Copy of Johann Sebastian Bach, Twenty Four Preludes and Fugues, c.1800

Scope and Content

A professional late 18th century German transcript of Johann Sebastian Bach, [Das wohltemperirte Clavier. 2.] XXIV Fugen jede mit einem Praeludie, aus den 12 dur und 12 moll Tonen nach der Reihe.

An inscription on the flyleaf claims that the copy, transcribed in Germany, is the first that came into England, 'which came into England for the expres [sic] use' of August Friedrich Christian Kollmann [1756-1824]. The inscription claims that it was lent to Samuel Wesley [1766-1837] and from it he and Karl Friedrich Horn edited the edition of the 48 Preludes and Fugues of Bach bearing their names. [Eliza Wesley makes no mention of this manuscript in her account of Samuel Wesley's edition and the claim looks to be contrary to the known history of Wesley's edition. Independent confirmation of the claim is wanting and the signature on the flysheet of G U Beresford and the date of 1851 is not consistent with what is known of the dispersal of Kollmann's library.]

Kept with the volume are:-

  • Autograph letter signed, Angus Burns Salmond to the Librarian, University of St Andrews, forwarding the above ms as a memorial of his mother, Marie Salmond.Shepherd's Bush, London, 31 July 1951. (3pp.)
  • Copy of typescript letter from the Librarian to Angus Burns Salmond asking when the manuscript was acquired from Mummery on behalf of Dr H Redlich. St Andrews 15 May 1962. (1p)
  • Three letters between the Librarian and Kenneth Mummery of Bournemouth concerning the provenance of the ms.Bournemouth and St Andrews, June 1962. (1p; 1p; 1p.)
  • Three typescript letters, with signature, of G B Salmond concerning the presentation of the Salmond bequest of books to the Library.Surbiton, May-June 1950. (1p; 1p; 1p.)
  • Photocopy of letter, with signature, of Michael Kassler to the Librarian proposing some details of the provenance of the manuscript. Washington, DC, 24 November 1971. (2pp.)

Administrative / Biographical History

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), composer of baroque music, organ technician, master of harpsicord, organ and violin, whose talents were largely unrecognised in his lifetime but have been celebrated ever since.

Access Information

By appointment with the Keeper of Manuscripts. Access to records containing confidential information may be restricted.

Acquisition Information

Given to the Library by Angus Burns Salmond, 4 Aug 1951.


Call number used to be ms1123

Other Finding Aids

Individual Manuscripts and Small Collections database available as part of Manuscripts Database.

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

Binding: parchment paper on boards, gold lettering and inlay.Paper: 31x27.1cm

Archivist's Note

Description compiled by Maia Sheridan, Archives Hub project archivist, based on material from the Manuscripts Database.

Conditions Governing Use

Applications for permission to quote should be sent to the Keeper of Manuscripts. Reproduction subject to usual conditions: educational use and condition of documents.

Custodial History

Possibly in the library of A F C Kollmann [from whence, perhaps, it passed via G U Beresford whose signature appears on the fly sheet to Robert E Lonsdale who offered it for sale through Puttick and Simpson of London in 1877 ?]. Subsequent provenance uncertain.