The music collection of the Edinburgh Society of Musicians was purchased by the Library in 1982. It consists of c. 1,100 printed items, comprising 162 volumes of glees and other part songs, 489 volumes of chamber music, 210 vocal scores, 250 other scores, and works of musical criticism, periodicals and concert programmes. The Society, founded in 1887, had acquired material from the collections of earlier 18th- and 19th-century Edinburgh music societies, including the Edinburgh Harmonists? Society which was formed in 1826, the Edinburgh Catch Club (18th century) and the St George Quartette Club. The Library has also acquired the surviving archive of the Society dating from its foundation to 1982, though there is also some material from earlier Edinburgh musical groups. It includes minute books, membership lists, papers and correspondence, reports, menu cards, photographs, press-cuttings and other memorabilia. As such this collection of both printed and manuscript material offers an unusual insight into Edinburgh?s musical life during the 18th and the 19th century.
The manuscripts are described and indexed in Vol. XV (unpublished) of the Library?s Catalogue of Manuscripts.