To most people, archives conjure up a picture of dark rooms encumbered with archival boxes and rows of heavily-loaded, dusty shelves; silent places of musty scent, occasionally disturbed by the shuffling sound of quiet archivists whose life seems to revolve around descriptive catalogues and index cards; in a word, archives have been perceived for a long time as the undisturbed shrine of the past. This quaint cliché fades away as soon as one enters the Prokofiev Archive offices, two busy rooms in the Information Services Building at Goldsmiths College, or visits its collection kept in the Library’s Special Collections.
Frequently visited by students who consult its extensive collection of published sources, it also provides a unique archival collection of particular interest to postgraduate students and scholars. Private visitors include Prokofiev enthusiasts, mostly from abroad, and performers of his music, among whom the legendary Mstislav Rostropovich, who visited in 2000.
The Archive has provided expert support to numerous public ventures, which reached a peak with the most challenging of them all: Prokofiev 2003.
The Curator is leading an on-going programme of scholarly projects with a view to ultimately setting up an on-line catalogue of Prokofiev sources around the world. Over the years the Serge Prokofiev Archive has established itself as the authoritative source of information on Prokofiev’s life and works.