The NY Philharmonic will make millions more archival pages—including recordings, scores and even love letters—available online by 2016. The $2.4 million project got a boost after Israeli photographer Ardon Bar-Hama developed a faster way to capture archival images with digital cameras instead of scanners—up to 2,000 a day. Music and documents from the Philharmonic’s Leonard Bernstein era are already online. Next month it releases a new bundle–including scores and letters from Gustav Mahler and Arturo Toscanini.
Carol Oja, a Harvard University musicologist uses the archive for research on the desegregation of classical music. She searches Philharmonic concert programs from the 1940s and ‘50s to find African-American soloists, what they performed and the white musicians they played with. Barbara Haws, the Philharmonic’s archivist, said the archives have opened up a whole new world. She told The Wall Street Journal, “This kind of research was never in my wildest dreams.” Carnegie Hall and the Brooklyn Academy of Music have announced similar projects for putting their materials online.