Finding Number (Click this to view full catalogue structure)Freeman
TitleDigital archive of Andrew Freeman glass plate negatives
Extent9 compact discs (containing 1427 images)
Thumbnail (Click this image to open a larger image)

Freeman\0391 St John the Baptist, Croydon_T.jpg

DescriptionCopies of glass plate negatives of photographs of organs taken by Rev Andrew Freeman, organ enthusiast and amateur photographer, between 1895 and 1946, and subsequently photographed by Greg Chandler and saved to compact discs in 2009. Each disc includes a list of contents.

Prior to their being donated to the British Institute of Organ Studies (BIOS), a few of Rev Freeman's original negatives had been broken or lost; this can be seen in the gaps in the plate number sequence recorded in the description field of the item level entries in the catalogue.
The digital archive was created at the request of BIOS and was made possible through a substantial donation from members of the Freeman family. The project was overseen by BIOS Council member Andrew Hayden who is himself an organ photographer with a keen interest in, and knowledge of, historical photographic techniques. Rev Freeman's collection of glass plate negatives is particularly important as a visual, historical record of organ cases, some of which have been lost or transformed since the photographs were taken; the digital archive means that the fragile originals no longer need to be handled to allow researchers access to this valuable resource.
NotesThe photograph used at Fonds level shows St John the Baptist, Croydon, Surrey. Reference Freeman/220.
Access ConditionsAccess to all registered researchers
Finding AidsA catalogue of this collection, including copies of all of the images in the digital archive, is available through the online archive catalogue (currently available: Freeman/1-1000). Click on the Finding Number to display the summary contents list of the catalogue and to view the full catalogue.

In the cataloguing of this collection 2012-2013, the discs were used to create the images for each item level entry in the online catalogue and the list of contents supplied with the discs was used for the titles.
Access StatusOpen
Creator NameFreeman, Andrew, 1876-1947, clergyman and organ scholar
British Institute of Organ Studies (BIOS)
Administrative HistoryAndrew Freeman (1876-1947), clergyman, organist and organ scholar was born in Newbury. He was educated at Cambridge University, graduating in 1895 and taking his BMus in 1903. He held a number of organists posts: Newbury Wesleyan Chapel, 1892-1900, Guildford Congregational Church, 1900-02; Newbury Congregational Church, 1903-09; and Immanuel, Streatham 1909-15. In 1915 he was ordained and served at St Margaret Lee until 1918, as Priest-Organist at Lambeth Parish Church, 1918 and at Standish-cum-Hardwicke in 1924. His research and output were prodigious and he also undertook all his own photographic processing. He was instrumental in the launch of 'The Organ' and in guiding the organ content in 'Musical Opinion' into 'The Organ World'. He contributed extensively to these journals, some of it under pseudonyms and was an authority on English and Continental organ cases. Freeman was probably the finest organ photographer of his generation and created a collection of c 1600 photographic negatives, along with the albums of prints from these between 1895 and 1946.

The British Institute of Organ Studies was founded in Cambridge in July 1976 to 'promote objective scholarly research into the history of the Organ in all its aspects, and, in particular into the history of the English Organ; to make the primary and secondary sources for the history of the English Organ more easily available to scholars; to work for the preservation and, where necessary, the faithful restoration of historic English organs; to sponsor exchanges between British and Foreign scholars of the Organ which may lead to wider appreciation of the English Organ in other countries, and to a greater understanding of the historic continental and colonial schools of organ building in this country.'
AcquisitionDeposited by the British Institute of Organ Studies as part of the British Organ Archive, December 2010.
OriginalsThe Freeman glass plate negatives are held by Cadbury Research Library as part of the British Organ Archive (GB 0150 BOA).
Related MaterialCadbury Research Library holds the British Organ Archive which includes the papers of Rev Andrew Freeman (GB 0150 BOA). Within the Freeman papers are albums of prints which Rev Freeman made from his glass plate negatives, including images made from plates which are missing from the digital archive.
Associated MaterialsThe National Pipe Organ Register (NPOR) hosts an index to the material in the British Organ Archive and a Directory of British Organ Builders (up to 1950) and these can be searched on line: follow the link in the URL field below.
Publication NoteA number of images from the collection are reproduced in, 'In Search of Organs': Andrew Freeman: priest, photographer and scholar. Ed: Katharine Pardee. Published by BIOS, 2016 (shelfmark: Cadbury Research Library: BIOS books)


    Some of our most significant collections