'Makers of the Harpsichord and Clavichord 1440 - 1840' was first compiled by Donald Boalch in 1955, and immediately became a standard reference work, listing about 850 makers and all their known surviving instruments. Inevitably, such a work quickly becomes incomplete, and he published a second edition in 1974. The third edition in 1995 was edited by Charles Mould, and very soon copies were almost impossible to obtain. With remarkable foresight, Charles realized even then that the future for such an evolving work would be digital. Charles is now in his 95th year, but he graciously released copyright of the data, and since then a team led by John Watson in the USA has done a tremendous amount of work to bring this dream to fruition. Our thanks are due to the team. Of course, especially with the growth of the internet a lot of new information has come to light and will continue to do so. The on-line version does contain some updates, but the work is only just beginning.
The Online version has expanded its scope forwards to 1925, so the pioneering instruments of Dolmetsch, Chickering, Gaveau, and others can now be included. Another major innovation is the facilty to have a good selection of images, where available.
On a personal note, I am happy to have played a small part, in particular on updating the Blunt and Hitchcock sections. Those who have read my '1664 and All That' piece (see lower down this page) will understand.
So we are happy to celebrate the launch of the long awaited Boalch-Mould Online. Please have a look for yourself, and perhaps look for a favourite instrument. Perhaps you could try BMO-763