The Handel House Museum was planned from the very beginning not only as a Handel memorial but as a more general musical museum for the city of Halle. It was also thought as being a working site of cultivating music where such activities as collecting, preserving, researching, training, editing music and finally performing it were expected to be undertaken. For these authentic musical instruments were essential and its purchase played an important role.
Apart from the collection of musical instruments, consisting of about 700 individual items, the
Handel House possesses much material connected with the history and production of musical
instruments, as well as basic source materials for research into, and for the cultivation of
Handel's work and for regional musical history.
The manuscript collection (some 1000 items) comprises mainly letters, statements and notes by Friedrich Chrysander, Maria and Robert Franz, Carl Loewe, Johann Friedrich Reichardt, three letters from Samuel Scheidt to the Bitterfeld Town Council, and also some later documents and musical manuscripts by Robert Franz, Carl Loewe, Hans Stieber, Friedrich Schönherr, etc. In the collection of pictures, as well as a few paintings, there are contemporary etchings mainly relating to Handel’s life, and individual items that are concerned with our other collections. The library, too, has general musicological works and works on the history and character of musical instruments, but in the main it is made up of books and scores relating to Handel’s life and work. It is supplemented by a small archive of musical recordings.
Even before the foundation of the museum, the Moritzburg, Halle’s art gallery, was commissioned to establish special Handel collections. This explains why the Handel Museum has had a considerable stock of exhibits at its disposal from its very foundation.