Animals in the Archives

This week we’ve been celebrating Explore Your Archive week over on Twitter by posting stories, gems and facts from the Faculty of Music archives (go to our Twitter feed @JerwoodLib or browse the #ExploreArchives hashtag). Today, archivists around the world will be attempting to break the internet by displaying the animals in their collections. To kick off, here’s a photo of harpsichordist Christopher Wood with one of his (many) cats.

Christopher Wood with cat

From our Christopher Wood collection (where lots more cats may be found!)

When not cuddling his feline friends, Wood taught at Trinity College of Music (now the Faculty of Music) between 1947 and 1967.

Elsewhere in the archives are many music manuscripts inspired by animals. Another former TCM professor, Carey Blyton, wrote several animal songs including Sally the Pig from his book of nonsense songs Bananas in Pyjamas, Three Bird Songs for unison voices and piano, and The Owl for soprano, violin, clarinet, cello and piano. Also kept safe behind-the-scenes is the manuscript score to Who’s Who in the Zoo by Robert Sterndale Bennett (1880-1963). Rather more sinister is Stanley Black’s autograph score to the 1948 horror film Monkey’s Paw (probably best avoid that one if, like me, you’re a fan of our nearest animal relations).

Monkey's Paw

Poster for the 1933 film adaptation of W. W. Jacob’s 1902 short story Monkey’s Paw. Click on the image to read more about the book’s on-screen history.

Finally, we’ve created a gallery of music-related animal images from our friends over on Flickr Commons. Enjoy!


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