- 1877-1995 (Creation)
Level of description
Extent and medium
30 cm of textual records and photographs
Name of creator
In 1918 Toronto College of Music, founded in 1888, amalgamated with the Canadian Academy of Music, and in 1924 the academy was absorbed by the Toronto Conservatory of Music. The Toronto Conservatory of Music then gained the assets of both its rivals, including over one hundred vocal and orchestral scores. The University had taken over the ownership and operation of the conservatory by 1921, and therefore this collection became the foundation of the University of Toronto's music library.
Hugh Hornby Langton's, (University of Toronto's Chief Librarian, 1892-1922), donated a over a dozen scores from his own collection including orchestral works by Beethoven, Schubert, and Mendelssohn in piano duet arrangements from his courting days, which constitutes the University of Toronto's first efforts in collection building for the Music Library. More significantly, he had just returned from a European buying trip for the library, and its results included the addition of a dozen books on music, plus recent scores such as Stravinsky's Chant du rossignol and Sacre du printemps, and of several early tone poems by Richard Strauss.
Currently the library holds over 300,000 books, scores, periodicals and microforms.The Sniderman Recordings Collection, 180,000 sound recordings, from cylinders to blu-ray. The Olnick Rare Book Room, 2,500 volumes exemplifying the history of music and of music editing, performance and printing -- from liturgical manuscripts and early printed treatises, to first editions of Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven and Gershwin, and early Canadian sheet music and tune books. A significant number of 18th- and 19th-century opera full scores, with particular strength in the French repertoire, complement the large libretto holdings of the Central Library.
Immediate source of acquisition or transfer
This collection consists of various donations, which were compiled at some point (date unknown) into the "Toronto music life collection." A2019-01 and A2019-02 were added to the collection in September 2019.
Content and structure area
Scope and content
Collection consists of materials relating to musical life in Toronto, Ontario. The collection includes photographs of various Canadian and European musicians, including various photographs of Canadian Opera Company productions from the late 1980s and early 1990s, autographs from various opera singers and musicians from the late-nineteenth century, three scrapbooks with newspaper clippings and programs, and a collection of songs published in the Toronto Evening Telegram at the end of the nineteenth century.
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