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Since its foundation in 1822 the Academy has acquired important collections of instruments, manuscripts, letters, performance materials, artworks, teaching materials, memorabilia and other objects.

Many of the collections are named after the individuals who collected or donated them, such as those relating to the conductors John Barbirolli, Otto Klemperer, Henry Wood and Charles Mackerras, pianist Harriet Cohen, the concert agent Norman McCann, lutenist and scholar Robert Spencer, composer Arthur Sullivan, jazz star Kenny Wheeler and the Foyle Menuhin Archive

The collections also include items concerning the history of the Academy such as student registers, concert programmes, prize boards, certificates, medals and commemorative photographs. Select a category below to learn more about these and other collections including the Becket Collection of period instruments recently donated to the Academy.

Academy Institutional Archives

Composers’ collections and archives

Conductors’ collections and archives

Graphic art collections

Instrument collections 

Performers’ collections and archives

Apollo catalogue

Apollo is an online catalogue of the Academy’s collections. Here you can access records and images of the many varied objects and documents in the museum and archives. Search records via the Apollo Quick Search box on the left side of this page or follow this link for more search options.


The searchable Library catalogue has more information about the Academy’s manuscripts and early printed collections. Some of the Library's Special collections are not catalogued, such as the Academy's institutional archives, concert programmes, student registers, committee minute books and smaller archival collections relating to individual musicians. For information regarding these please contact the Library.

Material in the larger individual collections, relating to conductors Sir John Barbirolli, Sir Henry Wood, Otto Klemperer and Sir Charles Mackerras, and the Foyle Menuhin Archive along with that of the lutenist and scholar Robert Spencer, is divided between the Museum Apollo catalogue and the Library catalogue.

Concert programmes collection

The McCann Collection at the Academy has an extensive collection of concert programmes. Many (primarily those up to 1954) are searchable through the following link – www.concertprogrammes.org.uk.

More information:
Concert Programmes — an introduction by Janet Snowman