fonds YSO - Records of York Symphony Orchestra

Identity area

Reference code



Records of York Symphony Orchestra


  • 1898-2013 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

0.04 cubic metres

2 boxes

Context area

Name of creator


Administrative history

The York Symphony Orchestra, or 'YSO,' was founded in 1898 by then York Minster organist, Thomas Tertius Noble, who conducted and composed for the orchestra until his departure in 1913 to take up a post in New York. The first rehearsal was held in June 1898, and the first concert took place on 5th April 1899. It included works by Elgar, German, and Tertius Noble himself.

The amateur orchestra continued to meet weekly and perform two concerts per year, as well as further special concerts, until the start of the First World War. Though plans were initially made to continue, and a memorial service at York Minster featured a performance by orchestra of Brahm's German Requiem, the orchestra was forced to suspend its programme during the war.

The orchestra was revived in 1919 and a number of concerts were given during the interwar period, but these were occasional rather than regular, such as to celebrate the visit of the Prince of Wales to York in 1933.

After the Second World War, the YSO was once more resurrected, and continues to this day in York as an amateur orchestra, currently performing three concerts annually.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

The archive was deposited at the Borthwick Institute in 2006. A further addition was made to the archive in 2014.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Minutes of committee meetings, 1910-1939, and related correspondence, 1919-1921; draft of annual report and annual general meeting report, 1913-1914; correspondence of committee members, 1903, 1911-1921; society accounts, 1898-1910, 1920, 1923-1926, 2011-2012, and accounts for individual performances, 1899-1902, 1915, 1923-1924, 1938; financial memos and receipts, 1900, 1914, 1921-1922; papers relating to subscriptions and ticket sales, c.1907-1909, 1912-1914; lists of members, 1911-1912, 1919-1920; rule cards, 1912-c.1914; papers concerning the revival of the orchestra, c.1919; papers concerning professional appointments, 1914, 1919, 1921, 1926; papers relating to rehearsals and concert dates, 1903, 1905, 1912, 1914-1919, 1921, 1933; notes on the 1913-1914 season, 1913-1914; publicity material, including concert programmes, 1899-1914, 1922-1926, 1933, 1937, 1948-2013, handbills, 1902-1913, prospectuses, 1911-1913, newspaper adverts and related correspondence, 1913-1914, newspaper reviews and reports, 1899-c.1935, published articles, 1900-1933, photographs of the orchestra, 1906, c.1913, and other material, 1979-2013.


Further accruals are expected.

System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Records are open to the public, subject to the overriding provisions of relevant legislation, including data protection laws.

Conditions governing reproduction

A reprographics service is available to researchers subject to the access restrictions outlined above. Copying will not be undertaken if there is any risk of damage to the document. Copies are supplied in accordance with the Borthwick Institute for Archives' terms and conditions for the supply of copies, and under provisions of any relevant copyright legislation. Permission to reproduce images of documents in the custody of the Borthwick Institute must be sought.

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

A typescript finding aid, to file level, is available for consultation in the searchroom of the Borthwick Institute. This includes all material received in 2006. Later material has not yet been catalogued, please contact the Borthwick Institute for further information.

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

Related descriptions

Notes area

Alternative identifier(s)

Access points

Place access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Description control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

GB 193

Rules and/or conventions used

ISAD (G): General International Standard Archival Description, International Council on Archives (2nd edition, 2000); Rules for the construction of personal, place and corporate names, National Council on Archives (1997).

Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion

Created by S. A. Shearn, 13.05.15. Updated 25.04.16. to include 2014 accession.




Accession area