The University of Edinburgh's rare and unique collections catalogue online.

Music Collections (archives)

TitleMusic Collections (archives)

The Edinburgh University's collection of music materials, incorporating the Reid Music Library, is rich and varied. It includes sheet music, literature on music (monographs and journals), personal papers and correspondence of famous composers, personal papers of folk musicians, and audio-visual material. Some of the most significant collections are:

The papers of Sir Donald Francis Tovey, who was Reid Professor of Music at the University of Edinburgh and a brilliant musicologist and composer. The Tovey Collection includes a wide range of material ranging from notes and drafts of lectures to photographs and diaries, as well as correspondence between Tovey and Weisse, Tovey and Joachim, and Tovey and Speyer. Alongside his own papers are those of his biographer Mary Grierson, and records of the Reid Orchestra continuing beyond Tovey's period into to that of Sidney Newman, who succeeded Tovey as Reid Professor.

The papers of Joseph Joachim and his family, which give a great insight into the life of this well-known composer and violinist. The collection contains descriptions of Joachim’s character by his relatives, photographs of him in a private setting, extensive correspondence with his nephew Harold Henry Joachim, leaflets and newspaper clippings on important events such as Jubilee celebrations and commemorative concerts, and information on his descendants and his legacy.

The George Baillie Collection of Music Manuscripts, which consists of manuscript music books dating from the 18th and early 19th century. George Baillie (1664-1738) was a Scottish politician and collector of fine music manuscripts, especially from Italy. Among the composers represented in his collection are Giovanni Battista Bononcini (1670-1747), and Alessandro Scarlatti (1660-1725).

The Kenneth Leighton Archive, donated to the University in 2008. Kenneth Leighton (1929-1988) was a popular and versatile composer who became Reid Professor of Music at the University of Edinburgh. His widely ranging compositions include church and choral music, pieces for piano, organ, cello, oboe and other instruments, chamber music, concertos, symphonies and an opera. It is uncatalogued, but amounts to 15 boxes of archival material consisting mainly of music scores. A box list is available.

OriginEdinburgh; Scotland; Hungary; Italy; Europe

Image: Letter from Joseph Joachim to his nephew Harold H. Joachim, March 1902 (Coll-1711/1/1/4)