Ida Carroll’s Photo Collection

Ciara Garcha has been volunteering with our Archive as part of our Northern School of Music centenary project. She shares what she’s learned about the NSM’s second Principal Ida Carroll photo collection.

As part of the NSM Centenary Project, the personal photograph collection of former Principal of the Royal Northern School of Music, Ida Carroll OBE, has been digitised. The photographs in the collection range from family photographs to student weddings and chart Ms. Carroll’s career and journey with the RNCM.

Large group picture of students, tutors and nuns outside dressed in suits and dresses.

Over her career as a musician, writer and music teacher, Ms. Carroll oversaw the establishment of the RNCM, after the NSM and the Royal Manchester College of Music merged together in 1973. Some of the most intriguing items in the photograph collection are several shots of the staff and students through the ages, which Ms. Carroll clearly treasured and remain in good condition.  These large and thin photographs chart the school and student body through the ages, showing also changes in fashion, hairstyles and many more interesting details. They serve to remind how much change and transformation Ms. Carroll oversaw as Principal of the NSM and later RNCM.

Ms. Carroll’s own journey with the NSM and RNCM is itself an intriguing and fascinating story. Having initially studied at the NSM, she went onto work there as a Secretary to the Board. Finally, she progressed to Deputy Principal and then Principal of the school, a role which she held between 1958 and 1971. The newly digitized photograph collection perfectly illustrates her own journey with the school and her personal commitment to the education and music scene in Manchester.

For hundreds of digitised archive items, head over to our online exhibition with the Manchester Digital Music Archive.