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Royal College of Music: Director

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 1249 Director
Held at: Royal College of Music
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Full title: Royal College of Music: Director
Date(s): 1884-1990
Level of description: Sub fonds of the archives of the RCM
Extent: 17 volumes, 104 files
Name of creator(s): Royal College of Music


Administrative/Biographical history:

George Grove became a member of the Council and Executive Committee of the proposed Royal College of Music (RCM) in July 1881, and became its first Director in 1882, rather through his abilities in organizing the many fund raising and administrative meetings required prior to the College's opening than by an official appointment. Through Grove, the Director's role gained wide-ranging powers of policy and administration subject to the College's Council. Grove retired in 1894. He was succeeded by Sir Hubert Parry (1895-1918), Sir Hugh Allen (1919-1937), Sir George Dyson (1938-1952), Sir Ernest Bullock (1953-1959), Sir Keith Falkner (1960-1974), Sir David Willcocks (1974-1984), Michael Gough Mathews (1985-1983) and Dr Janet Ritterman (1993-).
The Board of Professors was established from the outset of the College in 1883, in continuance of a similar system previously operating in the National Training School for Music, to assist in general educational matters and policy within the College. The first Board consisted of 10 professors, supported by a larger panel of 30 other teachers. In 1975 the Council decided that three additional members of staff appointed by the Board of Professors were to be eligible to be members of the Council.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of the Director of the Royal College of Music RCM), 1884-1990, including minutes of the Board of Professors, 1894-1993; reports of annual examinations, 1884-1908; Certificate of Proficiency examinations minute book (recording exam regulations and marks awarded), 1886-1899; correspondence to Sir George Grove, Director of the RCM, from the Office of the Prince of Wales, 1884-1888, with material relating to the building of the RCM funded by Samson Fox and opened in 1894; correspondence from Sir Ernest Palmer in regard to aim of the Palmer Fund for Opera Study, 1924; RCM Emergency Concerts Society: correspondence, notices and programmes, 1939; curricula of the Graduate of the Royal Schools of Music (GRSM), 1961-1979.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Arranged in series, mostly corresponding to information given in scope and content.

Conditions governing access:

The release of any material will be at the College's sole discretion to bona fide researchers who supply a letter which states their credentials and their relationship (e.g. biographer, genealogist, family member) to the individual concerned and which defines clearly the purpose of their research. Access to non-confidential material will normally be available at the College's discretion and under the supervision of library staff. Direct access to confidential records containing personal or private information will not normally be automatically granted until the death of the correspondents can be reliably established, or 25 years after their creation, whichever is later. Permission of the use of records for aggregate research (e.g. statistical data) will normally be granted provided that such research does not identify individuals. Access to other college records, including minutes and correspondence will normally be granted at the College's discretion.

Conditions governing reproduction:

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

Finding aids:

Researchers should apply to the Archivist for further information on these records.

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Internal accumulation by the RCM during the course of business.

Allied Materials

Related material:

The RCM holds other material relating to the Patron's and Palmer Fund for Opera Study in the records of the Council (Ref: Council), Bursar (Ref: Bursar) and a notebook of the Palmer family on the Patron's Fund concerts (Ref: MS 1140).

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: The Royal College of Music: a centenary record by H C Coles and John Cruft (Prince Consort Foundation, London, 1982).

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:
Mar 2001

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