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Archives and Collections

Historical material and information about vintage brass bands can be found in many different places. In addition to published books, articles and websites, there are various archives and collections of material. These include county archives and record offices, libraries, universities, specialist archives and individual collectors.

See also: Brass Band Historians and Researchers - for details of those seeking information
See also: Advice on further research



The Brass Band Archive
Windsor House, 232 Scholes, Wigan, WN1 3NH. Tel: 01942 824820.
Open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. An archive of more than 10,000 sets of music and scores, recordings, programmes, band journals and more. A resource for the serious researcher and the simply curious!

Slaithwaite Brass Band Collection
University of Huddersfield Archives Service, Central Services Building, Queensgate Campus, Huddersfield, HD1 3DH. The archives are open Mondays and Tuesdays, 9.30am - 4.30pm. The collection contains some 70 manuscript and printed brass band scores and parts, dating from 1906 to 1931, from Slaithwaite Brass Band, some items of which had been donated by St Hilda's Colliery Band.

Crawshay Brass Band Collection
Cyfarthfa Castle Museum, Brecon Road, Merthyr Tydfil, CF47 8RE. Cyfarthfa Brass Band - a private works brass band founded by the ironmaster Robert Thompson Crawshay. Contains approximately 20 brass band instruments, printed material, plus associated information. See also: Cecilia

Music, Media and Performance Collection
Salford University, Peru Street, Salford, M3 6EQ. Significant holdings of popular, jazz and brass band materials in all formats. The University Music Research Centre also houses the Brass Band Research Archive: library of the National Youth Brass band of Great Britain, a large number of original scores and a unique collection of Brass Band News from 1882 onwards.

Arthur Stirling Collection
Includes the only known extant runs of early (pre-1925) Australian band journals - c/o Dr John Whiteoak, Monash University, Victoria, Australia

Frank Wright Archive
University of Ballarat Historical Collection, Victoria, Australia. Catalogued via www.victoriancollections.net.au. Just over half of the collection has been catalogued. You can search the whole site for 'Frank Wright' or choose 'University of Ballarat' from the 'Organisation' link and search their collection only.

Papers of Jack Greaves, 1857-2008
National Library of Australia. Comprises research files on individual Australian and English brass bands, military and services bands, individual bandsmen, composers, and drum majors; Australian compositions; subject files on aspects of band life; correspondence; photographs; band ledgers and registers; and, scrapbooks. Jack Greaves was a band historian, having been involved with the band movement since 1936 when he joined the Young Australia League Band. From 1987 he was the historical research officer for the Band Association of New South Wales. Greaves published a number of books including Legends in brass: Australian brass band achievers of the 20th century (with Chris Earl, 2001), and A musical mission of Empire: the story of the Australian Newcastle Steelworks Band (2005), and compiled a recording of historical brass band performances titled The great bands of Australia (1996).

Allan Littlemore Collection of Fodens Motor Works Band recordings
This is held by the British Library, 96 Euston Road, London, NW1 2DB. Catalogue: explore.bl.uk

The Jerome Gatehouse Collection
A military band archive - currently looking for a home for the extensive collection which had been built up over 27 years by its owner.

Boosey and Hawkes Instrument Collection
Horniman Museum, 100 London Road, Forest Hill, London, SE23 3PQ. 340 brass and woodwind instruments, England and the Continent, 1700 to date. See also: Cecilia

Charles Moore Collection of Instruments
University of Leicester, Department of Music, University Road, Leicester, LE1 7RH. Collection of some 70 instruments. Charles Moore founded the Wigston Temperance Band in 1902. See also: Cecilia

Edinburgh University Collection of Historic Musical Instruments
Edinburgh University, Reid Concert Hall, Bristo Square, Edinburgh, EH8 9AG. Collection of some 1000 instruments.

County Archives, Museums and Record Offices
These organisations hold the historical records for their respective areas, and among their collections will be found material about brass bands. Photographs, minute books, letters and instruments are examples of the many items held in these repositories. Individual archives often have online catalogues and some digitised material may also be available online. See the National Archives. The Archon Directory includes contact details for record repositories in the UK. Search the archives via Access to Archives.

Cecilia
An on-line guide to music collections in archives, libraries and museums in the UK and Ireland.

Archives Hub
Featuring archive collections of brass bands

Beamish Museum
In the "Pit Village" can be found the Hetton Silver Band Hall with various items of memorabilia. This was saved from demolition and transported, brick by brick, from Hetton-le-Hole to Beamish. It opened to the public in May 2013.