These recordings, on every format from 78s to CDs and from Anglican & Roman Catholic choirs, are part of our cultural and musical heritage.
The raison d'etre of the Archive is to preserve them for future generations, from the very earliest to the latest new release.
In the fullness of time the Archive will be left to a musical or educational institution.
Although the Archive holds copies of almost all commerical recordings, some of the greatest treasures are from small independent labels or private one-off recordings.
These private recordings were often made by the choirmaster or enthusiastic amatures armed with a tape recorder.
Enjoy this private recording from the final evensong of St Michael's College, Tenbury on 14 July 1985. Stanford's Magnificat in G with treble soloist, Tobias Edwards.
The Archive also houses a major collection of Radio and TV broadcasts; such as BBC Choral Evensongs, Services, Concerts and Documentaries.
These broadcasts are of national historical importance as they give a unique snapshot of a choir at that particular moment in time.
An extensive collection of commerial DVDs, together with Film, Radio & TV based dramas, are also held in the Archive.A
Can you help preserve our recorded heritage?
Please do get in touch if you have any recordings of interest, either to donate or loan briefly for digitzing.
Whatever the format, whether 78s; reel-to-reel or cassette tapes; mini-discs; LPs and CDs, together with VHS & Betamax video and DVDs, I have the facilities to play and digitze. Private recordings in all formats together with radio & TV broadcasts are of particular interest.
Arthur Martin choir, Belfast, 1953
Rehearsing Britten's 'The Little Sweep'
Deal Royal Marine Chapel Choir, 1940
Choir with the Marine 'Band Boys'
Chelsea Barracks Chapel, 1936
Four choristers who have just met the King
Eastney Royal Marine Artillery Church, 1920
Shoreditch Cottage Home Chapel Choir, 1911
A boys' orphanage
Portsmouth Royal Garrison Church, 1911
Plymouth Devenport Dockyard Chapel Choir, 1941
Photographed with Vice Admiral Dowding
Matlock St Andrew's Boys' Home Chapel, 1904
Farrington Church Farm House School Chapel 1940
The school prepared boys in the hope of gaining a scholarship to a cathedral school
Berkshire Boys choir, 1978
Together with Christ's Hospital Chapel Choir at Glyndeboure
London Lincoln's Inn Chapel, 1930
One of the four Inns of Court to which barristers are called, and at this time, Lincoln's & Gray's Inn both had a chapel choir. Both these choirs and the Temple church shared a choir school.
St Paul's Cathedral Sunday Evening choir, 1967
Made up of choristers from other choirs to sing the Sunday choral evensong at St Paul's to allow their own choristers to have the night off.
London Lord Mayor's Boy' Players, 1934
At Paddington station meeting the Vienna Boys Choir who were on a singing trip to the UK.
London Cafe de Paris, 1954
Choristers from an unknown church singing carols in the Cafe de Paris.
The Library & Photographic collection compliments the Sound Archives and is a repository of everything related to recordings, choirs and church music in general, dating from 1849 to the present day.
Read more about the
Library Archive and also enjoy a selection from the many 1000s of historical photos, together with some fascinating Newsreels, by visiting the
Photo & Newsreel gallery.
Should you have an hour to spare, please join me on a journey through a century of recorded church music.
This video presentation contains many rare and private recordings which are matched with archive photographs, together with my spoken commentary.
What other have said about my presentation: '"A masterpiece ..... a triumph ....totally engrossing ....a tour de force ....the most enjoyable hour I have spend in a very long time ....I could barely tear myelf away"