Brook Center’s 18th-Century Symphony Archive is now freely available online

The 18th-Century Symphony Archive is a collection of microfilms and photocopies of over 3000 original sources (scores and parts) documenting the history of the genre through its formative years. It is likely the largest archive of 18th-century symphonies in the United States. The print collection resides at the Barry S. Brook Center for Music Research and Documentation at The Graduate Center of The City University of New York. Ruth Halle Rowen’s Symphonic and Chamber Music Score and Parts Bank Thematic Catalogue of the Barry S. Brook Facsimile Archive (Stuyvesant, NY: Pendragon, 1996) has served as a print catalogue to the collection.

The complete catalogue is now available online. Further, more than half of the scores (those without copyright restrictions) have been digitized and made available online via links from the catalogue. The catalogue is organized by composers’ last names. Collections of works by several composers are listed at the beginning of the catalogue alphabetically by the first composer’s last name.  Instrumentation is included using standard abbreviations. Publishers, libraries, and additional information appear as found on the materials. Scholars, students, musicians, publishers, and others now have immediate access to many hundreds of early symphonic works.

The project has been led by Michele Smith, who compiled the catalogue with the help of Murray Citron, and who oversaw the digitizing, uploading, and linking of the scores.