New York Philharmonic: Digital Archives

The goal of the New York Philharmonic’s dig­i­tal archives is to make avail­able all of the organization’s his­tor­i­cal doc­u­ments. Because cre­at­ing such a com­pre­hen­sive resource is no small task—the orches­tra began oper­a­tions in 1842—the phil­har­monic opted to start with a por­tion of its materials—specifically those from what the Web site labels the Inter­na­tional Era (span­ning 1942 to 1970). Dur­ing this time the orches­tra took its place as a pre­mier ensem­ble in the world, just as the United States became a world power. It might be more apt to call this the Leonard Bern­stein era since the chronol­ogy neatly book­ends his debut with the group (in 1942) and his retire­ment as music direc­tor (in 1969). Of the more than 24,000 doc­u­ments cur­rently avail­able, almost 4,000 are asso­ci­ated with Bern­stein; this is con­sid­er­ably more than the 1,177 linked with Bernstein’s col­league Andre Koste­lan­etz, the con­duc­tor of the philharmonic’s pop­u­lar con­certs. For schol­ars who study Bern­stein, then, this site pro­vides an invalu­able look at pri­mary mate­ri­als, although those who are more gen­er­ally inter­ested in the orchestra’s his­tory will also find it worthwhile.”

For the full story, please see the Jour­nal of Amer­i­can His­tory.

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