About The Digital Archives


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February 5, 2014
Contact: Katherine E. Johnson
(212) 875-5718; johnsonk@nyphil.org


New York Philharmonic Receives $2.4 Million Grant from Leon Levy Foundation
To Complete Digitization of the Orchestra's Archives

1.4 Million Pages To Be Added to Existing Digital Archives, Also Made Possible by the Leon Levy Foundation

All Material from New York Philharmonic's Inaugural Season, 1842–43, Now Available Online

The New York Philharmonic has received a $2.4 million grant from the Leon Levy Foundation to complete the digitization of its extensive Archives, beginning with its founding in 1842 through the present day. The grant builds on previous funding from the Leon Levy Foundation — now totaling $5 million since 2007 — which funded the digitization of the 1.3 million pages currently available. When completed, the New York Philharmonic Leon Levy Digital Archives will contain almost 3 million pages comprising all documents in the New York Philharmonic Archives — including correspondence, marked scores and parts, contracts, and Board minutes — from 1842 through 1970, as well as all public documents — including marketing materials, press releases, and annual reports — from 1970 through today. The Digital Archives' infrastructure will also be modified to integrate born-digital documents created today, as well as additional technological enhancements. Launched in February 2011, the Digital Archives currently includes historic material from 1943—70 including programs, marked scores and orchestral parts, business documents, photos, and more. The completion of the New York Philharmonic Leon Levy Digital Archives will create one of the world's most comprehensive online collections documenting a single cultural institution, as well as provide the structure for growth into the future.

Coinciding with the announcement of the grant, the New York Philharmonic Leon Levy Digital Archives has made available the complete collection of materials from its inaugural season, 1842–43. Highlights include the first annual report detailing the Orchestra's finances from the inaugural season, consisting of three concerts, and the contents of its orchestra library (27 items); the printed program from the Orchestra's inaugural concert; the first-edition score of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony used in the inaugural concert; the New York Philharmonic's constitution, signed in April 1842; the list of audience members who subscribed to the inaugural season; an early concert review from The Albion; and photographs of founding Music Director Ureli Corelli Hill.

The grant will also support technological enhancements to the Digital Archives such as the development of a mobile-friendly framework; transcriptions of 19th-century handwritten material presented side-by-side with the originals; full-text search within documents through optical character recognition (OCR); a new document viewer that will accommodate large pages of press-clipping scrapbooks; and personalized shopping carts that will allow researchers to save their search results, supporting long-term study. In addition, open application access to the metadata (API) will allow developers to generate apps using the data, thereby enabling Philharmonic data to link with other archives, digital humanities researchers, and app developers.

The next release of material will include the Philharmonic's printed programs from 1842 through the present day, expected to be available by the end of 2014. Highlights of future materials to be digitized include the only known copies of the first editions of Berlioz's Benvenuto Cellini and Les Francs-juges Overtures and Wagner's Rienzi Overture; scores of Bruckner's Fourth Symphony marked by Gustav Mahler and Beethoven's Symphony No. 7 used by Mahler and Arturo Toscanini; the original English-language choral parts used at the 1846 U.S. Premiere of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony; the manuscript parts created for the 1893 World Premiere of Dvořák's New World Symphony; and correspondence with Mahler, Theodore Thomas, Toscanini, Berlioz, Mendelssohn, and Brahms, among others.

"The New York Philharmonic Leon Levy Digital Archives would not have been possible without the generosity, trust, and partnership of Shelby White and the Leon Levy Foundation," said New York Philharmonic Executive Director Matthew VanBesien. "Since its initial launch, the Digital Archives has demonstrated that it is the perfect manifestation of the way that this Orchestra can serve as a rich and irreplaceable resource for the world. This project both preserves the Philharmonic's vaunted legacy and ensures that we are able to document its future. The Leon Levy Foundation understands that the history of this great Orchestra sheds light on cultural and civic history, and that the digital presentation of the Philharmonic's continuing legacy will offer future scholars, musicians, and music lovers much to discover. I thank them for their belief in the New York Philharmonic's cultural role for the last 172 years and into the future."

"These archives are part, not only of the history of the Philharmonic, but also of the culture of New York City," said Shelby White, Founding Trustee of the Leon Levy Foundation. "The response of the public since 2011 has confirmed the importance of the project, and providing access to the Philharmonic's entire history will make it immeasurably more valuable for research. The Leon Levy Foundation is proud to support it."

"There are few organizations that could justify preserving the level of detail that the New York Philharmonic does," said New York Philharmonic Archivist/Historian Barbara Haws. "The history of the New York Philharmonic — a world-class entity, reflecting the power of its hometown, and known for attracting great artists and leaders over a long time span — provides a window through which our culture can be explored and examined. Recognizing that the Philharmonic's rich tradition is ongoing, the Leon Levy Foundation has generously guaranteed global access to this amazingly long narrative for generations to come. With great foresight, the Leon Levy Foundation has kept in mind future generations: just as scholars today research our history from 1864 or 1964, scholars in 2064 will be able to study Philharmonic documents being created today, allowing an evaluation and celebration of a continuous run of history far into the future."

About the New York Philharmonic Leon Levy Digital Archives

Since its launch in February 2011, the newly named New York Philharmonic Leon Levy Digital Archives, available online at archives.nyphil.org, has generated more than 250,000 unique visitors from more than 175 countries, resulting in 1,695,000 page views, with usage growing more than five-fold from the launch, achieving an average of 5,500 hits per week. Of those 250,000 unique visitors, 62,900 researchers have returned to the site ten or more times; of those, 11,044 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:
  • 1,781 scores marked by Leonard Bernstein, Andre Kostelanetz, and others
  • 15,896 music parts marked by Philharmonic musicians
  • 3,235 printed programs, 1943—70
  • 4,069 business and planning folders
  • 16,339 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 Mitch 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