16 November 2011

Henry Watson Music Library

During the closure of Manchester Central Library, selected items from the Henry Watson Music Library, relating to the history of music in Manchester, are available to researchers at the RNCM Archives.

The collection spans the late 18th to the late 20th centuries and includes programmes of musical societies, concert halls, orchestras, choirs and festivals, including the Ancoats Brotherhood, the Halle Concerts Society, the Manchester Gentlemen's Concerts and the Schiller Anstalt, to name but a few.  There are also minutes, annual reports, lists of members and subscribers, correspondence, press cuttings, accounts and scrapbooks. 

Many important names from Manchester's musical past crop up in the collection.  Letters received by the German cellist Carl Fuchs sit alongside manuscript volumes compiled by Sir Charles Halle, recording his work as a music teacher, pianist and conductor, and press cuttings about Hans Richter's appointment and resignation as conductor of the Halle Orchestra.  Family historians will also find this an unexpected source of information about musical ancestors from the greater Manchester area.

A list of the collection has now been compiled and you can find this on the RNCM Archives webpages.  To view items from the collection, contact the College Archivist and Records Manager, T 0161 907 5211 or E archives@rncm.ac.uk.

You can find out more about the Henry Watson Music Library by visiting Manchester City Council Libraries webpages, or contacting henrywatsonmusiclibrary@manchester.gov.uk.

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