Sorabji Resource Site (SRS)

Useful Links for Research

This page provides links to a few of the websites, with brief descriptions, that have been helpful while carrying out research on Sorabji.


1939 England and Wales Register: The 1939 England and Wales Register is the only surviving overview of the civil population during the period 1921 to 1951. It can be searched for a fee on,, and The website, for which a paying subscription is needed to go beyond listings, makes it possible to search numerous databases, among others British phonebooks and birth and death indexes.

BMDindex: The Birth, Marriage and Death Certificates: Complete BMD Index 1837-2005 makes it possible (for a fee) to search for the details needed to order birth, marriage, and death certificates from the General Register Office.

FamilySearch: The FamilySearch site, which is operated by the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints, describes itself as “the largest collection of free family history, family tree and genealogy records in the world”. It gives access to the huge database of their International Genealogical Index.

Findmypast: The Findmypast website makes it possible, with a paying subscription, to search the British official records for birth, marriages, and deaths as well as censuses up to 1911 in addition to the 1939 Register.

FreeBDM: The website FreeBDM offers search capabilities for the Civil Registration index of births, marriages, and deaths for England and Wales from 1837 onwards. It makes it possible to find years, but not full dates. These data were available up to 2008 by searching in huge binders at the Family Records Centre.

National Probate Calendar: The National Probate Calendar can be searched to find the will or probate of any person in the United Kingdom who died since 1858.

Copyright Holders

The WATCH File: The acronym WATCH stands for “Writers, Artists and Their Copyright Holders”. Located at the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin, this joint project with the University of Reading Library in England consists of a database of copyright contacts for writers, artists, and prominent people in other creative fields.

Manuscript Collections

Cecilia: Cecilia is an “online guide to music collections in archives, libraries and museums in the UK and Ireland”. It may be helpful to find collections containing letters and/or manuscripts by Sorabji.

National Archives: The National Archives (Kew, West London) bring together the Public Record Office, the Historical Manuscripts Commission, the Office of Public Sector Information and Her Majesty’s Stationery Office. Its online catalogue makes it possible to locate archival sources.

Library and Archives Catalogues

See also the introductory section to page Archival Sources for Letters and Other Documents for a list of libraries with substantial Sorabji holdings.

Archives Hub: The Archives Hub provides descriptions of archives held in the United Kingdom.

Concert Programmes: The Concert Programmes database funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and hosted by Cardiff University and the Royal College of Music provides “descriptions of concert programme collections held by leading libraries, archives and museums in the UK and Ireland”. There are no Sorabji entries at the moment.

British Library: The British Library’s catalogue may be searched for a substantial collection of editions of Sorabji’s music while its manuscripts catalogue will return entries for the Sorabji manuscripts and letters in its collection.

Kaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji Collection: The Kaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji Collection at McMaster University (Hamilton, Ontario), for which a detailed finding aid is available, houses the extensive collection of Sorabjiana of the composer’s friend Frank Holliday.

Newspapers: The British Newspaper Archive (British Library, brightsolid online publishing) is a digitization project (subscription required) aiming to cover up to 40 million newspaper pages.

Paul Sacher Stiftung: The Paul Sacher Stiftung (Basel, Switzerland) is the largest holder of manuscripts by Sorabji. Its catalogue may be searched through the Informationsverbund IDS Basel Bern.

WorldCat: The WorldCat database gives free access to the catalogues of more than 15,000 libraries in more than 100 countries.

Rare Editions is a huge database of books available for purchase from second-hand booksellers. Copies of Mi contra fa and Around Music as well as of original editions of the published scores can often be found (at increasingly higher prices).

Dissertations and Academic Writings

EThOS: The British Library’s Electronic Theses Online Service makes it possible to order dissertations for a fee. Two dissertations on Sorabji are listed.

Index to Theses: The Index to Theses is a “comprehensive listing of theses with abstracts accepted for higher degrees by universities in Great Britain and Ireland since 1716”. Two dissertations on Sorabji are listed. Abstracts are normally provided, but there is no full-text service.

ProQuest: ProQuest offers a database of theses and dissertations, mostly from the United States and Canada. With a subscription (which is normally provided by universities to staff and students) one can download the full text of academic writings as PDF files. Six titles on or dealing with Sorabji are available.


Calendars: Steffen Thorsen’s website makes it easy to generate calendars for any year (to determine the day of the week on which a given event happened), calculate the duration between two dates (to find a person’s exact age on a specific date), calculate a person’s birth date based on the death date and age, and add or subtract from a date.

Current value of money: The Institute for the Measurement of Worth offers a module entitled Five Ways to Compute the Relative Value of a UK Pound Amount, 1830 to Present on its Measuring Worth website that makes it easy to find the current value of amounts of money. For a similar tool for francs and euros, see Institut national de la statistique et des études économiques, Convertisseur franc-euro: Pouvoir d’achat de l’euro et du franc.

Time calculators: Time calculators can prove very useful to add a series of durations (e.g., track durations) and see cumulative times and average. One, by Gordon Smith, is limited to ten durations; another, by the Computer Support Group, accommodates twelve.

Last modified: 2021-06-08
© Marc-André Roberge 2021
Sorabji Resource Site (SRS)
Faculté de musique, Université Laval, Québec

The contents of this website devoted to the English composer Kaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji may be freely used for documentary purposes in a research context provided that due credit is given but may not be mirrored on any other server. Links to external or third-party websites cannot be guaranteed to be, or remain, valid or persistent, and their contents cannot be guaranteed to be, or remain, accurate or appropriate.

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