19th-century London Concert Life (1815–1895)

More than ten years ago, Cowgill, Bashford, and McVeigh created a database of 19th-century London concerts based on newspaper and magazine notices. The initial capture was by a team of research assistants as part of an AHRC-funded project, creating a structured database of the source documents. This in itself has proved a valuable research resource for the academic partners; however, the next phase of data curation and analysis – including the creation of a public interface – was not completed due to a combination of technological and professional constraints. A particular problem has been that a large expert time commitment was required to finish the curation process before the musicological questions concerning the historical and social development of 19th-century music could be addressed. This was exacerbated by the relational database technology available at the time. An important aim of this project is to break this bottleneck, in particular relaxing the constraint for a complete authoritative curation (data-cleaning, validation, and matching) before musicological analysis and enquiry can be started. A portion of this dataset pertaining to the Wigmore Hall has been fully processed as a pilot, and so can act as an exemplar at a different stage of processing.

Towards a Collaborative Digital Archive of Musical Ephemera