HAYDN: Online Journal of the Haydn Society of North America


Michael Ruhling

Document Type



2015 will mark the 200th anniversary of the founding of Boston's Handel and Haydn Society, the oldest oratorio society in the U. S. During their long history they have been responsible for the first complete performances on this side of the Atlantic of many important works, including Haydn's The Creation and Handel's Messiah. Because of good foresight, or perhaps good fortune, the Handel and Haydn Society has built an interesting collection of historical documents and other materials, the bulk of which were donated to the Boston Public Library in 1978. Over the past three or four years the Boston Public Library has made great headway in cataloguing this large collection of founding documents, pay receipts, concert programs, personnel lists, photographs, printing plates, and printed and hand-copied music, and they continue to update the collection's finding aid, begun by Katy Zore in 2011. The collection may be accessed by visiting the library's Music Department Special Collections. The Handel & Haydn Society also has its own staff archivist, Michelle Chiles, who may be contacted via email archivist@handelandhaydn.org, or by phone at the Handel and Haydn Society offices: 617-262-1815.