In addition to the Library’s main catalogue, the NCPA houses the world-famous Stuart-Liff Collection of 6,000 books and 11,000 LPs on Western classical music. This collection was generously donated to the Centre in 2009 by Mr Vivian Liff and is an invaluable source for research by musicologists and students as well as for general music lovers.
The book collection includes the autobiographies or biographies of almost every important Western classical music singer from the 18th century up to the present. Also included are books on composers, opera houses worldwide, recordings and all facets of vocal and instrumental art, covering roughly the same period.
Reference books include the complete 20-volume Grove Dictionary of Music & Musicians, the 10-volume Enciclopedia dello Spettacolo, the Dictionnaire des Ouvres de l’Art Vocal in 3 volumes, Hugo Riemens Musiklexicon in 2 volumes (plus CD-Rom), and Steiger’s 9 volumes on opera.
There are complete leather bound copies of Musica, La Theatre, L’Art du Theatre and other such periodicals from the early 1900s. English language periodicals include a complete run of the magazine Opera from 1950 to the present, and a set of bound copies of The Musical Times running from the mid-Victorian period to the early years of the 20th century.
A number of musical scores also feature, some of which are signed by their original owners such as Zelie de Lussan and other prima donne of the past.