About The Digital Archives


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February 19, 2015
Contact: Katherine E. Johnson
(212) 875-5718; johnsonk@nyphil.org


FOURTH RELEASE of Material in a Multi-Year Project

13,300 Printed Concert Programs from 1842–Present Now Available;
Current Programs To Be Posted Online Every Concert Week

New York Philharmonic Becomes the First Major Symphony Orchestra To
Provide Open Access to Its Performance History Data
for Research and Application Development

Performance History Search Now Linked with Digital Archives

The fourth release of material in the New York Philharmonic Leon Levy Digital Archives — the multiyear initiative to digitize the Orchestra's extensive archives, funded by the Leon Levy Foundation — has been completed, with all existing Philharmonic printed programs, from the first concert in 1842 to the present, now available online, and current printed programs being added every concert week. The New York Philharmonic has also now become the first major symphony orchestra to provide open access to its performance history data. This unprecedented open access will be a resource for scholars, developers, and the public, allowing for new forms of research and application development utilizing the Philharmonic's performance history — the longest running collection of data on classical music in the United States. In addition, the Philharmonic's online Performance History Search has been enhanced and linked with printed programs in the Digital Archives to provide immediate access to the physical item when searching for a performance. The New York Philharmonic Leon Levy Digital Archives are available at archives.nyphil.org.

Free access to an additional 170,000 pages of materials is now available online. This includes 10,000 printed programs that have been added, yielding a total of 13,300 programs from the Orchestra's founding, in 1842, to the present. Among the printed programs newly available are those from the 1865 memorial concert for Abraham Lincoln; the 1893 World Premiere of Dvorák's Symphony No. 9, From the New World; the 1928 World Premiere of Gershwin's An American in Paris, with program notes by the composer; the concert that took place on December 7, 1941, Pearl Harbor Day; for the free downtown chamber concerts given after 9/11 for those working near the ruins of the World Trade Center; and from the Philharmonic's national and international tours, including Toscanini's 1930 European Tour and the 2008 tour to Pyongyang, D.P.R.K., led by then Music Director Lorin Maazel.

Modeled after efforts in the museum world, particularly those of the Cooper-Hewitt and the Tate Modern, the Philharmonic will be the first major symphony orchestra to join the open data movement with its long-running performance history. The underlying dataset will be made available on Github, a common tool for open source collaboration, under the Creative Commons Public Domain license. This will make once-proprietary data freely available to users, who are then able to manipulate and reuse the data for purposes ranging from scholarship to artwork to the creation of new apps. In addition, the Philharmonic Archives has added a Zotero interface to the site, which automatically generates authorized citations for scholarly use, thereby facilitating wider use of the Philharmonic Archives in books, dissertations, and other scholarly materials.

The Philharmonic's Performance History Search has also been enhanced, through the expertise of Technical Services Group (TSG), to allow searches of all facets of concerts which are part of the Orchestra's history. Containing information on approximately 20,000 concerts, the dataset goes back to the founding of the New York Philharmonic and also includes performances by ensembles that subsequently merged with the Orchestra, including the New York Symphony (1878–1928) and the New/National Symphony (1919–21), as well as the Stadium Concerts, which served as the Philharmonic's summer home, 1922–64. The search fields — which include date, location, composer/work, conductor, and soloist — now link directly with the related digitized printed programs in the Digital Archives.

Also now available in the Digital Archives is the Philharmonic subscriber database, which was developed by a team of Columbia University sociologists, headed by Dr. Shamus Khan with funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. This database contains the names, addresses, and seat locations for Philharmonic subscribers dating back to the 19th century. Under Dr. Khan's leadership the team will analyze the relationship between the audience members' seat locations, on specific concert dates in various concert halls and where they lived. (To protect privacy, post-1953 subscriber names will not be searchable.) The resulting subscriber database, which will be maintained by the Philharmonic Archives and consists of 554,000 records dating back to the 19th century, will be available through the Leon Levy Digital Archives.

"The Archives receives so many requests for printed programs and performance history reports, that it seemed like an obvious choice to digitize the entire collection of programs and link them to the Performance history database," said New York Philharmonic Archivist / Historian Barbara Haws. "The New York Philharmonic has performed more concerts than any other symphony orchestra in the world, as confirmed by the Guinness Book of World Records, so this collection of programs and our concert database is the largest in the world. Beyond their value as a record of our performance history, the programs — which include notes, libretti, artist biographies, and even advertisements — can evoke a time that is long gone. This release not only allows access to the performances themselves, but provides insights into social mores as well as a cultural context for historical events, ranging from the mundane to the momentous."

"The New York Philharmonic has long been recognized worldwide as a pre-eminent artistic resource, through both our concerts and educational programs," said President Matthew VanBesien. "The evolution of the Leon Levy Digital Archives — especially the current update, which openly shares our incomparable databases — underscores the Philharmonic's larger potential for music and history scholars, musicians, and the public to better understand the ways in which art and culture both reflect and transform society. Thanks to the generosity and steadfast support of the Leon Levy Foundation, this project has made it possible for tens of thousands of music lovers and researchers around the world now have unprecedented access to our unparalleled history."

About the New York Philharmonic Leon Levy Digital Archives

The New York Philharmonic Leon Levy Digital Archives was launched in February 2011, and currently comprises more than 1.3 million pages, including 3,236 printed programs, marked conducting scores, business documents, and photographs. When completed, the online collection will contain every document in the New York Philharmonic Archives from 1842 through 1970, more than 3 million pages — including correspondence, marked scores and parts, contracts, and minutes from meetings of the Board of Directors — as well as all public documents from 1970 through today, including marketing materials, press releases, and annual reports.

Since its launch Digital Archives, available online at archives.nyphil.org, has generated more than 400,000 unique visitors from more than 175 countries, resulting in 2,800,000 page views, with usage growing more than five-fold from the launch, achieving an average of 5,500 hits per week. Of those 400,000 unique visitors, 75,000 researchers have returned to the site ten or more times; of those, 12,000 individuals have used the New York Philharmonic Leon Levy Digital Archives more than 200 times. This magnitude of research would not be possible without the digital availability of the material, as there would be no way to physically accommodate so many interested researchers.

Current material available in the Digital Archives includes:
  • 1,767 scores marked by Leonard Bernstein, Andre Kostelanetz, and others
  • 16,018 music parts marked by Philharmonic musicians
  • 13,311 printed programs
  • 4,079 business and planning folders
  • 16,375 photographs and images

All documents and the photographs themselves have been photographed — not scanned — by Ardon Bar Hama and his team using innovative and advanced techniques to achieve the highest quality. The images are managed in Alfresco, an open-source digital asset management system configured by a team of developers led by Ray Wijangco of Technology Services Group (TSG) in coordination with the Philharmonic's Digital Archives team headed by Digital Archivist/Project Manager Mitchell Brodsky.

The New York Philharmonic Archives, the oldest and most comprehensive collection of any symphony orchestra, contains approximately six million pages that date back to its founding in 1842, with holdings that include correspondence, business records, orchestral scores and parts, photographs, concert programs, and newspaper clippings, as well as concert and broadcast recordings dating from the 1920s.

The International Era, 1943-1970

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The Archives collections contain material that dates back to the Philharmonic's first concert in 1842, but the first phase of our digitization begins in the middle of this long history. In deciding where to begin with our digitization project, we held a roundtable discussion that included librarians, historians, musicians, conductors, journalists, and students to evaluate the different time periods in the Philharmonic's history and to determine what might provide the most unique source material.

The International Era was selected for several reasons. It is the time when the United States becomes a world power and New York City its cultural capital; when the New York Philharmonic emerges as a worldwide symbol of this new cultural position. In the broader social and civic realm, it is when Government begins funding the arts, when women join the Orchestra, when the Philharmonic opens Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, when the Orchestra musicians win 52-week contracts, when television becomes main stream and the Long Playing record is invented, and it is the time of Leonard Bernstein's leadership.

It is the time period with the greatest variety of formats for the Digital Archives to test our assumptions about cross-searching; scores, programs, press clippings, business documents, images, film, audio and video. Although the audio and video items are now only a sample, we are developing a long-term strategy for this material to be available in the not-so-distant future.

By 2012 all of the archival material from 1943 through 1970, from the letters of Presidents to the smallest scrap of paper, will be available in the Digital Archives - 1.3 million pages.

Printed Music Collections

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The New York Philharmonic Digital Archives houses multiple score and part collections, including those of Leonard Bernstein and Andre Kostelanetz as well as the oldest items of the Philharmonic's own music library which dates back to the founding of the Orchestra in 1842. The Bernstein and Kostelanetz collections are the complete libraries of those conductors donated to the New York Philharmonic after their deaths. They include not only orchestral scores and parts, but also chamber music, vocal, piano, and miniature study scores. All items from these collections that are significantly marked by the conductor are available online; unmarked parts are not included in the digitization project. Materials available from the Philharmonic's own music library include some of the earliest acquisitions to the library — a collection that has remained intact since its founding in 1842. It includes many rare and first edition scores acquired during the 19th century, most used by many different conductors and musicians, reflecting a performance history that spans multiple decades.

A Word About Our Sponsor: The Leon Levy Foundation

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The Leon Levy Foundation, through its archives and catalogues program, helps arts and humanities institutions preserve, use and make available important records, manuscripts, letters, photographs and other historical materials in their archives and store rooms, with the ultimate goal of promoting advanced scholarship and expanding knowledge. Since its start in 2007, the Leon Levy Archives Grant program has awarded more than $12 million to 25 institutions.

Our Partners

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The Philharmonic did not work alone in its effort to digitize its holdings. We had help from individuals and organizations, among whom are:

  • Photography and Digitization by

    Ardon Bar-Hama

  • Content Management Solution provided by

    Alfresco Software

  • Systems Architecture and Administration by

    William Lavary

  • Software Development and Support by

    Todd Pierzina and Gautam Amin, Technology Services Group

We are incredibly indebted to those who have worked on this project:
Mitchell Brodsky (Project Manager), Barbara Haws (Archivist and Historian), Richard Wandel (Associate Archivist), Adrian Cosentini (Audio Preservation Specialist), Elizabeth Lee, Elizabeth Cahill, Steve Parkey, Gabryel Smith, Jacqueline Waters, Patricia Taitt, Douglas Gibson, Nan Wakefield, Daniel Batchelder, Livingston Ordway, Grayson Sanders, Stephanie Allison, Rebecca Vendemo, Erika Lang, Minnie Muzquiz, E.J. Markland, Amanda Schuster, David Schuster, Claire Bridley, Chan Cheung, Eric Seligman, John Bence, Britney Boras, Emily Balsamo, Josseline Charas, Lin Barton, Damon Sfetsios, Elise Duryee-Browner, Lily Benson

Rights and Permissions

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The documents in the Digital Archives are for study and research only. They cannot be downloaded or copied. To the extent that any items remain in copyright, that copyright is still protected. If you would like to use any of the material for any other purpose please contact the New York Philharmonic Archives about permissions or the publisher of a particular score. The list of publishers and their contact information is below. For rights to reproduce the conductors marking contact the Philharmonic.

Akademische Druck-u. Verlagsanstalt
A-8010 Graz, Radetzkystraße 6
Alphonse Leduc
175, rue Saint-Honoré
75040 PARIS cedex 01
  • Editions Bornemann
Bärenreiter-Verlag Kassel / Alkor Edition Kassel GmbH
Heinrich-Schütz-Allee 35
34131 Kassel
Belwin-Mills Publishing Corp. (see Schott, above)
c/o Alfred Publishing Company
PO Box 10003
Van Nuys, CA 91410
Boelke-Bomart/Mobart Music Publishers
c/o Music Associates of America
224 King Street
Englewood, NJ 07631
C.C Birchard and Company
Summy Birchard Inc.
15800 N.W. 48th Avenue
Miami, FL 33014
Boosey & Hawkes Music Publishers Limited
Aldwych House
71-91 Aldwych
London, WC2B 4HN

Boosey & Hawkes, Inc.
229 West 28 St, Floor 11
New York, NY 10001
  • N. Simrock
  • Bote & Bock
  • Gutheil Editions
  • Lauterback & Kuhn
Breitkopf & Härtel KG
Walkmühlstraße 52
65195 Wiesbaden
  • Carl Simon
Max Brockhaus
Weingärtenstraße 2
53424 Remagen-Rolandswerth
Broude Brothers Limited
141 White Oaks Road
Williamstown MA 01267-0547
  • Broude Brothers Ltd.
  • Broude International Editions, Inc.
  • Broude Trust for the Publication of Musicological Editions
  • Performers' Editions
  • Rongwen Music
Carl Fischer Music
65 Bleecker Street
New York, NY 10012
Casa Musicale Sonzogno
Via Bigli, 11
20121 Milano - Italy
C.F. Peters Corporation
70-30 80th Street
Glendale NY 11385
  • J. Rieter-Biedermann
Doblinger Verlag
Musikverlag Doblinger
Dorotheerg. 10
A-1010 WIEN
Durand-Salabert-Eschig (Durand & Cie)
16 rue des Fossés Saint-Jacques
75005 Paris
  • Editions Durand
  • Editions Salabert
  • Editions Eschig
  • Editions Amphion
  • Editions Ricordi Paris
Enoch & Cie
193, boulevard Pereire
75017 PARIS
Faber Music Ltd.
Bloomsbury House
74-77 Great Russell Street
London WC1B 3DA
Gehrmans Forlag
Box 42026, 126 12 STOCKHOLM
Edition Wilhelm Hansen AS
Bornholmsgade 1A
1266 København K
Liebigstraße 16 D 26389 Wilhelmshaven
G. Henle Verlag
Forstenrieder Allee 122
D-81476 München

G. Henle USA, Inc
1897 Craig Road
St. Louis, MO 63146 USA
Friedrich Hofmeister
Büttnerstr. 10
04103 Leipzig
International Music Company
5 West 37th Street
New York, NY 10018
Editions Jobert & Cie.
27 boulevard Beaumarchais
F-75004 PARIS - France
2/46 Bolshaya Sadovaya St
Moscow 123001
Edwin F. Kalmus & Co., Inc.
PO Box 5011
Boca Raton, FL 33431
Luck's Music Library
32300 Edward
Madison Heights, MI 48071
Edward B. Marks Music Company
126 East 38th Street
New York, NY 10016
Chester Novello
14-15 Berners Street
G. Schirmer / AMP
257 Park Avenue South, 20th Floor
New York, NY 10010
  • Associated Music Publishers
  • Chester Music LTD
  • Edition Choudens
  • Novello & Co LTD
  • Edition Wilhelm Hansen
  • G. Schirmer (Australia) Pty Limited
  • Union Musical Ediciones
Peters Edition Limited
Hinrichsen House
2-6 Baches Street
London N1 6DN
United Kingdom
  • Henri Litolff's Verlag (1940)
  • M.P. Belaieff (1971)
  • Edition Schwann (1974)
  • C.F. Kahnt (1989)
Ricordi (see Durand-Salabert-Eschig, above)
Via della Spiga, 2
20121 Milano
G. Ricordi & Co. (London) Ltd.
20 Fulham Broadway
London SW6 1AH
United Kingdom
Ries & Erler
Inh.: Andreas Meurer
Wandalenallee 8
D-14052 Berlin
Weihergarten 5
D-55116 Mainz
  • Ars Viva Verlag
  • B. Schott's Söhne (Mainz)
  • Bärenreiter Music Corporation
  • Belwin-Mills Publishing Corp. (performance catalog)
  • Deutscher Verlag für Musik (performance catalog)
  • Edition Foetisch Frere (performance catalog)
  • Eulenburg Miniature Scores
  • European American Music Corp. (performance catalog)
  • Fox Music, Inc.
  • Glocken Verlag (performance catalog)
  • Haydn-Mozart Presse
  • Helicon Music Corporation (performance catalog)
  • Musik Hug AG (Switzerland) (performance catalog)
  • Lawson-Gould Music Publishers (performance catalog)
  • MOECK Verlag (performance catalog)
  • Philharmonia Pocket Scores
  • Schott & Company, Ltd. (London)
  • Schott Fréres (Brussels)
  • Schott Japan
  • Schott Music Corporation
  • Schott Musik International (performance catalog)
  • Universal Edition (performance catalog)
  • Universal Music Publishing Group (performance catalog)
  • Wiener Urtext Edition
  • Warner / Chappell Rental Library (performance catalog)
  • Zen-on (performance catalog)
Universal Edition Aktiengesellschaft
Karlsplatz 6
A-1010 Vienna
  • Joseph Aibl
Universal Music Publishing Group
2100 Colorado Avenue
Santa Monica, CA 90404
Warner/Chappell Music
10585 Santa Monica Boulevard
Los Angeles, Ca 90025-4950
  • Arthur P. Schmidt
Josef Weinberger, Ltd.
12-14 Mortimer Street
London W1T 3JJ
Edizioni Suvini Zerboni part of the Sugarmusic Group
Galleria del Corso, 4
20122 Milano


Photograph Copyright Holder Contact Information

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Marianne Barcellona
749 West End Ave, Apt. 8B
New York, NY 10025

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