Help Me Find Autoharp Instruction Books!
On October 4, 2018, I also began to generate a 108-page autoharpING timeline in connection with a GD-diatonic bass-tuning study I’ve been working on for the last 3+ years (you’ll hear more about this soon, as it’s on the last round of writing). Most of the info on the timeline comprises quotes from over two dozen instruction books published from 1885-2005, about set-up, picks, techniques, just about anything relating to playing the autoharp. There are more books that I don’t have that I’d like to account for in the timeline and hope to get a look at soon.
To find out all I could about autoharpING (the subject of autoharps themselves is already well covered; no point re-inventing the wheel), I asked, for example, a few autoharping friends if they owned a particular title I might get a look at. All of them had thrown their copies of that title away! Yikes! I could have used one for reference, if only they had known.
In the meantime, and in a desperate move as a starving artist and now a starving Accidental AutoharpING Historian (a.k.a. AAH!), on November 27, 2018 I hired a professional researcher in the Washington, D.C. area to scan an out-of-print book that only the Library of Congress seems to have. The researcher did a great job, but at a price tag of just over $100 for time, travel and the scan of a 36-page book (plus a hamburger for lunch?), I can’t afford to do that too many more times, even I did save over $1000 to fly to D.C. and scan it myself! But I did it again in December 2018: $48 went to the New York City Public Library for just nine pages I needed to complete a photocopy of an 1893 autoharp catalog. All this to say that research is not cheap! So, dear autoharpist, before you toss that book you no longer need into the circular file, or give it away...
Consider donating a book to the cause of autoharp research.* Click here to see the Archives List (the first page explains how everything is arranged). The List is updated periodically as more materials come in (the date at the end of the file title shows when it was last updated, as well as on page 1). On the other hand, if you’ve got a really old book you prefer to keep that I don’t have, I’ll be happy with a scan or photocopy.
*Big thank yous to Jim Hill, Paul Ranney, Eileen Roys, Charles Levy, Mike Fenton, Robin Anderson, June Fessenden, Nancy Hay, Louise and Ted McClure, Marc Tan Creti, Meg Peterson, Steve Braden, Richard Switzer, Midori Hall, Rick Meyers, Nan Bovington, Rene St. Aubin, Hilary Robinson, Lawana Beard, Wendy Meredith, Charles Snyder, Chuck Daniels and Dave Engels–so far!
My email address appears at the top of each page of the Archives List (take the spaces out and change “at” and “dot” to their usual characters before you send your message) so that you can contact me sooner than later about whatever you have.
In the name of autoharp history, I thank you in advance for your help, which will benefit autoharpists everywhere. Lucille Reilly