Credit – Jane Austen’s House Museum
The music collection of novelist Jane Austen and her family is being made freely available to access online as part of a University digital library project.
The Austen Family Music Books is a collection of 18 albums of music containing around 600 pieces that belonged to the 19th century writer and her relations. The imaging of the books was carried out at our Hartley Library’s state-of-the-art Digitisation Unit.
Professor of Music Jeanice Brooks, who led the project, says:
“Jane Austen’s novels are full of musical scenes, and this collection will help literature scholars and Austen fans to better understand the real musical environment that fed the novelist’s imagination. Just as importantly, the collection provides music historians with a unique glimpse of the musical life of an extended gentry family in the years around 1800.”
The project is a collaboration between Southampton researchers and the books’ current owners, with assistance from Chawton House Library. The release is in anticipation of the 2017 bicentenary of Jane Austen’s death in July, so events mounted for the anniversary can draw on the music Austen knew and performed.
View the Austen Family Music Books here