In February 2006, a priceless collection of autograph and working manuscripts, sketches, engraver’s proofs, and other musical treasures was given to The Juilliard School by its chairman, Bruce Kovner. Called the Juilliard Manuscript Collection, it comprises 140 items, including several headline-making manuscripts, sketchbooks, and printed editions with extensive composer markings. Among its holdings are the final working manuscript of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony prepared for the printer, with extensive revisions, corrections, and alterations by the composer; the autograph manuscript of the final scene of Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro; and an extensively worked autograph manuscript of the last 50 or so bars of the first movement of Mahler’s Ninth Symphony.
A state-of-the-art website, created in spring 2007, contains high quality digital images of most of the manuscripts in the collection. By logging onto www.juilliardmanuscriptcollection.org the user can examine the tiniest details of the scores, thanks to the site’s use of “Zoomify” technology.