Harald Heckmann (1924-2023)

We are deeply sad to inform you that our esteemed colleague Harald Heckmann passed away on Sunday, 5 November 2023, after a serious illness.

Dr. Harald Heckmann was a musicologist, editor of musical works, former director of the German Archive of the History of Music (Deutsches Musikgeschichtliches Archiv) in Kassel (1954-1971), long-standing director and board member of the German Broadcasting Archive (Deutsches Rundfunkarchiv) in Frankfurt (1971-1991) and chairman of the music advisory board and member of the administrative board of the German National Library (1982-1992).

From 1959 to 1974 he served as secretary general of IAML (International Association of Music Libraries, Archives, and Documentation Centres) and was president of IAML from 1974 to 1976. He was appointed honorary president afterwards. From 1960 to 1980 he was secretary and from 1980 to 2004 he was president of the International Inventory of Musical Sources (RISM). In 1969 he was co-founder and until 1991 vice-president of the Répertoire International de la Littérature Musicale (RILM), in 1972 co-founder and co-president of the Répertoire International d'Iconographie Musicale (RIdIM), and chairman of the editorial board of the publication series Documenta musicologica (DMI) and Catalogus musicus.

He has made an irreplaceable contribution to international understanding and cooperation between music libraries.

In 2000 he was awarded the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany.

He died at the age of nearly 99 in his retirement home in Kronberg am Taunus.

The German IAML Board

Dr. Ann Kersting-Meuleman

Cortina Wuthe

Paul T. Haas

Anja Göhler


Dear Ann, Thank you very much for sharing this sad news and for your compilation of Harald Heckmann's impressive achievements. I often come back to Dr. Heckmann’s beautifully written commemorative article "Half a Century", for IAML's 50th anniversary, published on the IAML website: https://www.iaml.info/history. At the end of the article he wrote: “Were it not for such people in our early years, the International Association of Music Libraries, Archives and Documentation Centres would never have existed. And without the many individuals who have carried forward and developed the work of these founding fathers, it would not now enjoy its lively and multifaceted status as the international focus of all activities in the field of music libraries, those most important centres for the collection, preservation, availability and dissemination of musical sources.” Harald Heckmann was certainly one of these individuals and his contributions to IAML have had an inestimable value for the Association. We owe Harald Heckmann a debt of gratitude for his long-standing service and devotion to IAML, RISM, RILM and RIdIM. My sincere condolences to the German IAML Branch, as well as to the entire IAML membership.


English French German Italian Portuguese Russian Spanish