ASW 2015: How the Royal College of Organists acquired a library

In which I recall one of the highlights of the IAML UK & Ireland Annual Study Weekend 2015…

IAML (UK & Irl)

The London home of the Royal College of Organists just across the road from the Royal Albert Hall, 1903-1991 The London home of the Royal College of Organists just across the road from the Royal Albert Hall, 1903-1991

You’ve heard the corny old joke about organists, I imagine? What’s the difference between an organist and a terrorist? You can’t reason with an organist. (Music librarians may not fully understand the joke, organists will protest, but there are clergy who will smile wrily. I’m an organist, or I wouldn’t dare say it!)

Andrew McCrea, reminding us that the RCO had its 150th anniversary in 2014, alluded to recent researches into the organisation’s history, and the varied employment conditions, aspirations, and other occupations held by Victorian organists. (Portfolio careers are nothing new.) However, the RCO initially came about thanks to the determination of a small group of London organists, who wanted their occupation to be regarded as a respectable profession with chartered status. To achieve this, they acquired accommodation which…

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