This archive primarily comprises the personal papers and music manuscripts of Imogen Holst (1907-1984), composer, writer on music, educator, conductor, administrator and daughter of Gustav Holst. It also includes important music manuscripts and papers of her father as well as files of the Holst Foundation and of G and I Holst Estate. The Gustav Holst papers include music manuscripts, published music, libretti, correspondence, engagement diaries, notebooks, lecture notes and contracts.
The archive has been divided into seven sections, based on the creator of papers, namely Imogen Holst, Gustav Holst, G&I Holst Estate Ltd, The Holst Foundation, Rosamund Strode, Isador Caplan, and Leslie Periton. The final three sections are the papers of individuals acting in their capacity as members and directors of G&I Holst and the Holst Foundation.
Imogen Holst's papers, amassed throughout her life, document her wide ranging achievements and passions, from her own compositions to her work on her father's music, from her love of folk song and dancing to her active promotion of music in the community. They include music manuscripts for her own compositions, as well as for arrangements, realizations and editions; transcription work; published music of Imogen Holst; scores and parts of Gustav Holst's music marked by Imogen Holst for performance; music manuscripts of other composers; correspondence; engagement diaries; journals, travel diaries and reports; scrapbooks; concert programmes and press cuttings; photographs; personal items such as poems, sketchbooks, passports, address book, and awards; articles and programme notes; notes and scripts for talks and lectures; transcripts of broadcasts; office files relating to Imogen Holst's work promoting, editing and recording her father's music as well as other subjects; books written by Imogen Holst and files relating to these; books belonging to her and recordings.
Gustav Holst's papers, collected by Imogen Holst, document his life as composer, musician and educator, as well as family man and friend. This includes original music manuscripts; extensive series of published music, often annotated or with notes by Imogen Holst; libretti materials for his operas and other works; additional music manuscripts collected by Gustav Holst, including those of other composers; correspondence spanning the majority of his life, with references to compositions, concerts and connections; his engagement diaries and pocket notebooks giving brief details of the many strands of his working and educational career, as well as his several trips abroad; handwritten and typescript lecture notes on a variety of topics; publishers' agreements and contracts, administrative papers, and lists of his compositions.
The Holst Foundation, G and I Holst Estate, Rosamund Strode, Isador Caplan and Leslie Periton papers include office and business files, research files, and an oral history archive.
The first seven sections of this collection were deposited by the Holst Foundation: an eigth section has been added to these papers. These are papers which did not form part of the original Holst Foundation deposit but have subsequently been added to the archive at the Britten-Pears Foundation from various sources. Much of this is correspondence from Imogen and Gustav Holst, there are also some Imogen Holst manuscripts presumably given by her to friends and now donated back to the collections, as well as other papers deposited by individuals who knew Imogen Holst. These materials complement the Holst Foundation deposit.