Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Britten archive follows Mozart's diary online

Composition sketch of 'Albert Herring' (copyright Britten Pears Foundation). The manuscript is open at Act I scene 2 as Lady Billows informs Albert that the Committee has decided to crown him ‘Loxford King of the May’ in honour of his ‘pure, virtuous life’.

Following the British Libarary's initiative which put Mozart's music diary online the Britten-Pears Library in Aldeburgh has uploaded important digital resources to its online archive . Images of 600 historically important photographs are available to view from the catalogue record. These include production photographs of four of Britten’s operas - Gloriana, Owen Wingrave, Peter Grimes and The Rape of Lucretia. There are also portraits of Britten up to the late 1950s and photographs of the composer with family, friends and colleagues up to 1967. Below is a photograph of the original English Opera Group production of Albert Herring, 1947, copyright Britten Pears Foundation

Images from all the categories are available to view as thumbnails which, once clicked on, display as full sized images. Digitisation of the Library’s photographic collection continues and more images will be regularly added to the online archive catalogue. Cataloguing of the English Opera Group/ English Music Theatre Company archive has also begun, and the online documents include financial papers, reports and schedules, as well as correspondence.

The online archive isn't designed to be user friendly in the same way as the very slick British Library Mozart manuscript. But there is a huge amount of fascinating, and very important, material in the Britten Pears collection, and it well worth wading through the sometimes frustratingly slow and academic user interface to find the nuggets.

Web resources:
*
Britten Pears Foundation
* Online archive catalogue
* Mozart's musical diary
Report broken links, missing images and other errors to - overgrownpath at hotmail dot co dot uk
Image owners - if you do not want your picture used in this article please contact me and it will be removed.
If you enjoyed this post take An Overgrown Path to Easter at Aldeburgh

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