Robert Minter Collection

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Trumpet music manuscripts from the 17th and 18th centuries

The collection is catalogued and the database can be searched here:http://www.open.ac.uk/Arts/minter/index.php

Administrative / Biographical History

Robert Lawrence Minter was born in Colombia in 1949. He was British and was educated at schools in Edinburgh, Dartford and Peterborough. He had a succession of occupations including computer operator, bus driver, courier and salesman of engine components, but his two major passions were flying and music, particularly trumpet music. The Royal Air Force refused his application to join as flight crew, so he borrowed money from a bank, ostensibly to buy a motor, and spent it on private flying lessons.

His musical interests were also nurtured through an informal route. He had little theoretical or practical training, but learned to read music and play the trumpet. He picked up the rules and conventions for music editing from text books, and became sufficiently adept to have editions published by the important publishing firm Musica Rara. Minter unearthed several obscure pieces and struck up friendships with many distinguished professionals. He was particularly skilled at finding his way into and around inaccessible libraries, and collected a large number of facsimiles of manuscripts and early publications.

On November 17 1981 he piloted a light aeroplane from Inverness to Glasgow. During the flight the weather deteriorated. He encountered difficulties over Callender, and, at 5pm in a snowstorm, crashed into Ben Ledi. He died in the crash.

Conditions Governing Access

Open. Appointment necessary. Email: archives@rcs.ac.uk