The Holst archive
The Holst archive is primarily made up of Imogen Holst’s personal papers and music manuscripts, amassed by her throughout her life. It also includes some important papers and music manuscripts of Gustav Holst. The archive documents many aspects of Imogen Holst’s wide-ranging achievements as a composer and arranger of folksongs, editor and promoter of her father’s music, and conductor and writer.
The archive is held at the Britten-Pears Archive at The Red House and is currently being catalogued. The collection is being added to the online archive as cataloguing work progresses. A detailed overview of the collection can be found here on the archive website.
Amongst Imogen Holst’s papers are her diaries and journals as well as letters from many eminent composers including Lennox Berkeley and her teacher Ralph Vaughan Williams. From the age of nineteen she pasted a mass of photographs, postcards, letters, press cuttings and programmes into scrapbooks and these now form a colourful illustration of her life and work.
The archive also includes music manuscripts by other composers sent to Imogen for performance or comment. These include works by Malcolm Williamson, Elizabeth Maconchy and film composer James Bernard, who studied under Imogen at the Royal College of Music.
The Holst archive is now owned and administered by the Britten-Pears Foundation, having been donated by the Holst Foundation in 2007, Imogen Holst's centenary.
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