The BBC Music Library made it to 90 this week, surviving fires, bombs and any number of efficiency drives along the way.
One of the world’s largest collections of sheet music, it celebrated its 90th birthday with friends, cake and live music at its current home in the BBC Archive Centre in Perivale.
‘This is not just a celebration of the BBC Music Library because it’s served us so well for 90 years, it’s also to show that we’re very proud of the work it does,’ insisted Sarah Hayes, controller of Information and Archives.
She described its 15 expert staff as ‘unsung heroes who often don’t get any prominence for the work they do.
‘Their knowledge, commitment and dedication really stand out in the industry.’
On display were some of the quirks and highlights of a collection that has been acquired for, and is loaned out, to BBC programmes and performers.
There was the original score for the Goons’ I’m Walking Backwards for Christmas beside Vaughan Williams’ handwritten music for a 1951 radio adaptation of The Mayor of Casterbridge