Louise Hanson-Dyer Music Library: Rare Collections, University of Melbourne

The University of Melbourne's music library is named after Louise Hanson-Dyer (1884-1962), the Melbourne-born music philanthropist and one of the world's most renowned publishers of scholarly musical editions.

Collections

The Rare Collections of the Louise Hanson-Dyer Music Library are diverse in both content and origin. Though the Conservatorium of Music at the University of Melbourne was founded in 1891, there was no library at all until 1908, and for many years members of the teaching staff provided music for their students ad hoc. Some of these items are still with the library, augmented by numerous donations and purchases over the past century.

The manuscripts are chiefly of works by Australian composers from the colonial period to the present day, while the printed music includes many early and rare editions of European composers from Corelli to Stravinsky. Among both the musical scores and the smaller collection of books on musical topics there are many unusual and obscure items.

A highlight of the collections are the 245 scores, librettos and theoretical tracts dating from the late 15th to early 19th centuries, collected by Louise Hanson-Dyer from 1929 to 1931. These form part of Hanson-Dyer's generous bequest to the University of Melbourne.