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, Scotland. in 1866  , George John Learmont Drysdale worked as an organist before moving to London, England, 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

private records deposited by the owners


Acquisition Information

Gift : Drysdale family : June 1942 : ACCN 4617

Other Finding Aids

Item level descriptions are available via the department's online manuscripts catalogue available at

Alternative Form Available

No known copies

Archivist's Note

Compiled by David Powell, Hub Project Archivist, 6 March 2002

No alterations made to date

Conditions Governing Use

Applications for permission to quote should be sent to the Head of Special Collections

Reproduction subject to usual conditions: educational use & condition of documents

Appraisal Information

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

Custodial History

Held by the family of George John Learmont Drysdale


None expected

Related Material

GB 247 MS Farmer: Letters from Janey Drysdale to Henry Farmer

GB 1153: 13 Manuscript songs by Learmont Drysdale (University of South Carolina)

For contact details of all repositories with a GB code, see the Archon repository search page


Many of the manuscript scores within the collection have been published and can be found on the library catalogue at

Geographical Names