May 16, 2022

New York Philharmonic Adds More Material/Open Access Data to Digital Archive (4th Release)

From the New York Philharmonic:

The fourth release of material in the New York Philharmonic Leon Levy Digital Archives — the multiyear initiative to digitize the Orchestra’s extensive archives, funded by the Leon Levy Foundation — has been completed, with all existing Philharmonic printed programs, from the first concert in 1842 to the present, now available online, and current printed programs being added every concert week.

The New York Philharmonic has also now become the first major symphony orchestra to provide open access to its performance history data.


Free access to an additional 170,000 pages of materials is now available online. This includes 10,000 printed programs that have been added, yielding a total of 13,300 programs from the Orchestra’s founding, in 1842, to the present. Among the printed programs newly available are those from the 1865 memorial concert for Abraham Lincoln; the 1893 World Premiere of Dvorák’s Symphony No. 9, From the New World; the 1928 World Premiere of Gershwin’s An American in Paris, with program notes by the composer; the concert that took place on December 7, 1941, Pearl Harbor Day; for the free downtown chamber concerts given after 9/11 for those working near the ruins of the World Trade Center; and from the Philharmonic’s national and international tours, including Toscanini’s 1930 European Tour and the 2008 tour to Pyongyang, D.P.R.K., led by then Music Director Lorin Maazel.


The Philharmonic’s Performance History Search has also been enhanced, through the expertise of Technical Services Group (TSG), to allow searches of all facets of concerts which are part of the Orchestra’s history. Containing information on approximately 20,000 concerts, the dataset goes back to the founding of the New York Philharmonic and also includes performances by ensembles that subsequently merged with the Orchestra, including the New York Symphony (1878–1928) and the New/National Symphony (1919–21), as well as the Stadium Concerts, which served as the Philharmonic’s summer home, 1922–64. The search fields — which include date, location, composer/work, conductor, and soloist — now link directly with the related digitized printed programs in the Digital Archives.

Also now available in the Digital Archives is the Philharmonic subscriber database, which was developed by a team of Columbia University sociologists, headed by Dr. Shamus Khan with funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

This database contains the names, addresses, and seat locations for Philharmonic subscribers dating back to the 19th century. Under Dr. Khan’s leadership the team will analyze the relationship between the audience members’ seat locations, on specific concert dates in various concert halls and where they lived. (To protect privacy, post-1953 subscriber names will not be searchable.) The resulting subscriber database, which will be maintained by the Philharmonic Archives and consists of 554,000 records dating back to the 19th century, will be available through the Leon Levy Digital Archives.

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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.