The Organ Historical Society
Library and Archives

Talbott Library
Westminster Choir College
Rider University
101 Walnut Lane
Princeton, New Jersey 08540
archivist@organsociety.org

The OHS Library and Archives is the world’s largest collection of books, periodicals, and manuscripts about the organ. While the printed materials are housed in a dedicated reading room at an academic institution in Princeton, New Jersey, the manuscript materials, primarily consisting of the archives and business records of numerous American organbuilders, are located at a storage facility in Warminster, Pennsylvania, a Philadelphia suburb.

The OHS Library and Archives collections are closed stack and non-circulating; materials must be used within the reading room.  Access to catalogued books and pamphlets is available through the Talbott Library Reference Librarian. Uncatalogued materials as well as records are available only by making an appointment with the OHS Archivist (archivist@organsociety.org).

Materials may be photocopied with the permission of the Archivist, although the OHS reserves the right to deny photocopy permission for select items in the collection. Photographic reproduction may be arranged through the Archivist. A fee is charged for reproduction services. Permission of the OHS must be obtained to use the materials for publication.

Holdings

  • 12,000 books about organs, organ building, organists, and organ music
  • 450 periodical titles, including the largest body of organ serials anywhere
  • 400 dissertations about organs, organ builders, organists, and organ music
  • 20,000 organ stoplists, photographs, and dedication programs
  • 1,500 sales brochures, catalogs, and promotional publications from hundreds of organ builders and firms
  • 500 nameplates from various organ builders and firms
  • 5,000 Organ Postcards
  • 15,000 Organ Photographs
  • Records of the American Institute of Organ builders, as well as business records, tools, and correspondence of American organ building firms such as the Möller organ company, among many others

History

The OHS Library and Archives was founded in 1961 (then named the American Organ Archives), when the Society arranged for the Historical Society of York County, Pennsylvania, to be its headquarters. In 1967, the collection was moved to the library of Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware, Ohio, and in 1984, to Talbott Library, Westminster Choir College of Rider University in Princeton, New Jersey. The Archivists of the Society and their dates of service have been Thomas S. Eader (1961–66), Homer Blanchard (1966–84), and Stephen L. Pinel (1984–2010). At the time of the move to Princeton, the holdings of the Archives consisted of four file cabinets and twenty boxes of unsorted books. It is a tribute to Mr. Pinel’s vision and continued support by the Society that the Archives is what it is today. Mr. Pinel retired on May 31, 2010, and was succeed as Archivist by Bynum Petty.