The manuscript collection of the National Archives contains the handwritten estate of Richard and Cosima Wagner, the artistic estate of Siegfried Wagner as well as documents on the history of the Bayreuth Festival (from ca. 1872 to 1986).
Another important part of the collection is the manuscripts from the collection of the former Richard Wagner Memorial in Bayreuth, including the estate of Houston Stewart Chamberlain.
The library collections comprise the two private libraries of Richard Wagner: the “Dresden Library” and the “Wahnfried Library”. They are complemented by the Research Library, which is constantly being expanded to include the latest literature on international Wagner research.
The manuscripts from the collection of the former Richard Wagner Memorial in Bayreuth, including the estate of Houston Stewart Chamberlain, are another important part of the collection.
The focus of the collection is on illustrations of Richard and Cosima Wagner, their children, their families and contemporaries, the oldest of whom date back to the 1860s.
The collection also includes numerous depictions of Wahnfried House and the Festspielhaus, as well as productions, stage sets and performers from 1876 to the present day, which comprises around 13,000 photographs.
The collection comprises some 8000 objects. It shows a broad spectrum of objects, ranging from busts, stage models and paintings to textiles.
Among the more than 500 textile objects there are mainly items of clothing belonging to Cosima and Richard Wagner, but also costumes from the early years of the Bayreuth Festival.