May 20, 2022

Special Collections: Princeton University Library Acquires 18th Century Handel Score

From the PUL Blog:

The Princeton University Library is pleased to announce the acquisition of an eighteenth-century scribal score (297 pages) of George Frideric Handel’s three-act opera Berenice, copied by a contemporary Handel copyist (“S2”) from the composer’s autograph manuscript. The scribal score is complete but for Berenice’s aria “Avvertite mie pupille” and opens with the title page reading, “Berenice Opera Composta per il Sgr G:F: Handel / Comminciato December: 15 1736.”


Wendy Heller, Princeton Professor of Music. and Director of the Program in Italian Studies commented on the acquisition which she plans to use in her classes.

“This is a particularly exciting acquisition for the Princeton University Library.  Composed somewhat late in Handel’s career as an opera composer, as his attention was shifting to oratorio, Berenice was somewhat less popular than Handel’s earlier Italian operas, but nonetheless is a brilliant score with a number of stunning arias.


The manuscript will complement the Library’s James S. Hall Collection of George Frideric Handel, in the Department of Rare Books and Special Collections.

Learn More About the Score and Princeton’s Acquisition

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.