IDEAMA and Richard Purvis Collections

June 11, 2015
Edgard Varese

The Archive of Recorded Sound has recently processed two notable collections, covering very different musical genres. 

IDEAMA Collection (ARS.0164)

IDEAMA (International Digital Electroacoustic Music Archive) was founded in 1990 to identify and preserve important and endangered compositions from the early years of electroacoustic music (works to circa 1970). The Stanford Center for Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA) was a co-collaborator on the project with the Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnolgie (ZKM) in Karlsruhe, Germany. CCRMA's involvement ended in 1996 and this collection came to ARS from CCRMA. A target collection of 570 works transferred to digital format was completed in 1997. Significant composers include John Cage, Edgard Varèse (pictured above), Milton Babbitt, Charles Wuorinen, Steve Reich, Max Mathews, and Tōru Takemitsu. The IDEAMA collection consists of sound recordings on CD-R transferred from original master tapes, as well as a few master open reel tapes, DATs, and audiocassettes. The IDEAMA database is represented by 95 CD-ROMs and a set of 3 1/2" computer disks. One box contains documentation related to the project, as well as other documents not related to IDEAMA, most likely held by Max Mathews, IDEAMA's Principal Investigator.

Richard Purvis Collection (ARS.0165)

The Richard Purvis Collection contains original music manuscripts for organ, piano, and choral works composed by Richard Purvis (1913-1994), both published and unpublished, as well as his personal collection of printed music scores for organ, piano, duet music, and choral works by various composers. Many of the music manuscripts and scores have markings and notations made by Purvis during his career as organist at San Francisco's Grace Cathedral (1947-1971) and as a performer in other venues. Among the many composers represented in the collection are J. S. Bach, Ludwig van Beethoven, Johannes Brahms, Claude Debussy, César Franck, George Frideric Handel, Olivier Messiaen, and Maurice Ravel. The collection also contains photographs (some autographed) of Purvis, his family, and friends; correspondence, including letters and postcards; programs of his concerts; newspaper and magazine articles; and instructional materials related to his teaching.