The papers document the lives and careers of Marea Prerauer and Curt Prerauer. They include the Prerauers' shared correspondence, including with composers and other cultural figures such as Peter Sculthorpe, Richard Meale and Patrick White. Other material includes drafts of their music criticism and other writing, manuscripts of music composed by Curt Prerauer and published music owned by the Prerauers, photographs, and family papers. Papers specifically pertaining to Curt Prerauer include family papers that document his move to Australia, and the details of family property in Germany (later Poland) seized by the Nazis. Marea Prerauer's papers include her creative writing and juvenilia, material relating to her career as an opera singer, letters written to her in her capacity as arts gossip columnist 'Marietta', and Arts Editor of The Australian, and cuttings of her work as a journalist after Curt's death.
Curt Prerauer was a conductor, music critic, music teacher and composer, who was part of the Staatsoper (State Opera), Berlin, before his employment was terminated under Germany's anti-Jewish laws in 1933. Curt Prerauer changed the spelling of his name from Kurt to Curt when he was naturalised as an Australian citizen in 1938. Curt and Marea Prerauer met when Marea undertook vocal coaching with Curt. Thereafter their careers were significantly interwoven, including as music critics and as translators of Australian literature into German.
Marea Prerauer was a soprano, author, editor, journalist and music critic. She sang professionally in Europe in the 1950s, was a long-time Arts editor of The Australian, and contributed music reviews and journalism to many other publications, including her 'Marietta' column for The Bulletin. She sang and wrote children's literature under her maiden name Marea Wolkowsky, and used Maria Prerauer for most of her career as a journalist.