Hopkinson Berlioz Collection


Hopkinson Berlioz Collection


This collection of Hector Berlioz's musical and literary works was formed by the music bibliographer Cecil Hopkinson (1898-1977), and used as the basis for his pioneering bibliography of the composer, which was first published in 1951 by the Edinburgh Bibliographical Society. Hopkinson himself noted, 'In the absence of any coherent information on Berlioz, I was compelled to go back to the original sources ... and prove everything to my own satisfaction.' Some of these original sources were not available in major libraries. He thus revealed that 'the foundation of the bibliography has been my own collection, a large one, as will be seen as the reader progresses.' The collection was begun in 1934 and it includes editions of Berlioz's music, proof copies, and presentation copies with inscriptions by him. The literary part of the collection consists of editions and translations of Berlioz's memoirs, letters and critical works, including copies of his own libretti for 'Béatrice et Bénédict' and 'Les Troyens', and works of music criticism on the composer. There are also autograph letters, several minor manuscripts, and associated material, including portraits, photographs, playbills and posters. Additions continue to be made to the collection, which now numbers over 700 volumes.

Hopkinson was an English music bibliographer and bookseller. He founded the First Edition Bookshop in 1931 and in 1934 his firm issued the first of a series of around 70 catalogues of antiquarian music editions, manuscripts, and books on music. In addition to his bibliography on Berlioz he also compiled bibliographies of the first and early editions of Gluck, Field, Puccini and Verdi (see Hopkinson Verdi Collection). He was a longstanding friend of the William Beattie, Librarian of the National Library.


The books have been catalogued individually and have the shelfmark 'HB.'.


Hopkinson presented his collection to the Library in 1952, but continued to add items to it after this date.


'A bibliography of the musical and literary Works of Hector Berlioz, 1803-1869 with histories of the French music publishers concerned', C Hopkinson, Edinburgh, 1951 (2nd ed., with additions and corrections, Tunbridge Wells, 1980).

'The Cecil Hopkinson Collection of Hector Berlioz: a Special Exhibition 4th July-8th September 1956 [exhibition catalogue]', Edinburgh, 1956.

'The National Library of Scotland: music manuscripts and special collections of printed music', TA Cherry, R Duce, M Simpson and I Maciver, Fontes Artis Musicae, Vol. 47, No. 1 (January-March 2000), 3-9.

'Hopkinson, Cecil', R Macnutt, (2001, January 01), Grove Music Online.Ed.




Berlioz, Hector