Editions de l’Oiseau-Lyre Archive

Interior of EOL archive. Monaco.

In 2013, the music publisher Éditions de l’Oiseau-Lyre (Lyrebird Press), established by Louise Hanson-Dyer in 1932, closed and its archive came to the Louise Hanson-Dyer Music Library at the University of Melbourne, where it is now a part of the Rare Music collections.

Portrait of Louise Hanson-Dyer, ca 1930, by photographer Pierre Choumoff

The archive includes business records and correspondence, including letters from leading composers, artists and writers. There are also personal papers, Louise Hanson-Dyer’s memorabilia, her own library and some artworks. The archive features a “President’s Collection”, comprising one copy of almost every one of the Press’s print publications; a substantial collection of manuscript scores, many in the composer’s hand; and printed scores and performance parts. There are also 78 and 331/3 rpm audio recordings, publication proofs and press clippings.

The Editions de l’Oiseau-Lyre archive promises significant new insights into one of the twentieth-century’s most important music publishing houses and is an important resource for researchers.

Cataloguing the archive

Autograph music and correspondence by the French composer, Jacques Ibert (includes EOLA MU058)

Cataloguing of the collection is underway in a number of areas and will be discoverable as work on each series (or sub-collection) is complete or substantially complete. The first to be completed was “Music for performance and publication”, now available through the Library catalogue. Music manuscripts include those in the hands of Canteloube, Daniel-Lesur, Glanville-Hicks, Ibert, Ikonomov, Koechlin, Landré, Milhaud, Oubradous, Sauguet and Sutherland. You can view a description of the entire series and detailed catalogue records have been prepared for each of the 266 items.

Considerable progress has also been made in cataloguing Editions de l’Oiseau-Lyre’s reference library, with work on the “President's collection” and Louise Hanson-Dyer's personal library yet to be completed.

Composer Arthur Hoerée and artist Dora Meeson’s entries in a visitors’ book belonging to Louise Hanson-Dyer (EOLA VISI)

During the first half of 2016 an archivist worked intensively on the Editions de l’Oiseau-Lyre archive making detailed listings of fifteen series of records and re-housing much of the collection. These series include “Musicians’, writers’ and artists’ letters”, “Louise Hanson-Dyer photographs, artworks and memorabilia”, “Business records and personal papers of Louise Hanson-Dyer” and “Editorial and administrative records”; they have proved to be a rich resource for researchers. The listings are accessible through the University of Melbourne Archives catalogue and also online.

Archive activities

A number of research projects drawing on the archive are currently underway in the University library. One of these involves the digitisation of the very early 78 rpm recordings issued by Editions de l'Oiseau-lyre, creating an on-line audio archive. Another project, involving the experise of the Grimwade Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation, has lead to the conservation of a visitors' book (sample page above) owned by Louise Hanson-Dyer. On 18 and 19 May 2018, the University library will co-host a symposium with the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music: "Louise Dyer and Editions de l'Oiseau-lyre: The establishment of a music press".

For further information please contact the Curator, Music.