Guildhall School of Music and Drama References

By | 9th June 2017

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Guildhall School of Music and Drama References

Guildhall School of Music and Drama Referencess

Reference Services

Reference Visits

The Library is open for reference only, by appointment only, to members of the public.

Please telephone 020 7382 5281 to arrange an appointment, or contact us by email

Special Collections

The Library houses a number of special collections:

The Harris Opera Collection
The Merrett Collection of Double Bass Music
The Goossens Oboe Music Collection
The Lynex Opera Collection
The Appleby Collection of Guitar Music

Additionally, we house the Lute Society and the Alkan Society Collections on behalf of their owners.

All of these special collections are fully searchable on the library catalogue with the exception of the Lute Society and the Appleby Collection.

Westrup Library

A notable feature of the Library’s reference facilities is the presence of the Westrup Library. This fine collection of 4,500 books on music history and musicology was the property of Sir Jack Westrup until his death. Thanks to the generosity of the Worshipful Company of Musicians, the collection was saved from being broken up at auction, and presented to the School on permanent loan.

Antiquarian Collection

The Antiquarian collection consists of nearly 200 books and music scores dating from the eighteenth and early nineteenth century up to 1850.  The collection is particularly strong in the areas of vocal and chamber music, with a bias towards English composers.  Little is known about the origin of the collection.  It has been suggested that it could have come from a country house, where the owner used it in private musical performances, however, it is just have likely to have been put together by an enthusiastic collector, who perhaps had a special interest in English and vocal music.  Much of the collection has been in the School since the early twentieth century.  In the 1980s, a substantial number of items were donated by the Lynex family, and, more recently, other items were donated by Anthony Besch and George Odam.  A small number of Westrup items printed before 1850 which have also been placed in the Antiquarian collection.

More information on the collection, including access to it, can be found here (.pdf 127kb)

Archives of the School

The Library is frequently contacted by researchers wishing to consult the School’s archives. As the Guildhall School is part of the Corporation of the City of London, its surviving archives are now in the care of the London Metropolitan Archives.

Basic enquiries about the School’s archives can be answered by the LMA’s staff by letter, email, or phone.

No archives are kept at the School itself.