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Gustav Holst and British Music Society of Victoria collections at the State Library of Victoria
journal contributionposted on 2008-01-01, 00:00 authored by D Kaleva
The paper presents a content-based evaluation, tracing the historical background of two heritage music collections at the State Library of Victoria (Melbourne, Australia). In the case of the Gustav Holst and the British Music Society of Victoria Collections, history and content intertwine for the reason that both collections were initiated at the same time and by the same visionary power. During the early 1930s Louise Hanson-Dyer, a patron of Gustav Holst, issued a complete catalogue of the composer’s works and donated to the State Library of Victoria the first batch of Holst scores. This was to be the initial installment of a complete collection of published British music, which, however, was stopped due to duty tax complications. At the same time, the British Music Society of Victoria, founded by Louise Hanson-Dyer in 1921, maintained the first open library of chamber music in Australia. The BMS of Victoria Collection came to the State Library of Victoria in the 1980s. The most valuable materials in the collection are manuscripts of Australian twentieth century works, concert programs and first publications of British music from the 1920s and 1930s, which also supplement the Gustav Holst Collection. The collections are valuable reference and research collections, which document musical taste and music-making in Melbourne from 1920s well into the 1970s. The collections are also sources for studies into Louise Hanson-Dyer’s gift in collection development and her efforts to raise the professional standards of music performance in Melbourne and Australia.