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French Special Collections: Harding, Walter

Walter Harding Collection

Harding, Walter Newton Henry, 1883-1973

Born in London and retained British nationality, but lived in Chicago and pursued a career as a music-hall pianist and cinema organist.

Songbooks were the central theme of his collecting, including music and ballad operas, but it extended into the fields of English and French poetry. His collections were bequeathed to the Bodleian, where they arrived in 1975. They include French songs from 1700, French opera libretti c. 1680-1800, French opera full scores c. 1680-1820, French, German and Italian opera vocal scores, chapbooks in verse and prose, mainly English, but some French, German, and Italian, French songbooks, 18th and 19th centuries (c. 2,000 volumes), includes the Henri Bachimont collection of 800 volumes (1790-1880), bought in 1927. A representative collection from 1700 onwards. There are also French chapbooks, jestbooks and plays.


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