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GROVE, Sir George (1820-1900): Oldham letters

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 1249 MS 6863-6864
Held at: Royal College of Music
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Full title: GROVE, Sir George (1820-1900): Oldham letters
Date(s): 1826-1882
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent: 3 boxes
Name of creator(s): Grove | Sir | George | 1820-1900 | Knight | civil engineer writer on music
Oldham | Anne | fl mid-late 19th century | of Dublin, Ireland


Administrative/Biographical history:

Sir George Grove, Director of the Royal College of Music, entered into a special relationship with Edith Oldham (1865-1950), a music student from Dublin, who first came to the college in 1883 and which lasted until the end of his life. In this sequence of long and emotional letters, he admitted to her his innermost thoughts and feelings, and to much of the workings of the RCM and the musical establishment. Edith Oldham later returned to Ireland (her married surname was Best), where she continued to work on behalf of musical education.


Scope and content/abstract:

Letters (193) from Mrs Anne Oldham to her daughter Edith Oldham, 1880-1888 (MS 6863); letters (514) from Sir George Grove to Edith Oldham, 1883-1899 (MS 6864).

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

In two separate series Anne Oldham to Edith Oldham (MS 6863) and George Grove to Edith Oldham (MS 6864). Within each series letters have been arranged chronologically and further separated into small bundles.

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:

an entry is also given in the supplement to volume 3 of the Manuscripts catalogue in the library of the Royal College of Music.

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Manuscripts 6863-64 from the estate of Dr Richard Irvine Best, 1960.

Allied Materials

Related material:

The Royal College of Music has significant holdings of Grove material, which may be found throughout many of the manuscript collections. There are particular concentrations of Grove's correspondence in the RCM Director's papers. Other collections of note are his farewell address to the RCM, 12 Jul 1895 (Ref: MS 7296); letters from Grove to Alexander and Mrs Macmillan (MS 7326) and programmes for the Saturday orchestral concerts at Crystal Palace from the collections of Grove (many with extensive annotations) and F G Edwards (MS 7328). RCM also holds a collection of Mendelssohn, Spontini and Grove letters (MS 6957).

Other collections of Grove correspondence are held by the British Library Manuscript Collections (Refs: Add MSS 35222-27, 38991-39119, 39679, 42233, 46251, 50852, 54793, Eg MSS 3091, 3097B); Bodleian Library Special Collections and Western Manuscripts, Oxford University (Ref: MS Eng lett e 118); Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge University; King's College Archives, Cambridge University (Ref: OB); Palestine Exploration Fund; University of British Columbia Library (see National Register of Archives for further details).

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 Grove by C L Graves and Percy M Young, 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:
Jul 2002

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