During one of the Steering Group meetings held on the project, the problem of documenting different issues of the same edition – and so the different stages of an edition – was raised, especially for copies that also contained newly engraved plates.
The ‘Aylward’ collection is particularly rich in multiple copies of an edition, which are often found in different bound volumes. The cataloguing is assisting in bringing these together, as often such copies are scattered across the entire collection which also makes it difficult to see the exact holdings for a particular edition, especially for sets of parts. In many cases this has brought together different parts of incomplete sets, forming complete, or less incomplete, sets.
Publications by the firm of John Walsh are a frequent example where different issues of the same edition are found. Figure 1 illustrates an example of two different issues of Corelli’s Concerti grossi op.6 published by the Walsh firm, with the first showing signs of worn and cracked plates and the second, a later issue, newly engraved ones.
Rather than documenting such differences on one bibliographic record, the Steering Group, formed out of experts in the field of Music Publishing in the 18th and 19th centuries decided on creating different bibliographic records for each different issue found in the collection.
This practice will assist readers in identifying more easily different issues held in the SCOLAR music collections, and will enable research on various aspects of printed music, such as publishers’ practices and the popularity of and demand for certain repertoire, music engravers’ style, and the chronology of printed sources.
Figure 1: Examples of different issues of A. Corelli’s Concerti Grossi Op.6 published by the film of John Walsh (RISM A/I, C 3847)