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The National Library holds several smaller archives of individual Australian composers, consisting of manuscripts of their works and published versions and some correspondence, biographical material or scrapbooks.
These archives give insights into the lives of composers working in the 20th century.
Major collections of composer's scores
Horace Keats (1895-1945) was a prolific songwriter of the 1930s and 1940s who set the works of many Australian poets to music. The Archive contains autographed music manuscripts (some of unpublished works) consisting of poems set to music, musicals, and piano or orchestral works. It also includes copies of songs by other composers made by Janet Keats, singer and wife of Horace Keats.
A. B. (Albert Bokhara) Saunders (1880-1946) was another prolific songwriter, writing under many pseudonyms (e.g. Clement Scott). It’s a collection of manuscript scores, biographical material and some newspaper cuttings. The archive illustrates the difficulties songwriters could encounter claiming authorship (and royalties) of works they wrote under a pseudonym.
George H. Clutsam (1866-1951) was a pianist (he was Dame Nellie Melba’s accompanist at one time) and composer who lived and worked overseas, chiefly London. He composed songs, operas and later musicals and film music. This archive consists of 50 unpublished autographed music manuscripts, comprising orchestral works and music for film and stage, piano, songs, etc.
Joseph Gillott (died 1939) was a British-born composer who was active in Australia around the time of Federation and wrote patriotic music on that theme and other Australian songs. The archive consists of printed and manuscript music (mainly songs and one musical) together with programs, correspondence and a scrapbook compiled by Joseph Gillott.
A collection of composer Gordon Kerry’s (born 1961) manuscript scores together with concert programs where his works were performed. The collection includes magazines and cuttings containing interviews with him or reviews of his works.
A collection of published scores (some photocopied) which belonged to Peter Sculthorpe (1929-2014). Some are composed by Sculthorpe; some are by composers who influenced his work and others are by his pupils (many are inscribed or dedicated to him). A related manuscript collection is ‘The Papers of Peter Sculthorpe’ which documents his career as one of Australia’s most distinguished composers.