Stanley Sadie Archive Project

Stanley Sadie Archive Project

Stanley Sadie Archive Project

After a brief introduction to the Stanley Sadie Archive, written on the occasion of our recent music corridor exhibition dedicated to  music scholar archives, I would now like to expand a little on a fund-raising campaign recently launched with the aim of raising funds to employ a music specialist specifically to process this archive and make it accessible to researchers and the wider public – the Stanley Sadie Archive Project.

The Stanley Sadie Archive came to the University Library last summer as a gift from his widow Julie Anne. It is an important addition to the Library’s existing music collections, which include several archives of eminent British composers, musicians and musicologists. The archive contains a wide range of materials relating to Sadie’s time in Cambridge as well as to his professional activities as music scholar, music critic and editor.

The extent of the archive as well as the content -there is an absolute treasure trove of unique material contained in the archive- means that it deserves special and immediate attention by a music specialist who can process a wide range of materials and make them easily retrievable and available to researchers and the wider public.

Specially produced recordings for BBC programmes on Boccherini, August-September 1957

Specially produced recordings for BBC programmes on Boccherini, August-September 1957 (photograph by S. Chapman)

So far we have a very good handlist, provided by Julie Anne, describing different categories contained in the archive. This includes Cambridge University related materials (such as lecture notes), research notes (Boccherini, Mozart completions, editions of music), microfilms, newspaper review cuttings books, reviews, correspondence (about reviews, Grove, editions, RMA, with colleagues, Mozarteans, prominent people), contracts, accounts, expert witness work, concert programme notes, record sleeve notes, lecture texts, television and BBC broadcast scripts, recordings made for BBC broadcasts and various materials relating to the Editorship of Grove.

The archive therefore offers us an insight into Stanley Sadie’s very productive and diverse career. I particularly like the unique items, such as the correspondence with fellow scholars and prominent figures and the unpublished lecture notes, which can only be found in the archive and actually show us more of Sadie’s work as a music scholar.

First paragraph of Sadie's talk on Handel and England.

First paragraph of Sadie’s talk on Handel and England. ©CUL/J.Goode

To illustrate this I have selected some material from a folder labeled “Handel talks”. It contains an undated talk Handel and his chamber music (typed on rather fragile paper and with some handwritten corrections), another undated talk Handel and England (on similar paper and also with corrections) and a computer printout of a talk given at the Handel Institute conference on Handel in Cities and Houses, King’s College London, 23-24 November 2002.

Sadie's notes on a conference talks

Sadie’s notes on a conference talk on Handel in Cities and Houses. ©CUL/J.Goode

The latter is accompanied by a heavily annotated programme (notes on the other lectures held at the conference). When we make this material available there are several processes that need to be taken into account. We will store the fragile paper in conservation friendly folders, removing and replacing any metal paperclips. We will also try to date the undated talks and catalogue them in an appropriate way so that readers searching for either Handel or Sadie will find the talks (in addition to his already known publications available in the UL catalogues).

The fund raising campaign that will enable us to make all this happen has gotten off to a good start. After a significant lead gift from the Sadie family, and of course also from the University Library itself, we have already received some generous contributions (including some additional Sadie material!) from Sadie’s former colleagues and friends. We are continuing to work towards reaching our target and hope to bring the project to a successful end soon. If you would like more information about the fund-raising project and the archive I would be delighted to hear from you.






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