The publication of printed birthday books related to particular themes was popular in the late19th century. This example, entitled 'Birthday Book of Musicians and Composers', contains printeddescriptions of musicians and composers born on particular days on the left hand side of the volume.On the right hand side are blank spaces on which the owner of the book can write the names offriends according to their birthdays.
The book has been used as an autograph book, primarily although apparently not exclusively, forcomposers, conductors and musical performers. The presence of some local and family names suggestsit served a more general purpose too. Names have been filled in for the majority of dates throughoutthe year, and in some cases the autograph is dated.
Autographs featured in the volume include those of Sir Thomas Beecham (1879-1961), composer andconductor; Dame Myra Hess (1890-1965), concert pianist; Vera Beringer, actress; L. Emil Bach,composer; John T. Carrodus (1836-1895), violinist; Sir Hamilton Harty (1879-1941) composer andconductor; Alice Lethbridge (dancer); Max Mossel, impresario; Hilda Saxe, musician; Sir Henry J.Wood, conductor; and Robert Watkin Mills (1849-1930) bass singer.