A collection of 262 opera, concert and other music programmes (some as press-cuttings) assembled by Herbert Thompson, some annotated by him

Scope and Content

This Handlist forms a supplement to Handlist 29 which listed the greater part of the papers, including diaries, press-cuttings and correspondence, of Dr. Herbert Thompson (1856-1945), for fifty years the music critic for the Yorkshire Post. The material listed here comprises opera and concert programmes, together with a few prospectuses and handbills advertising concerts or other musical events. The great majority of these performances Thompson himself attended, privately at first but later in his capacity as a music critic, and some programmes are briefly annotated by him as an aid towards his subsequently writing a critical notice for the newspaper. Some of the programmes are complete but many have had their surrounding advertising matter removed and this is not mentioned further in the entries below. Where Thompson has merely preserved as a press-cutting that part of the programme which listed the performers, the entry is marked with an asterisk; most of these cutting have been mounted. In yet other instances where he has preserved a more substantial part of a paginated programme booklet, the pages which have been preserved are noted. In some cases the evidence supplied by the surviving programme has been supplemented by further information from other sources, especially his own diaries. The entries in this catalogue are arranged chronologically and note the place of performance, the company and conductor, and the principal items performed (also the names of soloists in concerti).

Administrative / Biographical History

Herbert Thompson was born at Hunslet, Leeds, on 11th August 1856. He was educated privately, partly at Wiesbaden in Germany, and at St John's College, Cambridge, where he graduated in 1878 and later took the degree of LL.M. in 1881. After a career in law his deep interest in music drew him back to Leeds to accept the offer of a position with the Yorkshire Post as music and art critic in 1886. In 1897 he married Edith Mary Sparks, daughter of the honorary secretary of the Leeds Musical Festival. He also became the Yorkshire correspondent of the Musical Times. His writings included a study of Wagner in 1927 and contributions to Grove's Dictionary of Music and Musicians. He was awarded an honorary Litt.D. by the University of Leeds in 1924, and retired from the Yorkshire Post in 1936. He died on 6th May 1945

Access Information

Access is unrestricted

Acquisition Information

Transferred from Printed Books, November 1979


Mainly in English

Other Finding Aids

Contents listed in Handlist 45, which forms a supplement to Handlist 29

Custodial History

Presented with his literary effects by his widow, 1945

Related Material

See also MSS 78-80, 87, 164 and 361, listed in Handlist 29