Papers of Edith Harrhy (1903-1971)
- 1.4 metres (10 boxes and 7 folios)
- Available for reference
The papers were donated to the National Library by Harrhy's daughter Mrs
Honor Coutts in several instalments between 1971 and 1995. Papers were
purchased by the Library from Mrs Coutts in 1997. This collection
incorporates papers which were previously held at MS 2949.
The papers are a good record of Harrhys life from her student days
at the Guildhall School of Music in London to her composing and performing
career in Australia. They include correspondence, personal documents,
manuscripts, programs, cuttings, photographs, research notes, and
manuscript music scores. The large number of music scores, mainly songs,
include The mallee root and the light operas, Alaya
and The jolly friar.
Also included are the research papers of Harrhys daughter, Honor
Coutts, assembled when writing the biography of her mother.
Edith Harrhy, singer, pianist, and composer of songs and light opera,
was born in London in December 1893. She studied at the Guildhall School
of Music in London from 1909 to 1913. She married an Australian, W.C.
Daly, in 1919, and later that year they settled in Melbourne. Harrhy gave
recitals and broadcasts throughout Australia and in New Guinea. From 1935
to 1952 she was associated with the National Theatre Movement in Melbourne
and was also musical director of the Gilbert and Sullivan Society, the
Lyric Light Opera Society, and other bodies. Her works include two light
operas, Alaya and The jolly Friar, and about 1000
songs, 200 of which were published. Harrhy died in Brisbane in 1969.
1 Students' reports from Guildhall School of Music, 1912-15
Address given by Nellie Melba, 1911
2 Autograph book and photographs.
3 Correspondence with William F. Morriss, 1966-72
1 Sepia photograph of Edith Harrhy
2-3 2 scrapbooks containing programs, music scores and newspaper cuttings
Addition February 1977
4-11 Alaya, music score
12-14 The jolly friar, music score
15-17 David and Myfanwy, music score
18 Baby asleep, music score
19 Lilly, music score
20 Mystery in the black forest, music score
21 Ballet suite for light orchestra, music score
22 The taming of the shrew, music score
23 Some Australian songs for children
Four songs of Australia
Two songs of the sea
Goblin Blues and others.
24 Trumpet Overture
25 Bass Overture (Bob Gibson and his band)
26 Christmas carols
27-32 Miscellaneous music scores
33 The dreamland tree, printed score
35 Miscellaneous printed scores
36 'Perhaps one day' lyrics only
37 Musical play (no title) lyrics only
4 The jolly friar, score
5-6 Lucky Lady, score
7 Miscellaneous scores
8 The sailor's wife, printed score
Addition April 1993
38 Photocopies of letters (1902-92), scores and newspaper clippings.
The correspondents are Peter Dawson and Joseph D. O'Connor and there
are copies of letters between Honor Coutts and Brian Wilkins.
Addition October 1995
39-41 154 letters to her husband Con Daly, 1918-19
Addition August 1997
The papers in this addition include papers of Mrs Honor Coutts, written
or assembled when she was writing a biography of her mother.
The papers include correspondence, personal documents, manuscripts,
programs, cuttings, photographs, research notes, the unpublished biography
of Harrhy, and manuscript music. Correspondents include Wilfrid Thomas,
Peter Dawson, Marjorie Lawrence, Sir Charles Moses, Dame Sybil Thorndike,
Conan Doyle, Joyce Grenfell and Felix Werder.
The Guildhall School of Music papers include letters to Harrhy (1909),
achievement certificates (1910-14), letters to Harrhy and Con Daly
(1918-19), typescripts by Harrhy on music in Australia, and issues of Guildhall
Music Student with articles by Harrhy.
The programs, mainly of performances by Harrhy as a pianist and singer,
also include some which feature her own compositions. The later programs
are of musical comedies and other productions which Harrhy directed.
The large quantity of manuscript sheet music, mostly songs, includes
files of music composed by Harrhy to words by Helen Dames, Sir William
Watson, Alexander Steven, Charles Souter and Will Foster.
42 Family letters, including pre-marriage letters from Con Daly, 1915-68
43 Letters from Wilfrid Thomas, 1932-92
Letters from Maureen Watson, wife of composer Sir William Watson, 1933
Letters from Jess Appleby, 1934-35, and letters from Vicky Appleby to Coutts,
44 General correspondence, 1918-95
45 Correspondence re biography of Harrhy, 1980-92
46 Personal papers, 1914-87. Includes an address book begun in 1914
Lists of published and unpublished works by Harrhy, 1921-66
47 Lily, a musical play in two acts (typescript)
48 No-mans island, a musical play in two acts, music by Edith Harrhy
Old Moores Almanac; Christmas Eve; A bushland fantasy (typescripts)
49 Manuscript and typescript poetry and prose
50 Contracts and a power of attorney, 1925-58
51 Papers relating to the Guildhall School of Music, 1909-31
52-54 Newspaper cuttings and photocopies or typescripts of newspaper articles,
55 Programs, 1910-67
56-57 Research material of Honor Coutts, including notes on Harrhy family and
typescript copies of newspaper articles used in the biography
58 Manuscript of Edith Harrhy musician extraordinaire: a personal memoir by
her daughter, Honor.
59 Photographs, mainly family, most in poor condition
Manuscript music scores (1 box)
1 Portrait of Edith Harrhy
4-7 Music scores
Compiled November 1995. Revised December 1997. Amended July 2006.