1st International Bagpipe Conference - Arnold Myers - Creating a University Collection of Bagpipes Wed, 2013-03-27 20:17


Creating a University Collection of Bagpipes

Arnold Myers, University of Edinburgh

The University of Edinburgh maintains two museums of musical instruments, but although it could very reasonably be expected that bagpipes would be well represented in a public collection in Edinburgh, the University’s holdings of piping materials have until recently been tiny. In 2008 Edinburgh University Collection of Historic Musical Instruments (EUCHMI) was successful in bidding for funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund Collecting Cultures Project to purchase, conserve, research, and exhibit a representative collection of British bagpipes.

This paper gives an overview of the representation of piping cultures in British public collections, and describes the problems faced in assembling a new collection in a limited period. The presentation will discuss the policy decisions necessary in planning the piping exhibition to be held in Edinburgh in 2013 which will show the material history of English, Scottish and Irish bagpipes, the cultures which fostered the development of the main kinds of bagpipes, and the provenance history of the individual sets of pipes which have been collected in the course of the project.