To begin the research I started with the most fun and most convenient way of finding information, the web. I was amazed at the hundreds of 'hits' I acquired using the keyword 'Schumann.' The amazement was quickly turned to frustration. Most of the sites just provided brief biographical information and a catalogue of his works. Although this was interesting, it was not very fruitful for my information collecting. Half the sites I found were in German; obviously useless to me. After being denied any useable information from the web, I turned to the 'old way.' I logged onto the very unglamorous UTCAT and was yet again amazed by the information waiting for me in the Fine Arts Library. This proved to be the best source of the information I was attempting to acquire.
The single best source that I found was a book titled The Letters of Robert Schumann. The book contained the most extensive personal correspondence between Schumann, his relatives, his wife, and his friends. The letters gave a personal insight into the passionate man behind the music. I became very interested in this book that I checked it out. The book put all his correspondence into chronological order and classified them into the region in which Schumann was living at the time.
Schumann His Music and Selections from his Writings is a close second to the previous source. Packed into this small paperback were musical exerpts and critiques on dozens of very popular pieces. From the brief examples I read, Schumann not only respected the great masters, he idolized them to no end. Also exhibited in the book were pull quotes and exerpts from the hundreds of letters he wrote during his lifetime.
Another source of Schumann's personal writings was found in a book entitled Schumann. The...