Smoldon, William L.

Scope and Content

Photographs and photostats, many annotated, and manuscript material relating to early church drama, covering 8th-16th century manuscripts collected from throughout Europe. The collection includes a manuscript of the song Doochary with music by Smoldon. The Music of the Medieval Church Dramas by W. L. Smoldon, edited by Cynthia Bourgeault was published by Oxford University Press in 1980.

Administrative / Biographical History

Smoldon was born at Forest Gate and trained as a teacher. His training included a period at Trinity College of Music: he was also a pupil of C H Kitson and took the University of London BMus and PhD. He held senior music posts at Stratford Grammar School (1934-47) and Cheshire Training College, Alsager (1948-62). He was an authority on medieval liturgical music drama, and wrote 'The Music of the Medieval Church Dramas' (ed Cynthia Bourgealt, Oxford University Press, 1980) and transcribed various medieval dramas, including 'Daniel' (Faith Press, 1960), 'Herod' (Stainer and Bell, 1960) and 'Peregrinus' (Oxford University Press, 1965). He died on 17 August 1974.

Access Information

Access to the items in the collection is unrestricted for the purpose of private study and personal research within the controlled environment and restrictions of the Library's Palaeography Room. Access to some items may be restricted by the Freedom of Information Act. Please contact the University Archivist for details.

Acquisition Information

Transferred from the Music Library in 1994.

Other Finding Aids

A full catalogue has been produced, which is accessible from the University of London Research Library Services on-line archives catalogue,, and is also available in the Special Collections Room of Senate House Library.

Archivist's Note

Separated Material

The British Library has manuscripts of An Irish Love Song by Smoldon (Ref: Add MS 62675) and letters by Smoldon to the Royal Musical Association (Ref: Add MS 71060)

Conditions Governing Use

Copies may be made, subject to the condition of the original. Copying must be undertaken by the Palaeography Room staff, who will need a minimum of 24 hours to process requests.