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The Tovey Collection

Identifier: Coll-411

Scope and Contents

The papers include a wide range of material ranging from notes and drafts of lectures to accounts and administrative material, drafts of broadcasts to photographs and diaries, and cuttings and reviews. There is also correspondence between Tovey and Weisse, Tovey and Joachim, and Tovey and Speyer. There are also other miscellaneous papers and material.

Alongside Tovey's own papers are those of his biographer Mary Grierson, who appears to have added to the original collection while using it for her research. There are also records of the Reid Orchestra continuing beyond Tovey's period into to that of Sidney Newman, who succeeded Tovey as Reid Professor.

Some material in the collection may have been added by staff within the Reid Music Library and/or Faculty.


  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1887-1977


Language of Materials




25 linear metres (approx)

Custodial History

The collection was in the custody of the Reid Music Library for many years, possibly transferred there directly or via the Tovey Memorial Rooms at 18 Buccleuch Place. It was likely added to during this period.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The Tovey Collection was transferred from the Reid Music Library in 2001, Accession no. E2001.37.

Related Materials

Various items listed in the sheaf index to manuscripts: Gen. 715/4, no. 38; Gen. 1971/5; Gen. 1732 Tovey

Miscellaneous papers include those to Professor C. G. Barkla and Principal Sir Alfred Ewing between 1918- and 1938; a letter concerning Madame Haas and J. Joachim; and, a note on the Niecks Memorial Prize in Music, 1927.

Letters to Barkla, purchased Sotheby, November 1976, Accession no. E76.50. Undated letter purchased November 1977, Accession no.E77.3. Note on Niecks Prize transferred from Reid Music Library, 1963, Accession no. E63.41

The UK National Register of Archives (NRA), updated by the Historical Manuscripts Commission, notes: some MS scores, at Indiana University, Lilly Library, NRA 16244 Busch; and, letters to Sir Granville Bantock, Worcestershire Record Office, County Hall Branch, Ref. Continuation page 1 NRA 10623 Bantock

Processing Information

This collection is currently being catalogued. As such, some content may be incomplete or only giving an overview. It is continually being added to and updated. Once work is complete, this message will be removed.

Papers of Sir Donald Francis Tovey (1875-1940)
Description rules
International Standard for Archival Description - General
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the University of Edinburgh Library Heritage Collections Repository

Centre for Research Collections
University of Edinburgh Main Library
George Square
Edinburgh EH8 9LJ Scotland
+44(0)131 650 8379