-Archiv is in the process of compiling a digital library of autographs and other original sources of J. S. Bach ( in close collaboration with other libraries (notably the Berlin State Library) and with the support of the computer centre of the University of Leipzig. At this stage the project aims primarily at musicologists and professional musicians and offers them access to metadata and a wide range of navigation possibilities. However, the project is also intended for the use of a broader circle of Bach friends from all over the world by offering them easy access to, and updated information on, all of his works. Therefore, an alternative general user interface is to be developed in order to grant full access to anyone interested in the centerpiece of our collection.

 Bach digital simulated. Photo: Bach Archive Leipzig

 X-ray fluorescence analysis. Photo: Staatsbibliothek zu BerlinDigitisation of documents and works of the 17th & 18th centuries

The Bach-Archiv Leipzig holds an important collection of rare editions and books of the 17th and early 18th centuries. Researchers make extensive use of these documents. However, digitisation will make it unnecessary to remove the delicate prints from the vault too frequently. It also will facilitate requests for copies and provide easier access to the books.


Bach documents, Vol. VII. Photo:  Bach Archive LeipzigPublication series

The presentation of research in scholarly publications for both professional readers and music lovers constitutes the centrepiece of any research activity. The Bach-Archiv publishes various series that bear witness to the ongoing work of its research institute and that provide new insight into the field of Bach studies. As a friend of musical scholarship you contribute directly to the dissemination of research results. The Bach-Archiv currently publishes the following series:.


Leipziger Beiträge zur Bachforschung
Facsimile series of Bach´s works and documents
Edition Bach Archive Leipzig

Johann Sebastian Bach: New Bach Edition. Revised Edition.
Wilhelm Friedemann Bach: The Complete Works
Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach: The Complete Works


 Bach Edition. Photo: Bach Archive LeipzigNew Bach-Edition. Revised Edition.

In 2007, after more than fifty years, the Neue Bach-Ausgabe (New Bach-Edition) has been completed, thereby setting new standards. However, the editorial work on Bach’s works needs to continue since research constantly produce new findings. Starting with the Mass in B minor in 2010, a set of revised volumes of the New Bach-Edition will be published. This series is supposed to consist of some 15 volumes. As an updated edition it will have a direct influence on the study and performance of Bach’s music.


Further publications in progress: Weimar Cantatas, BWV 31, 132, 143, 161, 172; Chamber Music with violin; St. John Passion “O Mensch bewein” (1725); Organ Chorales I; Pre Weimar Cantatas, BWV 21, 106, 131, 150; St. John Passion “Herr, unser Herrscher” (1749); Clavuer-Übung I; Chamber Music with Flute; Motets; Organ Chorales II; Suites for Cello solo; Supplement: Pictorial Documents on the Life of J. S. Bach; Supplement: Texts of the Vocal Works (2 volumes)