Good news for music reception historians – phase 1 of the Concert Programmes Project Online Database is now online.
The Concert Programmes Project Online Database (Phase 1) has been
launched at the culmination of a three-year project to document the
programme holdings of major libraries, archives and museums in selected
regional centres throughout the UK and Ireland. The database currently
offers descriptions of some 5,500 collections of music-related
performance ephemera held by 53 institutions, including the British
Library, the Royal College of Music, the Royal Academy of Music, the
national libraries of Scotland and Ireland, the Bodleian Library and
Trinity College, Dublin.
The project has unearthed programme material dating from 1690 to the
present day, with the majority of records inevitably relating to
material from the mid-nineteenth century onwards. Many collections have
been arranged, catalogued and made available to the public for the first
time during the course of the project. In terms of geographical
coverage, the database covers material from venues in some 80 countries
worldwide, revealing the full diversity of institutional holdings and
making this a truly international resource.
CPP descriptions outline the significance and content of each
collection, with details of the physical arrangement, content date
range, performers and venues. Users may search the dataset free-text or
browse by time period, venue, name (of performers, concert series,
ensembles, and collectors), subject, or holding institution. We thereby
hope to facilitate improved access to an important category of research
material that has previously been inadequately served by library and
archive catalogues. These largely hidden – and therefore significantly
underused – documents will be of enormous interest to performers,
musicologists, local, economic, social, cultural and theatre historians,
and to librarians.
Phase 1 of the project was funded by the Arts and Humanities Research
Council and hosted by Cardiff University and the Royal College of Music.
The database is available free of charge at www.concertprogrammes.org.uk