The collection consists of around 2500 Victorian sheet music covers, illustrating virtually every aspect of Victorian life, culture and preoccupations. Around 150 are complete scores. The collection also documents the development of colour printing by lithography, complementing amongst others, the Baron Collection.
Around 800 of the covers have been digitised through JIDI (JISC Image Digitisation Initiative) and are available via the Visual Arts Data Service (VADS).
The collection was donated to the Library in 1994 by Mr and Mrs Sidney Spellman of Highgate. 300 items concerned with opera and ballet were presented to the Royal Opera House.
One of the music covers from the collection, 'Song of the Perfect Cure', is currently being featured on the VADS website blog.
- Some of the complete scores are fully catalogued and appear on Enterprise
- Search VADS for images of items in this collection
- A full description is available from the Visual Arts Data Service (VADS)
- Spellman, D. and S. Victorian music covers. London : Evelyn, Adams & Mackay, 1969. (Special Collections Reference 769.5-SPE)
- A handlist (PDF) of the Spellman music covers on the VADS website is available.