Click a term to initiate a search.
What is IGRA? The International Guitar Research Archive What is IGRA? The International Guitar Research Archive (IGRA) is one of the world’s largest collections of guitar sheet music. Housed here are works for solo guitar, as well as ensemble pieces for multiple guitars and other instruments. There is a variety of music, some of it rare and unique. The majority of the sheet music comes from the Vahdah Olcott-Bickford Estate, providing the foundation for the Archive. In the following years, IGRA received collections from the Laurindo Almeida Estate, Vicente Gomez, Clarence Easley, Christopher Parkening, Robert Strizich, John Tanno, Angelo Gillardino, and Neil Anderson. IGRA’s founder, Ron Purcell, has donated his personal collection as well. In addition to Ms. Bickford’s personal sheet music collection, we also received a large collection of her record albums. These partially comprise our Discography section along with the album collections of John C. Tanno, Laurindo Almeida, Joseph Smith and Ron Purcell. An extended correspondence collection from Vahdah covering almost a hundred years has also been added to the collection. The contents cover family and music business topics. Ms. Bickford also left a large number of periodicals, dating back to the mid 1800’s. Notable titles include Cadenza, Crescendo, B.M.G., Guitar Review, Gendai, and Soundboard . The microfilm collection of CC Easley was digitized in 2007. The scores are available in TIFF and JPEG formats online. All sheet music and correspondence is available for photocopy. At this time, the albums in our Discography collection are not available for reproduction; we have listening facilities in the library. IGRA has now completed 308, 78’ recordings transferred to CD’s. These recordings date as early as 1909. See “78 Records” on Home Page. Artists listed from 1920’s: Augustin Barrios Mangore, Miguel Llobet, Octaviano Yanez, 1920-1930’s Laurindo Almeida & Garoto, Carmen Miranda and other Brazilian singers; Julio Oyangeren, Guillermo Gomez, Harry Volpe, Vicente Gomez, Carl Kress, Sabicas, Luis Elorriga, Nick Lucas and many others. Included in these transfers are the Zarh Bickford collection of some of the most celebrated banjo players: Olly Oakley, Fred Van Eps, Vess L. Ossman, Harry Reser, Eddy Peabody and others. These Compact Discs are available for check-out and listening from the IGRA office July, 2009. History of IGRA In 1980, Vahdah Olcott-Bickford-Revere nee Ethyl Lucretia Olcott (1885-1980) passed away leaving a legacy of American and foreign guitar music prints, guitar journals and correspondence reflecting the history of guitar in the United States from 1880 to the present. This unique guitar music collection is now being catalogued and contains over 10,000 titles of 19th and 20th century editions. The collection first appeared under the name VOB (Vahdah Olcott-Bickford). Within a decade, many donors sent music prints, journals and correspondence to add to the collection. The name was changed to reflect this growing collection to IGRA (International Guitar Research Archive). A special topic appeared in The Cadenza under the series "The Guitarist" Vol. XXVIII, No. 4 (April 1921), entitled "The Gentle Art of Collecting." In this article Vahdah speaks of her favorite hobby, "collecting a fine library of guitar literature," and goes on to say "This is a delightful kind of collecting, not only for the soloist, the teacher and the 'guitar fan', but for the students of the instrument as well." The article discusses the merits of collecting "modern writers," obtaining those editions soon to go "out of print" and the "old masters." She concludes by saying the collector "will find it interesting, practical, very economical and altogether fascinating." Her own collection reflects this attitude and demonstrates a keen eye for variety and rarity. This is true of the total collection. This library is now being prepared to offer database queries and facsimile reproduction of public domain music prints. If you have any questions regarding orders, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. IGRA would like to acknowledge the Augustine Foundation for its support. Contact Information: International Guitar Research Archive Special Collections, Oviatt Library California State University, Northridge 18111 Nordhoff Street Northridge, CA 91330 - 8326 E-mail: email@example.com Telephone: (818) 677-7633 A Letter from Dr. Purcell , director of IGRA