Collection UQFL38 - Robert Dalley-Scarlett Papers

Identity area

Reference code



Robert Dalley-Scarlett Papers


  • 1920-1984 (Creation)

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Extent and medium

4 boxes, 1 parcel.

Context area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Robert Dalley-Scarlett was born on 16 April 1887 at Darlinghurst, Sydney. Organist, choirmaster, composer, arranger, teacher, lecturer, broadcaster, music scholar, music critic and journalist. He held various church appointments as organist and choirmaster including Grafton Cathedral (1912-1919), St Andrews Presbyterian Church, Creek Street, Brisbane (1919-1932), Valley Methodist Church, Brisbane (1932-1934), All Saints Church, Wickham Terrace, Brisbane (1934-1941). As resident organist at the Valley Methodist Church, he used the church choir as the basis for two Handel Festivals in 1933 and 1934. During this time, the Brisbane Handel Society was formed, specialising in the performance of the Handel choral repertoire. Dalley-Scarlett conducted the Handel Society until shortly before his death in 1959. He gave up private teaching and organ playing when he became a member of staff at the Australian Broadcasting Commission in 1941. Dalley-Scarlett was a prolific composer and founding president of the Queensland Guild of Australian Composers (1940-1943). His many works include choral, orchestral, and chamber music. He died 31 July 1959 at Brisbane. A triennial scholarship to his memory exists within the University of Queensland.

Name of creator


Administrative history

Robert Dalley-Scarlett established the Brisbane Handel Society in 1932. After successful Handel festivals in 1933 and 1934, the society broadcast all his oratorios between 1934 and 1942. In the 1950s it gave annual unabridged performances of the Messiah, faithfully observing the composer's intentions. Dalley-Scott conducted this choir until shortly before his death in 1959. -- excerpted from Australian Dictionary of Biography

Archival history

Collection previously titled as: Papers, 1920-1984
Collection alternatively titled as: Robert Dalley-Scarlett Collection.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

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Scope and content

Includes: manuscripts of composition for voices, instruments & orchestras and other published works by Robert Dalley-Scarlett; papers relating to the Robert Dalley-Scarlett Memorial Scholarship and his collection held at the Sydney University Library; biographical material; correspondence. Records of the Brisbane Handel Society including minutes books, correspondence, programmes. Other material includes photographs and newspaper clippings.

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Conditions governing access

Unrestricted access.

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Language of material

  • English

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Uploaded finding aid

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Alternative identifier(s)



Millennium Local System Number


OCLC Number

222718746 ; 899227849

Libraries Australia ID

21561087 ; 53968397 ; 56126486 ; 56973522 ; 63005022

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Dates of creation revision deletion

Migrated from LMS: April 2019, P.A.




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