Eight years ago, on the old good harpsichord list HPSCHD-L, Chris Vandekerkhove suggested making a database out of the then-unfindable Boalch (“Converting Boalch into a database”, Dec. 23rd, 2013). The discussion went on the copyright issues.
Today the Boalch is even more unfindable than in 2013 but it seems a Boalch database is on its way. It should be online by the end of the year. It will be free access and of course will enclose new findings and corrections. I don’t know how they solved the copyright issues, but this is great news.
I found it on the Clavichord makers Facebook group, Redirecting.... It’s a post by David Hackett that I am pasting here (hope this doesn’t bother David nor you):
[David Hackett wrote on Sept. 18, 2021:]
Donald Boalch’s Makers of the Harpsichord and Clavichord 1440 – 1840 has been a valued resource for us all for many years – the first book we turn to when we encounter an original instrument. The third and most recent edition (edited by Charles Mould) is now very difficult to obtain – the cheapest on-line offer is currently over £1,400. Moreover, since its publication in 1995, the development of the internet in particular has brought to light a wealth of new information, and the ownership of many instruments has changed. So we are delighted to announce that with Charles’ blessing, the launch of ‘Boalch Online’ is now assured. It is expected to be available by the end of the year, as a free-to-access database. One change will be that the scope will be increased by eighty years to 1920, to include the early pioneering work of Arnold Dolmetsch and others.
It will run alongside Clinkscale Online, the database for early pianos, and will follow a similar format. Photographs will be included where possible. The work of transcribing the data from Boalch III is now complete, and development of the database itself is well advanced. The work is being undertaken by Tom Watson (formerly of Colonial Williamsburg Foundation), Tom Strange (Sigal Music Museum, South Carolina) and Tom and Michelle Winter (Clinkscale). I am happy to be a small part of the team – I was the grit in the oyster!
A lot has changed since 1995; Amendments and new information will be invited in due course. In the meantime, I will be happy to be a point of contact, and to receive any preliminary offerings.