is a research database named in honor of Donald H. Boalch and Charles M. Mould whose groundbreaking work Makers of the Harpsichord and Clavichord 1440-1840 was first published in a print edition of 1956 and updated by Oxford University Press in 1974 and 1995.
continues to refine, update, and expand their findings into the digital age. With biographies of known makers and an extensive catalog of surviving instruments, many with photos, BMO is a searchable database available on the Internet at no charge to researchers, owners, collectors, caretakers, and enthusiasts of historical harpsichords and clavichords.
envisioned the online publication of his database, writing in the preface to the 1995 edition, “It is hoped that in due course [the database] will be available free of charge to all scholars via the internet.” Dr. Mould has given his strong endorsement to the current project.
A pre-1925 date limit for BMO increases the timeframe covered by the print editions to include the beginnings of the early keyboard revival. As a primarily crowd-sourced information system, BMO editors make a reasonable effort to ensure accuracy of information and consistency of its presentation, but necessarily accepts all credible data from observers all around the world. Users are strongly urged to alert editors when they have new information, corrections, or photographs.
All staffing is volunteer. However, website hosting and professional web development are costly. BMO receives funding from the Musical Instrument Research Catalog (www.MIRCat.org), a non-profit 501(c)3 charity that solicits funding from individuals and organizations in support of the BMO initiative and other closely related digital resources for musical instrument research.
General Editor and Website Administrator is John R. Watson, based in Williamsburg, Virginia, USA. (email Editor@Boalch.org). Biographies editor is Lance Whitehead based in Edinburgh, Scotland. (email Biographies@Boalch.org). A board of contributing editors is being formed.
BMO is an independent initiative that regularly reports its progress to MIRCat, on which BMO depends for funding, encouragement, and consulting. There is also a Boalch advisory committee to advise on editorial policy and database interface improvements.
The conversion of all data from the 1995 print edition to the database format is complete. John Watson and Lance Whitehead are now editing, updating, and adding to the instrument entries and maker biographies respectively. New and corrected information on instruments may be sent to Editor@boalch.org. It will be announced when we can accept new and corrected information for maker biographies. Web developer Wendi Taranto is creating a user interface for the online database. Our target date for publication is April, 2022.