Concert Programme Exchange (1901–1914)

The Konzertprogramm Austausch (‘Concert Programme Exchange’) series was pioneered by the Leipzig publisher Breitkopf & Härtel ostensibly as a means to promote current awareness of concert repertories via the circulation of printed concert programmes among musical organisations in Europe, Scandinavia, Russia, and the Americas. Copies of the original flyers and booklets supplied by up to 400 participants (ensembles, venues, and music conservatoires) were despatched by Breitkopf to participants on a periodical basis, thereby supporting the publisher’s global ambition by creating a network to facilitate the dissemination of information and to help promote customer loyalty. A set of ca. 12,000 programmes from the series held by the British Library was recently digitised for Gale Cengage’s Nineteenth-Century Collections Online portal. The raw data captured via OCR offers a critical mass of information for interrogating a multifaceted range of research questions concerning musical life in the period 1901 to 1914. Permission has been granted under the terms of the BL’s contract with Gale Cengage to analyse the OCR data and to perform data-matching with a view to presenting the results as linked data.

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