A raft of “priceless” letters and postcards written by English orchestral forefather Edward Elgar to the secretary of a music society in his home county have been given to the Elgar Birthplace Museum in Worcester.
The composer wrote more than 250 despatches to Martina Hyde, the joint organiser of the Worcestershire Philharmonic, a group established to keep Elgar in touch with the musical pulse of the region.
They had been owned by the family of Bertie Shaw, who founded the Elgar Society in 1951. The museum, which is based in Elgar’s former cottage in Worcester, is aiming to put a selection of the letters on show in new temporary display cabinets in 2012.
“It is obvious that the Shaw family cherished them for many years,” observed Documentation Officer Sue Fairchild, who said planners had been “thrilled” to receive the collection.
“They are in excellent condition and look just as they would have done when Elgar was writing them.
“It is to the credit of the Shaw family that future researches will have this fantastic resource available to them.”