- 1949-2002 (Creation)
Level of description
Extent and medium
0.02 cubic metres
Name of creator
Vivian Alexander Liff was born in London in 1926. Together with his partner, George Stuart, he compiled the world-famous Stuart-Liff Collection, which comprises 6,000 books and 11,000 vinyl records relating to Western classical music. Many of these were used for ‘The Record of Singing’, a compilation of international classical-music vocals from the first half of the twentieth century devised by Liff and issued by EMI between 1977 and 1999. The original collection was donated to the National Centre for the Performing Arts in 2009.
Liff was also involved with the scheme to ‘rescue’ and reissue recordings of historic vocal performances, devised by Richard Bebb and George Lascelles, 7th Earl of Harewood in conjunction with the British Institute of Recorded Sound. Following the successful issue of twenty LPs in 1973, the company Historic Masters Ltd was formed in the early 1980s to continue the scheme, chaired by Lord Harewood, then director of the English National Opera. Liff, who served on the management committee, had known Lord Harewood since 1949 when, as a third year university student, he had written to the Earl to ask his advice on a student design project for a new opera house. The company issued their first set of Historic Masters in 1983 and by 2008 had issued a total of 192 records.
Liff has written widely on historic opera and also served as President of the Recorded Vocal Art Society.
Immediate source of acquisition or transfer
Content and structure area
Scope and content
System of arrangement
Conditions of access and use area
Conditions governing access
Conditions governing reproduction
Language of material