The International Organ Foundation (IOF) is a non-profit,
privately-financed foundation, formed in 1990 and based in
Spain. Its main objectives are to promote interest in all aspects of
pipe organs, such as the conservation of historic instruments, the
construction of new organs, and the training of organ builders and
Currently, the primary goal of the IOF is extremely an ambitious one:
to catalogue every
pipe organ in the world! Obviously this will take many years to
achieve and in a sense will never be completed if new organs continue
to be built.
The IOF has further plans beyond publishing. These include seeking commercial sponsorship for the restoration of historic instruments, due to the severe lack of government/church funding for this in many countries, but this cannot be done until the instruments concerned have been identified and surveyed to estimate the cost of restoration. The IOF also wants to build a 'center of excellence' for all matters concerning organs: a training school for organ builders and restorers as well as for organists, together with a library of both books and recordings (it already has a small number of books and some 500 CDs of organ music). The library would be open for use by anybody. It also wants to encourage and even undertake research: pipe design, action, acoustics, etc. The IOF would also like to be able to grant travelling scholarships to students so that they can experience organ building or playing in other countries.
These additional projects require considerable funding and, despite great efforts, such financing has still not become available.
What we don't do
There are several activities that the IOF does not undertake: recommending products or services (such as makes of organ or individual organ builders), providing valuations of organs for sale, advising on fund-raising activities (local circumstances vary so greatly that this is virtually impossible) and awarding financial aid (much as we'd like to, we simply don't have the resources).
Why are our pages so boring?
Boring visually, that is - we hope the contents aren't! A survey in Fortune magazine found that the average time a user is prepared to wait for a Web page to download is eight seconds. After this, people get bored and go elsewhere. With this in mind, together with the fact that many users still rely on dial-up connections for Internet access, we have kept our pages as simple as possible - no fancy graphics, no animation, just information. Also, server space is not infinite and we prefer to use it for more catalogue entries rather than graphics.
Text: Unless stated otherwise, all textual material is Copyright © The International Organ Foundation. This text may be used freely as long as the IOF is cited as the source. Any text marked as being the copyright of others may only be reproduced with the permission of the corresponding copyright holder. Photographs: All photos marked as copyright of the IOF may be freely reproduced as long as they are accompanied by "Copyright © The International Organ Foundation". All other photographs are the copyright of others and may only be reproduced with the permission of the corresponding copyright holder.
We are happy to collaborate with other sites by making our database freely available. Please contact us for technical information on the interface between external systems and ours.
Our catalogue depends largely on the help we receive from organ builders, organists, organologists and others world-wide who regularly send in details and photos of instruments. They are too numerous to mention individually but we would like to thank them all here.
And of course we would especially like to thank David Scribner for donating space on his server to host our site.