Manuscripts relating to Foulds at the British Library

Foulds (John Herbert) . composer Letter to G. B. Shaw 1925 Add. 50519 f. 224

Foulds (John Herbert) . composer Musical compositions, letters and papers of J. Foulds 1900-1965, n.d. Add. 56469 - 56483

Foulds (John Herbert) . composer Reproduction of photograph of J. Foulds n.d. Add. 56482 f. 90

For reproduction permissions, see the Copyright page. The BL's Copyright Office contains some further general details in this matter here, but for music queries perhaps more professional assistant may be obtained from the Music Collections own enquiry service by e-mailing

To those who have not visited the British Library before it is advisable to read through the admissions web page before visiting. To view manuscripts from the music collections, you must proceed to the Rare Books & Music Reading Room (not the Manuscripts Reading Room), and if you have any difficulty accessing manuscripts the Music Enquiry Desk is there for assistance.

Where are the other manuscripts?

No simple answer to that question. When Foulds died in India many of the works he composed out there were lost. Of the remainder, those that were not offered or accepted by the British Library are apparently in the hands of Graham Hatton and Malcolm MacDonald. Both work tirelessly to further the cause of Foulds' works and encourage performance. When you listen to a CD or attend a concert it is quite normal for the work to have been prepared for performance by Mr Hatton with programme notes by Mr MacDonald, for example. The fragmentation of Foulds's manuscripts is largely down to the previous collection policy of the British Library (formerly part of the British Museum), whose music department was at the time subject in part to the authorisation of the manuscripts department for permission to collect manuscript music. This apparently gave some strict limitations which led to occasionally brutal collection development policies which are far less relevant today. It is the opinion of the current Music Collections Manuscripts Curator that should either collection on manuscripts be offered or re-offered now they would be accepted with gratitude. It is the opinion of this writer that some kind of institutional status should eventually be offered to these manuscripts to ensure their continuing survival.


Updated 2009