Collection of cabinet cards, cartes de visite, postcards, and other photographs, chiefly associated with Western and Central European classical music composers, compiled by Herbert Thompson

Scope and Content

Comprises: (1) 94 cabinet cards, dated ca. 1860-1903, depicting the portraits, homes, birthplaces, monuments to, and haunts of, the majority of the most famous Western and Central European classical music composers, chiefly produced in Germany and Austria, and annotated on the back with dated notes in English, presumably written by Thompson himself; (2) 13 postcards, mostly undated, but with one card dated 17 August 1897 and addressed to Mr and Mrs Herbert Thompson in Leeds; (3) 6 cartes de visite, dated ca. 1889-1897, of a similar nature to the cabinet cards; (4) 4 miscellaneous photographs of a similar nature, including 1 of the three organists of the Three Choirs Festival in 1921, addressed to 'H. Thompson' in Leeds; (5) A mounted engraving of Hans Sachs's house in Nuremberg; (6) A mounted photograph of the 'Bayreuther Festspiele', dated in ink 'July-Aug. 1902'; and (7) A small cutting from a playbill for 'I Pagliacci, Leoncavallo', dated in ink '1936 Mar 30' and located as at 'Leeds Grand Theatre'.

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 6 May 1945.

Access Information

Access is unrestricted.

Acquisition Information

Transferred from the Brotherton Library Store, July 2004.


In English and German

Related Material

See also MSS 78-80, 87, 164, 361, and 459.