Dating lachenal concertinas
Today the Museum’s community of stakeholders is a global one, and the collection numbers over 8,000 examples of sound-producing instruments from all over the world.
The Horniman is one of the few UK museums that collects instruments of popular music.
Generous sponsorship from the UK’s Heritage Lottery Fund and the Museums and Galleries Commission / Science Museum PRISM Fund enabled the Horniman Museum to purchase almost all the contents of the Concertina Museum in Belper, Derbyshire.
The collection comprised over six hundred free reed instruments, together with an archive that included concertina music, recordings and postcards of famous concertina players. They were saved from destruction by Henry Minting, one of the managers of the company.
There is scarcely any demand now to view the original ledgers, and consequently the wear and tear on these fragile paper records has been reduced to almost nil.
Mr Gaskins planned the entire project, he created the scans from the original documents, processed the digitized images to enhance their readability, created a database to generate the webpages, and prepared the website and CDs.
Once digitized and prepared for presentation on the web, the same images can be very easily used to create any desired stable three-dimensional medium, such as colour transparencies and any kind of microform storage.
The principle of increasing public access to museum collections is not only endorsed but highlighted as an imperative by funding bodies and professional organisations, such as the UK’s Museums Association, which has a stated aim to ensure that ‘more people have more opportunities to engage with museum collections’. concertina factory ledgers has demonstrated one way of realising these aims at minimal cost.
The Horniman Museum is committed to providing learning opportunities to the community at large, and is specifically committed to broadening its service to members of the community who do not normally access cultural institutions.
It is a fully chromatic instrument, having buttons in a rectangular arrangement of four staggered rows; its buttons are unisonoric, producing the same note on both the push and pull of the bellows.
These 17 notebooks chronicle aspects of the production and sales of concertinas by the Wheatstone factory from 1834 to 1974 — albeit with some gaps.