Cardiff Music Lecture – hits a high note !

The first of this year’s series of Rare Books and Music Lectures was presented by Dr Loukia Drosopoulou, the academic specialist who is working on the cataloguing of the Music historical collections in the JISC funded project in Cardiff. Her lecture title – ’18th and 19th Century Music Collections at Cardiff’, was subtitled: ‘Travelling Collections’, and this was a major strand in her talk, relating the complex and compelling historical story of the provenance of these collections, and their journey from printer, publisher or family owner, to the public and university libraries which have held these music scores and manuscripts for the last two centuries and more.

The lecture covered the range of collections held, arising from ownership by the Mackworth family in the 18th century, the Aylward collection started in the 19th century, and the BBC collection formed in the 20th century, but all of them including materials going back several centuries, from across Britain and the Continent.

An outline of the complicated printing and publishing history was illustrated by images from a range of the scores whose minor differences all added to the difficulties of clearly identifying specific dates of publication, publishing houses, composers names, and a host of more intricate details which make chronicling the history of these source documents so challenging.

The lecture was concluded by reference to one of the composers included in the collection, not so famous now but important in his day, Boccherini; a recorded piece of his 18th century music was played, and was a high point in the presentation, allowing all who attended to gain an impression of the musical treasures which are contained in Cardiff’s large and impressive historical music collections.


New staff for the Project

As of May 14th we welcome a new member of staff to the Project – Dr Loukia Drosopoulou. Loukia will be the new Cataloguing Librarian for the Music Collections in the Project. With a research background in 18th C. music, and having worked on music cataloguing projects with Royal Holloway – University of London, as well as with the British Library’s collections, Loukia brings a range of valuable knowledge and experience to our Project. We will look forward to future blogs on this site from Loukia as the Project develops further – so, watch this space!

Digital Exhibition Selection of Texts

Music – Wagner Score

As a contribution to the Project here in Special Collections and Archives a digital selection of texts which are to be catalogued has been produced for our website by Alison Harvey (Assistant Archivist). Alison has been cataloguing Mackworth manuscripts recently, but the web exhibition includes selections also from the Aylward and BBC collections which are part of the Project (and we’ve included a digital section from an archive we hold of a Welsh composer also). Details can be seen on our website here:

This work also partly supported the recent major event hosted by Cardiff University’s School of Music, namely,the IAML (UK + Irl.) 2012 Conference. A very successful weekend was enjoyed by all it seems, with thanks to Charity Dove, the School of Music Librarian, who was heavily involved in the organisation of the conference.  Details can be seen here:

Music Collections at Cardiff – Welcome to the Project !

“Welcome to the blog of the Cardiff University project, funded by JISC, to make available online detailed catalogue descriptions of nearly 3,000 pieces of European music, dating from the 18th and 19th centuries.

“These rare and unique resources are not widely known to the international scholarly music community, so the School of Music and the University Library will collaborate to ensure we open up access to as many audiences as possible, who may have an interest in this material, which will be freely accessible over the web.

“We will work in partnership with colleagues in Royal Holloway – University of London, with RISM (UK) at the British Library, and with academic colleagues in Queen’s University Belfast,  the University of Utrecht, and colleagues at  JISC also. We will welcome comments to the blog from not only the partners in the project, but others with an interest in our work. We will be engaging with a wide range of external stakeholders during the project, so all are encouraged to contribute to this new venture.”

Professor David Wyn Jones, Project Director, Head of School of Music, Cardiff University.


“Staff in Cardiff University Library’s Information Services will be coordinating the activities on this project, to help ensure we successfully complete the work for which JISC has provided the funding.

“This blog will be the main communication medium for the project, and all partners will have access to the blog – to post their own messages, comment on other’s messages, update  project partners on progress in various strands of the work, and so on. Please feel free to contact us with any enquiries also, as the project develops.

“The blog will cover the following elements of the project’s work  over the next six or seven months (and possibly beyond), to allow a broad sweep of communications on all aspects of our work, and to maintain progress on milestones we will be setting, to ensure timely completion of the project. These are: the project plan (available via the web); problems to be addressed in the project; issues around use and users of our project outputs; any licensing, legal, or ethical issues; our technological approach; what lessons we can learn; and benefits for others from our project approach. We look forward to a lively and interesting discussion!”

Peter Keelan, Project Manager, Head of Special Collections and Archives, Cardiff University Library.