This collection comprises a large number of the musical manuscripts of David Barlow, but is not a complete collection of Barlow's works. The initial deposit consists of over a hundred items which cover the musical genres of : orchestral, opera, choral, solo vocal, songs, solo works, instrumental and chamber music. His musical influences included biblical and literary interests and the collection includes Barlow's church operas David and Bathsheba and Judas Iscariot and his children's opera The selfish giant.
Unfortunately not even the works themselves held in the initial deposit should be seen as complete, as some do not include full scores. An attempt to rectify this was made by Kenneth Mobbs who made copies of Barlow's important works held at the British Music Information Centre and deposited these in the library in 1991, although obviously there is some duplication of material. Also in 1991, Stuart Bowyer gave some early manuscripts (mainly short works and sketches) and copies of recordings of Barlow's music and interviews. These comprise ten reel to reel tapes at present, but will be copied onto an alternative format shortly. Included in this deposit are some early works and sketches by Barlow in manuscript form.
The collection does not include any personal papers and although not complete, should be seen as the most definitive collection of Barlow's works available.