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SHAW, (Harold) Watkins (1911-1996)

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 1249 Shaw & MS 6068-6069
Held at: Royal College of Music
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Full title: SHAW, (Harold) Watkins (1911-1996)
Date(s): 1950s-1991
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent: 9 boxes
Name of creator(s): Shaw | Harold Watkins | 1911-1996 | music teacher and musicologist


Administrative/Biographical history:

Harold Watkins Shaw, born Bradford, 3 April 1911; read history at Wadham College, Oxford, 1929-1932; studied at the Royal College of Music, 1932-1933; awarded the Oxford University Osgood Memorial prize for his dissertation on John Blow, 1936; taught in London; appointed music organizer to Hertfordshire County Council, 1946; appointed Honorary Librarian of St Michael's College, Tenbury, 1948; appointed lecturer at Worcester College of Education, 1949 (retained until retirement); published books on the teaching of music in schools at primary and secondary levels, 1950s; edited his edition of Messiah, 1957-1965; Keeper of the Parry Room library, Royal College of Music, 1971-1980; awarded DLitt in the faculty of music by Oxford University; awarded OBE, 1985; died, Worcester, 8 Oct 1996. Publications (a selection): Music in the Primary School (London, 1952); The Three Choirs Festival c1713-1953 (Worcester and London, 1954); Music in the Secondary School (London, 1961); The Story of Handel's 'Messiah', 1741-1784 (London, 1963); A Textual and Historical Companion to Handel's 'Messiah' (London, 1965); A Study of the Bing-Gostling Part Books in the Library of York Minster together with a Systematic Catalogue (Croydon, 1986) ;The Succession of Organists of the Chapel Royal and the Cathedrals of England and Wales from c.1538 (Oxford, 1991).


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers of Harold Watkins Shaw, 1950s-1991, including manuscript notes, notebooks, typescripts and associated research material relating to Shaw's articles, particularly in regard to the music and life of George Frideric Handel and Handel's Messiah; offprints of Shaw's articles from various journals; printed orchestral parts of Shaw's edition of Handel's Messiah (1965) with minor manuscript corrections; Shaw's manuscript edition of Handel's Theodora (1984); research papers for a series of articles by Shaw on John Blow, with offprints; manuscript editions by Shaw of works by John Blow, including Awake, awake my lyre!, the orchestral Te Deum and Jubilate in D, Ode on St Cecilia's Day 1691, Evening service, other odes and Latin pieces; research papers for his The Succession of Organists of the Chapel Royal and the Cathedrals of England and Wales from c.1538 (Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1991), mostly comprising autobiographical details (name, birthdates and appointments as organist) of organists then living, together with a few biographical memoirs compiled by relatives of organists recently deceased; correspondence with the deans, provosts and chapter clerks of Anglican cathedrals of modern foundation (formerly parish churches) in connection with lists of their organists; files of correspondence and research papers on organists of ancient cathedrals, and related correspondence with Oxford University Press, librarians and cathedral and college authorities for permission to publish.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

The material is roughly arranged as follows: writings of Shaw; Succession of organists; Handel material; Blow material. Biographical material relating to the Succession of organists (MS 6068) is arranged alphabetically according to surname of organist. Correspondence with authorities of newly founded cathedrals is held in a separate file (MS 6069) and arranged alphabetically by location of cathedral.

Conditions governing access:

Usual conditions of the Library of the Royal College of Music apply. See the RCM website or contact the RCM Library for details.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Photocopying is permitted at the discretion of the Archivist for research purposes only.

Finding aids:

Not known

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

MS 6068-6069 were donated by Dr Watkins Shaw, 1991; the remaining papers were purchased at auction by the library of the Royal College of Music in 1999.

Allied Materials

Related material:

RCM also holds papers of Herbert Howells, containing correspondence from Shaw.

National Register of Archives: Click here to view NRA record

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Compiled by Robert Baxter as part of the RSLP AIM25 Project. Source: article on Shaw by David Scott, Grove Dictionary of Music.

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
May 2001

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