Papers of Raymond Head

Scope and Content

These Papers were all produced in the compiling of the A Catalogue of the Paintings and Drawings in the Royal Asiatic Society, London. which was published by the Royal Asiatic Society in 1991. The material includes a manuscript proof, correspondence connected to the artworks of the Society, correspondence and lists for compiling the index, and notes and articles which Head collected and collated during his research.

Administrative / Biographical History

Raymond Head was born in London in 1948. He studied piano with Alice Goossens before attending Dartington College of Arts and Rolle College, Exmouth, Devon, from 1967 to 1970. He studied composition privately with Roger Smalley and Edwin Roxburgh and visited Darmstadt, Germany, for the Ferienkurse für Musik in 1968. After teaching at Bottisham Village College, Cambridge, and subsequently in Devon he went to Rome in 1976 and taught at St George's School, Rome, and was a repetiteur for Hans Werner Henze's first Cantiere at Montepulciano, Tuscany.
Raymond Head began an investigation into Indian influences on Western culture, a long time interest. This led to post-graduate work at the Royal College of Art, London, travel in the USA on a British Academy scholarship and a short-stay Yale Fellowship. In 1986 he published a book The Indian Style (Allen & Unwin, London, University of Chicago Press, 1986) which was followed in 1991 by A Catalogue of the Paintings and Drawings in the Royal Asiatic Society, London. He was invited to give the Sir George Birdwood Memorial Lecture at the Royal Society of Arts, London, in 1987. He also gave concerts and broadcasts for the BBC in London (during the 1982 Indian Festival, London), Turin, and for the National Trust on the theme of Indian influences on western music.
Head is a Gustav Holst scholar and a musical adviser to the Holst Birthplace Museum in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire. He received a Holst Foundation Award 1984 to pursue original work on Holst and was a Trustee of the Holst Birthplace Museum from 2003 to 2006. On 4th April 2008 Raymond's Fanfare for Gustav Holst was played at the unveiling of Holst's Statue in Cheltenham.
For a full biography see Raymond Head's website.


The material was divided into series thus:

  • RH/1 - Manuscript proof
  • RH/2 - Correspondence
  • RH/3 - Index
  • RH/4 - Notes and Articles

Access Information

Open. Please contact the archivist using the email address given here. The archive is open on Tuesdays and Fridays 10-5, and Thursdays 2-5. Access is to any researcher without appointment but it will help if an appointment is made via phone or email. Please bring photo ID

Acquisition Information

The material was left at the Royal Asiatic Society by Raymond Head.

Archivist's Note

This catalogue was completed by Nancy Charley, RAS Archivist, in 2019.

Conditions Governing Use

Digital photography (without flash) for research purposes may be permitted upon completion of a copyright declaration form, and with respect to current UK copyright law.

Custodial History

This material was compiled by Raymond Head in preparation for the A Catalogue of the Paintings and Drawings in the Royal Asiatic Society, London. written by Raymond Head and published in 1991.

Related Material

The published catalogue is available for use in the Reading Room and for purchase from the Society.