Aylward collection (19th C.)
The Aylward collection was the personal collection of Theodore Edward Aylward (1844-1933). Aylward was cathedral organist at Llandaff and Chichester, conductor of the Cardiff Musical Society and chorus-master for the Cardiff Triennal Festival. The collection consists mainly of printed material from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. It includes material on sacred works, songs and singing, dramatic music, orchestral music, solos and studies and music for organ and harmonium.
It includes sacred works (a copy of Aylward’s own composition, a mass entitled Benedictus qui venit, is held), dramatic music, orchestral music, solos and studies, music for organ and harmonium and concert programmes (1836-42). The works of major composers such as Haydn, Mozart and Wagner are well represented but many of the pieces are by composers popular in their day but now perhaps less well known, such as Ignaz Pleyel and Joseph Mazzinghi. Caroline Lowthian’s Mother Hubbard polka is an unusual example from a rare female composer. One of the strengths of the Aylward collection is that several original covers of collection items have been preserved, containing ownership annotations and bookplates that reveal important information about their provenance. In certain cases, the information goes all the way back to their first owner. The collection is interesting as a social document as well as for its music.
Date range: 17th-19th centuries.
Significance: Significant in Wales and the United Kingdom.
Size: C. 700 volumes (but many of the volumes actually consist of bound collections of individual publications collected together in one volume, totalling c. 3,000 items).
Languages: English, Italian, German, and French.
Keywords: Theodore Edward Aylward (1844-1933), music, songs, organ music, Wales
Notes: The collection was purchased by Cardiff City Council in 1926 from Aylward and was deposited with Cardiff University in the 1990s; it seems various non-Aylward volumes were added to the collection by the Public Library over the years there.