Brass Band and Music Archives: Significant Collections

Look at all this work!

A number of people have asked me where is best to find archival documents for brass bands? I have found that outside musical journals, brass band periodicals and local and national newspapers, which can be found in the British Library collections, the best finds are often in local studies libraries. I have also listed a number of brass bands that hold private collections. It is always worth while contacting a band to see what they have.

Naturally, because of my research, these archives are mostly in the Southern Pennines. I think, however, that most libraries will have a good music collection if you rummage around. In addition my research is driven by the social networks of musical groups, and the library collections reflect this ethos.

I have listed the archives and local studies libraries below. If you follow the link, where possible, the address will be shown. I’m sad to report that many of the local studies in Lancashire are under threat because of financial cuts. It is a fact that my PhD thesis would not have been as rich without these libraries and their loss would be a great shame.


Accrington Local Studies Library (ALS)

Bacup Local Studies Library (BLS)

Bolton Archive Service (BOAS)

Bradford Local Studies Library (BRLS)

Burnley Local Studies Library (BULS)

Bury Archive Service (BAS)

Halifax Local Studies Library (HXLS)

Haworth Brass Band (HB)

Huddersfield Local Studies Library (HLS)

Keighley Local Studies Library

Lancashire Record Office, Preston (LRO)

Leeds Local Studies Library (LLS)

Manchester Local Studies

National Brass Band Archive, Wigan (BBA)

Ramsbottom Library

Rawtenstall Local Studies Library (RLS)

Salford Local Studies Library (SLS)

Todmorden Community Brass Band (TCBB)

West Yorkshire Archive Service, Bradford (WYASBR)

West Yorkshire Archive Service, Calderdale (WYASCD)

University Collections

Huddersfield University: Heritage Quay

Leeds University Special Collections

Salford University: Brass Band Research


Good hunting.




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