This collection of 160 musical instruments, mainly woodwind and bowed strings, was built up by Hereward Irenius Brackenbury (1869-1938). Brackenbury was an engineer whose interests included playing the clarinet. In the 1920s and early 1930s he built up a substantial general collection of musical instruments at his home near Berwick-upon-Tweed, buying at sales and from dealers. Star items include an arch-lute (Rotundus, 1699), an ivory descant recorder (Haka, c 1700), two French oboes (c 1700-c 1710) and many others as listed.
Hereward Irenius Brackenbury (1869-1938).
The collection was inherited by the grandson of Hereward Irenius Brackenbury, Mark Brackenbury, after having been in the care of his son Charles from 1938 until 1979. The greater part of the collection was placed on loan to the University of Edinburgh in 1980 as the ‘C. H. Brackenbury Memorial Collection’ and came into University ownership in 1991 through Government allocation under the Acceptance in Lieu scheme.