Launch of Dublin Music Trade research project


30 September 2013: The Research Foundation for Music in Ireland has announced the launch of a new free-to-access online resource Dublin Music Trade.

DIT’s Conservatory of Music & Drama is supporting the website, which details the who, what, where and when of the historical musical trade in Dublin.

The initiative is being hosted by the Research Foundation for Music in Ireland and has been funded by the Music Libraries Trust and the Society for Musicology of Ireland.

The project (which can be found at was initiated by the late Brian Boydell (1917-2000) who was a composer and professor music at Trinity College. He also wrote A Dublin Musical Calendar, 1700-60 and Rotunda Music in Eighteenth Century Dublin.

Over the course of his research, he compiled a card index of music publishers, printers, sellers and instrument makers in Dublin from 1750 to 1850. Publication of this research was planned but never came to fruition.

The research was passed onto his son Barra Boydell, Professor of Music at NUI Maynooth, in the 1990s. He transferred the information from his father’s card catalogue to computer and developed and extended the database, planning to extend the research to the end of the nineteenth century.

On his retirement in 2010, Barra passed the research onto DIT’s Dr Catherine Ferris who has helped develop the research into an online resource.

Bringing the research online means access to this valuable information is now freely-accessible and fully-searchable. The information is a key reference for musicologists, historians, music librarians and archival scholars. The coverage falls primarily between 1515 and 1850.

The editors invite contributions to expand and develop the Dublin Music Trade resource. Post-graduate and post-doctoral research projects on the any aspect of the music trade in Dublin are also encouraged.

For further information, contact Dr Catherine Ferris:


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