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George Frederic Handel
in the William Andrews Clark Library
Counted among the hidden treasures of Los Angeles, the Clark Library is second only to the Henry E. Huntington Library with its rich holdings of 16th, 17th, and 18th century English Literature. The Clark Library also possess a fine collection of artists' and fine press books and the world's largest trove of Oscar Wilde material. Among these gems, the Clark Library also contains a splendid but little-known—at least to non-specialists—collection of printed music and librettos published in London during the 17th and 18th centuries, along with a small, but very fine, number of music manuscripts.
The heart of the music collection are the scores of George Frederic Handel; almost all of his operas and oratorios as well as orchestral and chamber music are represented. More than one hundred scores in rare first and early editions by the noted composer are housed in the Library, making it one of the finest collections of Handel's works to be found in North America. Other composers—while not as numerous but of equal rarity—are represented with printed and manuscript music. The Collection offers rich opportunities not only for the study of the music itself, but also publishing practices, performance, and musical iconography.
This web exhibit offers a broad overview of the treasures of music published in 17th and 18th century London to be found in
the vaults of the Clark Library.
Portrait by Jacobus Houbraken
Frontespiece to the Messiah to the
* f M2000.H13m.1767
all rights reserved