With a total of 100,000 objects, of which about 60,000 are in the library’s holdings, the Kleist-Museum houses the world's largest collection on Heinrich von Kleist. This includes the manuscript and art collection as well as theatralia, musealia and audiovisual media. In addition, the magazine contains selected preliminary and posthumous bequests of well-known Kleist scholars and a historical archive documenting the history of the museum.

In the manuscript collection there are 10 autographs of Heinrich von Kleist: letters, poems and an album leaf. The museum also owns manuscripts by Ewald Christian von Kleist and Franz Alexander von Kleist, as well as Friedrich and Caroline de la Motte-Fouqué. In addition, it also preserves letters and manuscripts by Kleist’s contemporaries such as Ludwig Tieck and Achim von Arnim or by artists and writers related to Kleist.

The art collection is the largest of the holdings and includes, in particular, evidence of artistic engagement with Kleist and his works. One focus is on art from the German Democratic Republic, but the museum also owns works by Oskar Kokoschka, Alfred Hrdlicka and Hans Bellmer.

The museum collects theatricalia of productions of Kleist’s works on German and foreign-language stages, such as program booklets, posters, line drawings, stage models, and photographs of scenes. Figurines, stage design sketches and scene studies by well-known stage designers are also part of this collection.

Musealia - objects related to Kleist such as stamps, coins, postcards, card games - and audiovisual media such as sound recordings and cinematic Kleist adaptations and documentaries are also part of the collections.

In addition, the Kleist-Museum preserves the personal papers and estates of well-known Kleist scholars, including the Minde-Pouet Estate/Collection Kleist on permanent loan from the Zentral- und Landesbibliothek Berlin.

The historical archive contains documents on the museum’s work since 1969.

Consultation is possible by appointment.

For loan requests, please contact us.


Anna Rosemann