The British Organ Archive (formerly English Organ Archive) (BOA) is an archive relating to organs and organ builders and which has been accumulated under the auspices of the British Institue of Organ Studies (BIOS).
The BOA includes a large collection of business records of organ builders which include minutes, estimate books, order books, accounts, contracts, correspondence, employees records and technical drawings. Many of the sequence of these business records are incomplete. A substantial proportion of the BOA comprises technical drawings, principally from Hill, Norman & Beard (including its pre-amalgamation constituents, Hill & Son and Norman & Beard) and from Jardine & Co. The Hill Norman & Beard drawings relate to about 1800 locations spanning the period from the 1870s to the 1970s and were retained for reference when an organ was undergoing restoration or rebuilding in later years. Only about half of the main orders are accompanied by drawings.
The records of organ builders in the BOA comprise as follows:
Bellsham Pipe Organs, organ builders: records, 1997-2007; Bevington & Sons of London: organ builders: work book, 1905-31; Blackett & Howden of Newcastle-on-Tyne, organ builders: estimate, order and wage books, 1902-16; Cousans & Co of Lincoln, organ builders: account books, 1917-75; A. E. Davies Ltd of West Drayton, Middlesex: records, 20th cent; Grant, Degens & Bradbeer of Northampton, organ builders: drawings, contract files and other papers, 1960-81; Gray & Davison of London, organ builders: order books, shop books, ledgers, accounts, wage book, tuning registers, metal shop book, wood pipes book, 1821-1945; Griffen & Stroud of Bath, organ builders: order book, summary day book, enquiry book, diary of proprietor, 1913-45; Hill, Norman & Beard of London and Lewes, organ builders: minutes, estimate books, draft specifications, order books, contracts, drawings, 1916-73; William Hill & Son of London, organ builders: letter books, Elliot & Hill partnership accounts, shop books, drawings, 1829-1916; Hope-Jones & Co of Norwich, organ builders: estimate and order books, 1889-1901; Ingram & Co of Hereford, organ builder: letter book, 1920s; Jardine & Co of Manchester, organ builders: order books, accounts, contracts, drawings, 1845-1976; T. C. Lewis & Co of London, organ builders: microfilm copies of order book, shop books, accounts, letter books and opus list, 1883-1919; Liddiatt & Sons of Leonard Stanley (Glos), organ builders: account books 1919-40; Nicholson & Co Ltd, organ builders: correspondence, 1928-39; Norman & Beard of Norwich, organ builders: order books, drawings, pipe scale books, 19th-20th cent ; Noterman & Co of London, organ builders: records, 1970-75; Osmond & Co (formerly J. E. Minns) of Taunton, organ builders: accounts, 1890-1934; Pendlebury Organ Co of Leigh (Lancashire), organ builders: register of organs built, 1899-1993; Pipecraft of Norfolk, organ pipe makers: pipe scale charts, 1967-2004; Charles Smethurst of Manchester, organ builders: correspondence, late 20th cent; Wadsworth & Co of Manchester, organ builders: shop books, accounts, 1861-1946; Henry Willis & Co of London, organ builders: order books, correspondence, accounts and glass slides, 1875-1933; Roger Yates of Michaelstowe, Bodmin, Cornwall, organ builder: drawings, mid-late 20th cent.
The BOA also includes personal records of antiquaries, scholars, organists and others relating to their interest in organs and organ builders. The material includes photographs, organ specification and other notebooks, scrap albums and research and other papers relating to both UK and continetal European organs and organ cases and organ builders. These collections both supplement and complement the business archives in the BOA.
The records of these individuals in the BOA comprise as follows:
Ernest E. Adcock (fl 1913-1944), organ historian: notebooks, albums of cuttings, photograph albums, mid 20th cent; Gilbert Benham (fl 1920s-50s), organ scholar: glass plate negatives of organ consoles, mid 20th cent; Rev John Henry Burn, clergyman and organ scholar: notebooks, c 1874-75; John B. Dalby (1910-1987), organist: 'Memoirs about organs' and other papers, mid 20th cent; Rev Bernard Bruce Edmonds (1910-2003): research papers relating to British organ builders, specification notebooks, slides, correspondence, mid 20th cent; Rev Andrew Freeman (1876-1947): papers relating to research on organ builders including his 'Records of British Organ builders, published in two parts and a card index compiled during the 1920s, notebooks, journals, photograph albums, correspondence, 20th cent; Willson Bradley Gatward (1856-1947), organist: specification notebooks and scapbook, c 1860-1937; Michael John Gillingham (1933-1999), organ adviser: consultation papers, photographs and prints, 20th cent; M. G. Hallowes: specification notebook, mid 20th cent; Sidney W. Harvey (fl 1920s),organ scholar: notebooks, glass slides and other papers, early-mid 20th cent; Frank Haycraft (fl 1900s-1920s), organ observer: specification notebook, mid 20th cent; Marie Higginbottom: research notes on G. M. Holdich, organ builder, mid 20th cent; Holt family of Cambridge: specification notebooks of D. J. Holt, 1890s-1950s, C. Holt, 1920s-1980s and Edward Holt, 1920s-1980s; Joshua Robert Knott: (fl 1970s-1980s), organ researcher: research papers and publication on Brindley & Foster, late 20th cent; (James) Henry Leffler (1761-1819), organist: specification notebook, early 19th cent; John Gilbert Mills (b 1894), organist: specification notebooks, mid 20th cent Derek Moore-Hepplestone: notebooks, 20th cent; Canon Arthur Gordon Westwood Paget (1893-1989), Anglican clergyman and pioneer in organ conservation : albums, notebooks and correspondence, 20th cent Donald Penrose (fl 1920s-1930s), organist: scrap albums of cuttings, early-mid 20th cent; Eduard R. Robbins (d c 1988), architectural designer and draughtsman: correspondence, postcards, notes and research papers including material relating to the organ builders, T. C. Lewis; Michael Sayer (1934-2010), organist and organ historian: collection of papers and cuttings from rare newspapers, late 19th cent; Harold Thomas Scull (1898-1971), organist: specification notebooks and cathedral notebooks, early 20th cent; Rev John Hanson Sperling (1825-1894), Anglican clergyman and antiquary: microform copies of note books, mid 19th cent; G. B. Taylor: specification and other notebooks, mid 20th cent; F. Dennis Walker (fl 1933-1982) of Manchester, organ builder: specification books mainly relating to north-west England, 1933-82; Michael J. Watcham (fl 1980s) of Maidstone: notes and photographs of organs mainly relating to Kent, late 20th cent; Mary Wilkinson: specification sheets, mid 20th cent; Roy Williamson (b 1937) of Cheltenham, organist and organ scholar: reports, papers and photographs of redundant organs, late 20th cent; David Woodford: specification notebooks, 1948-70; Donald Wright (d 2005), organ consultant and adviser: consultancy papers, late 20th cent.
In addition, the BOA also includes an artificial collection made by BIOS of organ builder folders which have been created during the sorting of the other collections which make up the BOA. This material comprises an alphabetical sequence of largely printed and publicity material produced by or relating to the work of more than 350 organ builders and which include catalogues and opus lists as well as programmes and orders of services.
Finally, the BOA includes books about organs and organ builders, periodicals and a number of unpublished theses. These include complete sets of publications of BIOS including 'BIOS Reporter', a quarterly newsletter for its members and the 'BIOS Journal'' dating from 1977.