York Museums Trust

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Photographing Harmoniums – by Chris Streek, Digitisation Officer

The Digital Team here at York Museums Trust has recently been asked to help digitise some of the harmoniums (musical pump organs) held as part of its extensive musical instrument collections.

As the objects were being studied by curatorial staff and a group of expert researchers, the digital team took the opportunity to capture as much detail about the objects while they had been moved from storage and had parts of their casings removed for conservation and study.

This particular model of pipe harmonium (below) was identified as a very rare example built by the maker Joseph Bell of York. The (rather heavy!) organ was carefully disassembled by collections staff to enable the team to take some rare internal shots of the piece and to ascertain its inner workings.

The images below are the result.

York Museums Trust currently has an ongoing digitisation programme to make its collections more accessible and viewable online. Please stay tuned for more behind the scenes goings on from the digital team and view our online collection here.