Digitising the Brass Band News


The Brass Band News Archive is an incredibly comprehensive run of the first Brass Band newspaper, Brass Band News, founded in 1881 by Wright and Round, held at the University of Salford. The series contains hard and soft bound and unbound volumes and loose issues from 1881 until 1956. There is a fantastic and incredibly detailed PHD Thesis, ‘The 19th Century Brass Band in The North of England’ by Roy Newsome, who is responsible for collecting the archive available here.

January  1938

January 1938

A number of the issues are in a poor condition and are deteriorating. These items required incredibly delicate handling and photographing. CHICC only ever photograph items using high end digital medium format equipment, never scanners. Items such as these incredibly delicate sheets could potentially be damaged much more using scanners.

A photograph from the Salvation Army Muical Instrument Workshop, from the October 1904 Issue

A photograph from the Salvation Army Muical Instrument Workshop, from the October 1904 Issue

This archive is the only surviving almost complete run of the paper outside of the British Library (and it is somewhat unclear precisely what the BL actually holds). It is interesting to note the differences between early issues and thoseĀ running through the war. Originally they ran roughly 12 pages, however during rationing times, the paper dropped down to sometimes only 2 pages.

Thomas Carr's Violin advertisement January 1894

Thomas Carr’s Violin advertisement January 1894. `Don’t forget to Mention Brass Band News!

All digitised issues, numbering over 7,000 images are not only provided as high resolution tiff images, but each issue has a fully searchable PDF function, meaning you can search through the entire text of each issue with ease.

The entire archive will soon be available online through the University of Salford’s Special Collections.

Wright and Rounds advertisement 1908

Wright and Rounds advertisement 1908


3 thoughts on “Digitising the Brass Band News

  1. Dr Stephen Etheridge says:

    This is excellent news. Band journals, or periodicles, are often overlooked in the social history of music. This is an important step towards changing that.

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