Bill Triggs' Harry Reser Collection to be Archived
--=The Triggs RESER Archive=--
AT LAST I HAVE FOUND a resting place for the 1000-odd 78 rpm records, plus a few LPs and other bits of Reser memorabilia, which Bill Triggs had collected over the years. The entire collection will be lodged as a working archive with the University of Gloucester at Cheltenham. I've met the Head of Learning and Information Services (Ann Mathie) and the Chief Archivist (Lorna Scott) and they are both really keen on the project. They have already sounded out opinion within the university and have discovered solid enthusiasm for the idea, which fits in with another collection that they have of American Blues music.
The discs will all be re-recorded onto CD and DVD which will then become the reference material. The quality will be as high as possible, with electronic filtering of noise, imperfections in the surface of the discs, etc. This reference material will then be available for study. We have yet to sort out the copyright situation to see how widely the material will be available. There are recordings from other banjoists in the collection (I know Bill had material by di Pietro, Fillis and others), also a large amount of sheet music. We have to sort through this. The task has been made much easier by Bill's meticulous cataloguing of the collection and associated information, and by Sally O'Donoghue (Bill's step-daughter) who was putting the information onto computer when Bill died. Much of this information will also be made available. So, as far as is possible within the limits of legal constraints and the constraints of time and money, the items in the collection will be freely available for anyone to study. Ann Mathie already has people coming in to study other collections which the University of Gloucester has archived, and so will be looking forward to making Bill's collection available too. This has been my aim - to make this archive as widely available as possible. I am delighted to have achieved this aim!
So this calls for a little celebration, I think. And a celebration there will be, but not for a few months. We hope to move the collection before Christmas (sometime in early December - in an un-marked white van which will take a hitherto uncharted route through the lanes of Somerset and Gloucestershire in an effort to shake off the inevitable attempts at hi-jacking the collection.
We are taking advice from GCHQ, which you will remember is also located in Cheltenham. A local asset). The formal announcement of the new home of the collection will be made some time in the first few months of next year, probably to coincide with other events both within the University and the Cheltenham Festival. Because I fancy we should be having a concert of Reser's music, presented by some of the people who have kept it alive over the years.
The University will be able to provide funds to stage such a concert, which will be subsidised by the normal means of bums-on-seats. There will also be a special exhibition of related material (I shall be passing among you on a quest for short-term loans or gifts) and we hope to be able to show film excerpts and perhaps have an illustrated lecture on the music of the era and Reser's contribution to the development of the dance band. In fact, anything which Reser, as a practising musician, would have found relevant to his profession. It's taken me two years to get this far, but it has been well worth it. The University of Gloucester can now join Tulane University in the ranks of academic institutions which bring proper recognition and legitimacy to the banjo and its music.
Julian FV Vincent firstname.lastname@example.org
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