Mechanical Music


The Library of Mechanical Music & Horology is a privately-funded research and reference resource comprising books, printed ephemera, photographs and sound recordings of all types of mechanical musical instrument and the music performed by such pieces. It also holds file copies of the majority of periodicals published on mechanical music and horology throughout the world.

The Collection owes its origins to the work of Lieut.-Col James Ord-Hume, the composer and musicologist, who first began amassing material around 1910.

Until 1990 it was solely owned as a private collection by musicologist and historian Arthur W J G Ord-Hume but it is now operated as a Research Foundation Trust.

Initially The Library focussed on performing music and musical theory but since 1951 it has increasingly concentrated on the instruments of mechanical music and is today a world-recognised source of information on these subjects and is consulted by museums and researchers from all over the globe. Guidance is give on preservation, restoration and conservation techniques.

Director and Senior Archivist for the Trustees is Arthur W J G Ord-Hume under whose guidance the collection has blossomed since its reorganisation in 1952.

The Aviation Archive is a collection of historic photographs and printed ephemera devoted to the development of British-built aircraft and British aviation technology. The period that is most extensively covered is between the end of the nineteenth century and 1970.

The seeds of the Archive were sewn in 1924 by the late Arthur W Ord-Hume (1900-1957) and, since 1946, has been operated as a major reference source by Arthur W J G Ord-Hume who today is the Director and Senior Archivist.

While specifically aimed at recording the growth and development of the British civil flying and the civilian light aeroplane, it is also concentrates on specific aspects, these being amateur-built aircraft, club, sporting and private-owner aircraft and the technical development of airframe and engine technology. Separate divisions chronicle the development of the seaplane, amphibian and flying-boat, while a further section covers inter-War British-built commercial transport aircraft. There is a related Royal Flying Corps/Royal Air Force section devoted to military aircraft.

An extensive reference library is maintained relative to the period on which The Aviation Archive is focussed.



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