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The most complete composer archive in the world



The new Archive at The Red House. Photo by Philip Vile.
It seems that Britten rarely threw anything away.  The result is an archive more comprehensive than that of any other major composer.  It is still kept in the place where Britten lived and worked, The Red House, surrounded by the Aldeburgh landscapes that inspired his music. 

The whole of Britten’s extraordinarily productive life is documented in detail: manuscripts of over 700 pieces of juvenilia, and almost all the mature compostions; diaries; thousands of letters, photographs and recordings; and countless artefacts. 
      The development of any Britten work can be traced from initial thoughts to its performance history, including the perspectives of others key to the creative process: performers, patrons, librettists, designers, producers and, of course, Pears.

Pears was a keen and knowledgeable collector of rare books and art, mostly twentieth-century paintings. These too form part of the fascinating collections at The Red House. Anyone can come and research our collections, and a lot of catalogue information is available online from this website.