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Musical archive of Robert Sherlaw Johnson


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The archive mostly contains material listed in Austin Sherlaw-Johnson's A catalogue of the works of Robert Sherlaw Johnson (Oxford: Printed for the author, 2004). The exceptions are recordings and published works, together with: ASJ I/29; ASJ II/36; ASJ II/38 (RSJ 4*); ASJ II/67; ASJ V/12; nos. 1-12 of Part III: Minor liturgical works; nos. 1 and 3 of Part IV: Northumbrian pipe tunes; nos. 1-3 of Part IV: Spoofs. Manuscripts recorded as not extant in the privately-published catalogue are listed here for completeness but noted as such.

A small number of works not listed in the privately-published catalogue are also present in the archive. These are listed without the ASJ or RSJ numbers. In addition, there are some unidentified works.

Apart from the manuscript material, the archive contains computer files created with the help of music software, mainly Sibelius. These are on floppy disks and include nos. 2-3 of Part IV: Electro-acoustic compositions, a selection of handbell arrangements, and other works.


  • Creation: 1939-2000, n.d.


4.48 Linear metres (32 boxes)

Language of Materials

  • English

Preferred Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Libraries [followed by shelfmark and folio or page reference, e.g. MS. Mus. a. 19].

Please see our help page for further guidance on citing archives and manuscripts.

Full range of shelfmarks:

MSS. Mus. a.19, b.506-531, c.779-783, g.6 and Mus. 335 c. 1-2

Collection ID (for staff)

CMD ID 15881


Music manuscripts and computer-processed copies of music composed predominantly by Robert Sherlaw Johnson (1932-2000), with related material: programmes for performances of mainly his own music, floppy disks containing scores in music software, and annotated scores of music by Messiaen, Boulez and others, with related material, 1924-2000, n.d.

Biographical / Historical

Robert Sherlaw Johnson (1932-2000) was a British composer and pianist. For details of his life and work see Grove Music Online.


The music manuscripts are arranged by genre for consistency with the Bodleian practice. Each work (where applicable) includes an ASJ number taken from Austin Sherlaw-Johnson's A catalogue of the works of Robert Sherlaw Johnson (London, 2004), followed by an RSJ number allocated by the composer in his own catalogues where he adds an asterisks for works 'regarded as particularly representative'.

Descriptions in the Bodleian catalogue do not include particulars of the works' origins, durations, first performances or first publications. These can be found (where applicable) in the privately-published catalogue.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Rachael Sherlaw-Johnson, 28 March 2019.

Related Materials

Working papers, notebooks and drafts for the opera 'The Lambton worm' (ASJ 90, RSJ 40) are held at the Bodleian Library, MSS. Mus. b. 36, d. 239-244 and e. 42.

Separated Materials

Concert posters and programmes now form part of the Bodleian Collection of Concert Programmes.


  • Austin Sherlaw-Johnson. A catalogue of the works of Robert Sherlaw Johnson (Oxford: Printed for the author, 2004).
Catalogue of the music archive of Robert Sherlaw Johnson, 1939-2000, n.d.
Finding aid prepared by Margaret Czepiel
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom