Papers of George John Learmont Drysdale, 1866-1909, composer

Scope and Content

306 items of manuscript compositions chiefly for voice, including operas, songs, orchestral compositions and chamber music. There are also programmes from concerts of Drysdale's music, press cuttings and correspondence.

Administrative / Biographical History

Born in Edinburgh in 1866, George John Learmont Drysdale worked as an organist before moving to London in 1887 to study at the Royal Academy of Music. During his time there he was noted for his orchestral compositions with his 'Tam O'Shanter' (1891), 'The Plague' (musical play, 1896) and 'The Red Spider' (a light opera, 1898), meeting with great success. He returned to Glasgow, Scotland, in 1904 to teach at the then Glasgow Athenaeum (Limited) School of Music, but gave this up in favour of composition. His compositional style contained a specifically Scottish flavour and he composed many original settings of Scots lyrics and arrangements of folk songs. He died in 1909.


The arrangement of this material reflects the original order in which it was received

Access Information

Access is open, however an appointment may be required. Please email Archives and Special Collections for advice:

Acquisition Information

Gift : Drysdale family : June 1942 : ACCN 4617

Other Finding Aids

Conditions Governing Use

Reproduction subject to usual conditions: educational use and condition of documents. Applications for permission to quote should be sent to Archives and Special Collections, please email:

Appraisal Information

This material has been appraised in line with standard GB 247 procedures

Custodial History

Held by the family of Goerge John Learmont Drysdale


Additional consignments received 11 August 1942 (6 boxes), 14 September 1942 (1 box), and 30 November 1942

Related Material

GB 247 MS Farmer: Letters from Janey Drysdale to Henry Farmer; GB 247 MS Drysdale Add; GB 1153: 13 Manuscript songs by Learmont Drysdale (University of South Carolina)