Who knew about the Diary during William's lifetime and after his death?

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There is no evidence that anyone but William knew about the Diary during William’s lifetime, and in fact, Henry Ziegler Steinway once said that the family believed that the whole diary was secret, even from his wives.  According to Henry, William’s daughter Paula von Bernuth kept the diary after William’s death.

 Paula’s cousin Henry Ziegler seems to have seen the diary and taken notes on such subjects as acquisition of property in Astoria (starting in 1870); developments in the design of pianos and expansion of the factories; and family events. Fragments of fourteen pages of Ziegler’s notes from 1870 to 1882 in the Archives Center as well. After Theodore’s death, Henry Ziegler Steinway and his brother John Steinway kept the  Diary volumes in the Steinway & Sons Astoria offices. Henry is reported to have read it four times, sometimes on the bus between his Manhattan home and the office, as Cynthia Adams Hoover relates in her history of the William Steinway Diary Project [link to essay].   As Smithsonian Curator of Musical Instruments, it was Cynthia who began the process of preserving this important historical document. In the 1980s, she arranged with the Steinway brothers Theodore, Henry, and John Steinway, to have the diary microfilmed  and made into photocopies that were in turn given to several institutions in New York and Washington. Her Diary Project Co-Editor-in-Chief, Edwin M. Good,  then a Museum Research Collaborator, began to transcribe the Diary while in Washington using the Smithsonian’s photocopy. He continued the arduous transcription process upon his return to Stanford University with a second photocopy.  Henry Ziegler Steinway donated the original nine Diary volumes to the Museum’s Archives Center in 1996. The volumes, which are currently on view in the related exhibition, A Gateway to the 19th Century, The William Steinway Diary, 1861–1896, [link] permanently reside with other Steinway documents in the Archives Center’s Steinway & Sons Records & Family Papers, 1857–1919  collection. The original volumes have been consulted in checking and proofreading the transcription text of this publication. A digitized version of the Diary made in 2006 is available as part of this Web publication.