We have a standardized format for our specifications, as given below.
It would make our work much easier if specifications could be
submitted in this format, or as closely to it as possible.
For obvious reasons we prefer to receive specs by e-mail, using our on-line form (link at the end of this page). But please read the rest of this page before filling in the form!
This is our preferred method of receiving specs since it very considerably reduces the amount of formatting we have to do. We can also accept plain ASCII text or MS Word format.
The details described below are those that we would ideally like to receive for each organ. However, some information (such as pipe scaling) would usually require entry into the organ in order to take measurements. We strongly urge you not to attempt this unless you are an experienced organ builder or technician - a great deal of damage can be done inadvertently unless you know exactly what you are doing.
We'd also be delighted to receive a photograph of the organ, preferrably in JPEG format, but please ensure that you have the permission of the copyright holder and include a credit - "Copyright J Smith", for instance. Needless to say, the photo should be clear and in focus, and should show the whole organ, if this is possible. If the organ is hidden in chambers or behind grilles, then a pic of the console would be fine. If it is divided among more than one case, then send a photo of the main case, if any, or of all of them. Close-ups of any special features would also be appreciated, accompanied by a brief description of what's special about them. Photos should be sent as e-mail attachments and if you send several, it's a good idea to place them all in a single ZIP file. Please e-mail photos separately.
Our policy in cataloging organs is to include an entry provided it contains at least the basic details, which are marked with an asterisk (*) in the following text. Other information that we consider highly desirable but not essential for initial cataloging is marked with a plus sign (+). It is our hope that once these basic details have been catalogued, further information will become available later.
Each catalogue entry is formatted as follows:
Company/person's name, town, state, country. If the builder is unknown, state "Unknown"
We mean the year in which the organ was completed/inaugurated.
If not contemporary with the organ it contains, then its date and the name of its builder (if known).
+Console type: integral/detached/mobile
+Stop controls: drawknob/tilting tablet/touch pad/etc
+Pedals type: concave/flat, radiating/parallel
+Key action: mechanical/electric/etc
+Stop action: mechanical/etc; combination action: electric/etc; number of memories if electronic.
+Temperament: Equal, etc
+Pitch: a1 in Hz
+No. of stops: Number of actual speaking stops, not including couplers, etc
+No. of ranks:
+No. of pipes:
Electric/manual, hp of blowers, numbers and types of bellows, reservoirs, etc.
In mm for each division, in the same order as the divisions are listed in the stoplist (see below), e.g., "Choir: 67; Great: 127...". If only one pressure is used throughout the organ, then just the number, e.g.: "67"
This means all work carried out to the organ: renovations, tonal changes, etc, giving the date (the year the work was completed), name of person/company who did it, and brief description of work done.Example:1975: Re-leathered by Speedy Leather Organ Co. 1997: Restored by J Smith Co: new bellows.
Any known references: title, author, publisher, ISBN, date, page.
Title, organist, publisher, reference and date (the last being especially important for organs that have undergone major changes, so that we know which "version" of the organ is on the recording).
Anything of interest, especially technical detail which doesn't fit into any other category or general comments such as, "Needs restoration" provided the date on which the organ was observed to be in this state is included. Please do not give personal impressions of the instrument, such as "The best organ this side of the Black Stump" or "Really horrible organ"
Our format involves listing each division in the following order:Manual divisions: starting with the physically lowest manual and working upwards. For each manual we show its name, preceded by a Roman number indicating its order (if definitely known; if we're unsure of the manual order, we omit these numbers); After the manual name, in brackets, the word "Enclosed" if it is enclosed (otherwise nothing), its compass, and the number of keys.After all the divisions come, firstly, the couplers, as follows:Example:Note the use of upper and lower case: "Choir" rather than "CHOIR". The word "organ" should not be added to the division name.I Choir (Enclosed; C-g3; 56) ... II Great (C-g3, 56) ... etc
Important note: accented charactersBecause the Internet cannot handle 8-bit ASCII easily, a problem arises with accented characters. In order to attempt to produce catalogues which are as accurate as possible, we need details of accented characters, using the following method:
Place the ASCII character most closely resembling the accent after the character to be accented, e.g.:
There is no need to format a stoplist neatly; it is enough to leave a space between the stop name and its pitch. We have a program that converts stoplists into our standard format.
Our addressIf you use the on-line form, it will be mailed to us automatically and you will receive an automated acknowledgement. Otherwise, please submit catalogue entries by e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Photos should be sent as attachments to the same address. Note that we have a very considerable backlog of catalogue entries awaiting re-formatting and several weeks may elapse before we can add your contribution to our catalogue. Specs submitted using our on-line form will appear more quickly than those sent in other formats.