The Trust’s Role

The Trust has three principal roles.

  1. To help the Gloucestershire archives maintain and preserve ‘The Ivor Gurney Collection’.

  2. To authorise the use of archival materials for the purpose of academic research, publication, performance and recordings.

  3. To help facilitate the publication of Gurney’s literary and musical works.

The Trust’s primary role is to help support the preservation of ‘The Gurney Collection’ held in Gloucestershire Archives. Since 2001, the Trust has offered assistance in the process of applying modern standards of preservation to the collection. A much needed ‘upgrade’ of the conservation work became something of a priority following the first important cataloguing of the collection by Anthony Boden and Sylvie Pierce, who also recognised the need for further detailed conservation work. Fortunately, a timely transference of the Gurney archive to the Gloucestershire Record Office (subsequently renamed Gloucestershire Archives) in 2006, meant that the collection could now be stored in ideal circumstances. More recently, a repackaging grant was awarded to the archive by the National Manuscripts Conservation Trust. This has allowed for additional conservation work to be carried out, including custom-made packaging for specific items and for cleaning and repair work. Furthermore, since 2006 the Trust has been most fortunate in having the expert help of Philip Lancaster. His initial research focused upon producing the first complete catalogue of the musical works of Ivor Gurney (see IGS Journal, Volume 12, 2006). Following on from this, in 2007, Philip Lancaster was awarded a PhD studentship from the University of Exeter. This three-year post, associated with the University’s centre for South West Writing, was funded jointly by Great Western Research, Gloucestershire Archives and the University of Exeter. Building upon the work of Anthony Boden and Sylvie Pierce his monumental task was to catalogue and reorganise the entire collection. This year will see the fruition of his remarkable and painstaking work. During his research he has uncovered a great deal of new information and made a number of startling discoveries. The Trust is indebted to him for this groundbreaking work and for his outstanding scholarship.

The Trust’s second role, is to monitor and give permission for the use of archival materials held in the collection. Although, the archive is open to the general public there are inevitably some restrictions regarding the access to, and use of these materials. These restrictions are in part necessary to preserve some of the more fragile items in the collection, but also to make certain that these items are used in a proper manner and in accordance with UK copyright law (See Appendix 1.)

As these restrictions are somewhat complicated it might be helpful if I outlined briefly the current arrangements.

Since 2007, all Ivor Gurney’s musical and literary works published during his lifetime are out of copyright and thus in the public domain. However, the majority of his works published after 1937, together with all the ‘unpublished’ material held in the archive is still subject to UK copyright law.

  1. Literary Works.

The greater part of Gurney’s poetry and literary output has now been commercially published, chiefly by Carcanet Press. Carcanet’s permission must therefore be sought for any one wishing to reproduce Gurney’s poetry or other literary works published by them. (See appendix 3.) For all ‘unpublished’ literary works held in ‘The Ivor Gurney Collection’, permission for their use must be obtained in writing from the Trust. (See Appendix 2 – ‘Terms and Conditions and Guidance Notes)

  1. Musical Works.

The chief restrictions regarding Gurney’s music concerns the use of the ‘unpublished’ manuscripts held in the archive. The term ‘use’ denotes the reproduction of, in part or whole and in any form, Gurney’s ‘unpublished’ music. Permission must be sought from the Trust in writing for anyone wishing to use any of Gurneys ‘unpublished’ music. (See Appendix 2 – ‘Terms and Conditions and Guidance Notes’)

The chief reason for these restrictions is that the Trust is currently engaged in the process of transcribing and editing all of Gurney’s ‘unpublished’ music. The Trust has felt this necessary, partly for preservation reasons (fragile originals would no longer need not be disturbed) but principally to achieve its long term goal of making all of Gurney’s music publically available in a form that is helpful to performers. Ideally, this music should be published commercially and therefore easily obtainable. However, given the huge costs involved in such an enterprise the Trust has opted, for the time being, to make this music available in its own ‘Performing Editions’. To achieve this end, the Trust appointed Ian Venables and Philip Lancaster as joint editors. It is hoped that in time all of Gurney’s ‘unpublished’ music will be typeset and edited as ‘performing versions’. Given the vast quantity of the ‘unpublished’ music held in the collection the Trust has inevitably felt the need to prioritise the production of these ‘performing editions’. Our priorities are set out below in the form of short and long-term goals.

Short-term goals

  1. To typeset, edit and make available in ‘performing editions’ all of Gurney’s songs composed before 1922.

  2. To typeset, edit and publish all of Gurney’s orchestral works.

  3. To typeset, edit and make available in ‘performing editions’ all of Gurney’s instrumental and choral works composed before 1922.

Long – term goals

  1. To typeset and edit in ‘performing editions’ all of Gurney’s songs composed after 1922.

  2. To typeset and edit in ‘performing editions’ all of Gurney’s instrumental works composed after 1922.