The history of the collection
The Ralph Vaughan Williams Collection of published books, scores and recordings was established in the late 1970s, after Surrey Libraries had collected a lot of material about this local composer over many years. The collection has grown since then with the acquisition of most of the subsequently published books on the composer, reprints of his own writings, new publications and edition of his scores, and many different recordings of his music on vinyl and compact disc. Additionally, local publications, programmes, cuttings, pictures and other materials have also been added.
About the collection
The collection is held at Ewell library and comprises around 70 books, 300 scores, 200 LP records, 250+ compact discs, and the Vaughan Williams Choral Archive (a comprehensive collection of his smaller choral works). Most of the items are available for loan directly from Ewell library or through any other branch of Surrey's libraries.
Most of the collection is listed on the Surrey Libraries catalogue, which is available online and in all branches of Surrey Libraries.
- 'Vaughan Williams manuscripts'. The majority of these are now held at the British Library, 96 Euston Road, London NW1 2DB. Tel: 020 7412 7751
- 'Vaughan Williams and folk song'. Information on Ralph Vaughan Williams as a collector and promoter of English folk dance and music is available at the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library, English Folk Dance and Song Society, Cecil Sharp House, 2 Regents Park Rd, London NW1 7AY. Tel: 020 7485 2206
- 'Vaughan Williams' Birthplace'. The Vicarage, Down Ampney, Gloucestershire, is not open to the public. However, a permanent display on Ralph Vaughan Williams' life and works is available in All Saints Church, Church Lane, Down Ampney GL7 5DB
- Leith Hill Place. Ralph Vaughan Williams' childhood home is owned by the National Trust. It is mainly open from April to November and visitors can enjoy tours, exhibitions, refreshments and events. Surrounding woodlands with walks are open all year.
- Leith Hill Musical Festival. This is held annually in the spring at the Dorking Halls (see below) and is a thriving choral competition festival that always includes at least one work by Ralph Vaughan Williams. Further details from: The Festival Secretary, 59 Eastwick Park Avenue, Great Bookham, Surrey KT23 3LZ. Tel: 01372 458811
- 'Statue and plaques'. The Dorking Halls, Reigate Road, Dorking, has a statue of Ralph Vaughan Williams outside and a plaque in the foyer. Saint Martin's Church in Dorking has another copy of the plaque in its porch.
For further information
The society was founded in 1994 with the aims of widening knowledge and encouraging performance of the composer's works. It publishes a magazine and its information officer can help answer enquiries.