News Release: Arts and Humanities, International

Oct. 1,  2010

Holocaust Music Finds Home at Emory Libraries

Italian musician, composer and musicologist Francesco Lotoro has announced that the Emory University Libraries will become the permanent home for his unique library of music written in the concentration and internment camps of World War II.

The collection is a personal and professional passion Lotoro has pursued since first discovering a piece of Holocaust music on a trip to Prague in 1991. As he continued searching for similar pieces, he found music scribbled in notebooks and diaries and even written on toilet paper. After 20 years of seeking such music, Lotoro's discoveries have resulted in a collection of more than 4,000 manuscripts and nearly 13,000 pieces of microfiche, as well as numerous letters, drawings and photographs.

Paul Root Wolpe, director of the Emory University Center for Ethics, approached the Emory Libraries about the accumulated materials, and the Libraries agreed that its Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library (MARBL) would become the eventual home for Lotoro's current collection, along with other manuscripts of musical compositions for which he continues to search. When the collection comes to the library, it will require special conservation and cataloging, along with the application of digital technology to preserve the materials and make them widely accessible.

While details about the transfer of the collection remain to be determined, Vice Provost and Director of Libraries Rick Luce said, "We are excited about this extraordinary and unique collection. Our Manuscript, Archives and Rare Book Library has numerous collections that document different aspects of the Holocaust and the human experience, and the materials so carefully collected by Dr. Lotoro will complement those holdings and enrich the work of scholars who look to Emory as a source for study about the Holocaust."

On Sept. 28, selections from Lotoro's vast musical collection were presented at Emory in a concert titled "Testaments of the Heart," a multimedia event featuring visual imagery from noted author and Holocaust scholar Ann Weiss' book, "The Last Album: Eyes from the Ashes of Auschwitz-Birkenau."


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