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The Peabody Archives
The Peabody Archives maintains the records of the Institute and more than 200 special collections. The Archives collects, preserves, describes, and makes available rare materials concerning the musical activities of the Peabody community and the Baltimore area.
The Archives and the Filby Rare Book Room are open Monday through Friday, 10:00 to 4:30. For use of the collections, please make an appointment with the archivist, Matt Testa, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 667-208-6661.
Many items from the Peabody Archives are available electronically through the library's digital collections.
The P. William and Vera Ruth Filby Rare Book Room
The Rare Book Room in the Friedheim Library was established by a generous gift of P. William and Vera Ruth Filby in 1989. Located on the second level of the music library, the Filby Rare Book Room houses over 1,000 volumes, including music scores, manuscripts, personal papers, and books on music dating from the 16th century.
The earliest acquisitions of the rare book collection came from purchases made on behalf of the original Peabody Academy of Music in the 1860s and 1870s. Asger Hamerik, Peabody's director and conductor of the Peabody Orchestra from 1868 to 1895, purchased an extensive collection of early and mid 19th-century works for orchestra by Liszt, Chopin, Spohr, and Hamerik's teacher, Hector Berlioz. These scores and sets of orchestral parts were used by the orchestra until the middle of the 20th century, when they became the nucleus of the Rare Book Collection. Other purchases included first and early editions of the pioneering music histories of Burney, Hawkins, Forkel and Martini and 17th- and 18th-century treatises by Buonanni, Kircher, Tartini, Rameau, and Leopold Mozart. Among the composers whose works are most strongly represented are Handel, Beethoven, Liszt, Rossini, Dussek, Onslow, and Thalberg. The collection also boasts distinguished holdings of manuscript letters, including those of Beethoven, Brahms, Gounod, Grieg, Liszt, Richard Strauss, and Wagner.
P. William and Vera Ruth Filby's connection with the Peabody Institute has been both a longstanding and devoted one. William was the Reference Librarian and Assistant Director of the George Peabody Library from 1957 to 1965 before spending thirteen years at the Maryland Historical Society, the last six as its director. In addition to their gift of the Filby Rare Book Room, the Filbys established the Conservatory's P. William and Vera Ruth Filby Scholarship Fund in 1987.