The importance of the Utrecht Organ Archive

The Utrecht Organ Archive is devoted to historical information and documentation in the widest sense. The various types of records complement one another. Historical building specifications, drawings etc. supply fundamental information on the organs themselves; organ experts' archives offer information on the history of the instruments and on opinions regarding conservation, restoration, renewal and taste; newspaper cuttings, recital programmes, announcements and other documents illustrate the role of the organ in musical life and society at large.

The State Organ Adviser and other consultants make frequent use of the archive. The wide-ranging historical documentation in the Utrecht Organ Archive is often indispensable to the restoration of historic organs; the records also give an impression of the revival of traditional building and restoration skills from about 1950. A second group of visitors comprises organists, composers, publicists and others, who consult the archive for all sorts of forthcoming publications.

For musicology students of Utrecht University, the archive often provides the starting point for an essay or publication on an organ builder or a particular instrument.