Dale Barco papers

Dale Barco papers

Dates: circa 1966-2005

This collection includes materials collected by Dale Barco throughout his years of repairing and making harps. Dates span from approximately 1966 to 2005. It contains various sheet music, manuscripts, and photocopies of music for piano, guitar, vocals, and harp. Also includes newsclippings, personal documents and correspondence, American Harp Society conference programs, audio and video recordings, harp strings, and framed art and photographs.

  • Extent: 5 boxes (2.5 linear ft.). -- 5 cartons (5 linear ft.)
  • Creator: Barco, Dale
  • Call Number: MSS 7789
  • Repository: L. Tom Perry Special Collections; Music Special Collections; 1130 Harold B. Lee Library; Brigham Young University; Provo, Utah 84602; http://sc.lib.byu.edu/
  • Access Restrictions: Open to public research.
Languages and Scripts
Original order of the collection has been maintained.
Conditions of Use
It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances. Permission to publish material from the Dale Barco papers must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services and/or the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Board of Curators.
Preferred Citation
Initial citation: MSS 7789; Dale Barco papers; International Harp Archives; L. Tom Perry Special Collections; Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University. Following citation: MSS 7789, LTPSC.
Custodial History
Donated by Dale Barco in 2005.
Acquisition Information
Donated; Dale Barco; October 2005.
Subject Terms
Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences; Music
Genre / Form
Files (Records); Harp strings; Photographs; Sheet music
Processing Information
Processed; Lynzi Phillips; April 2011.
Appraisal Information
Prominent Harpists, (Section IV.a.i. International Harp Collection Development Policy January 2011).
Finding Aid ID Number
Finding Aid Title
Barco (Dale) papers
Finding Aid Author
Finding aid prepared by Lynzi Phillips
Finding Aid Creator
This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit 2014-03-23T04:21-0600
Finding Aid Language
Biographical Info:

Biographical History

Dale Barco (1928-2010) was most infamously know as the Harp Doctor. His work restoring, fixing, and making harps continues to be known throughout the harp world. Much of the success of the Salvi Company in America can be attributed to his efforts.

Before pursing his career of over forty years in the harp world, Dale assembled torpedoes for the Naval Ordnance. He served with the United States Navy, working on mine-laying destroyers in Mine Warfare and with booby traps in Germany. Dale left his torpedo job and in 1954 started working for the Comptometer Corporation in Chicago. While there, he helped to develop the first quartz crystal oscillator, which was sent up into space on the first satellite. Dale’s contract with the company expired in 1961 and left him in search of a job. He walked past the Lyon and Healy Factory and saw an advertisement that they were looking for help. He talked to the manager at the time, Mr. Kopseaker. Dale was told that the machinist job advertised was taken, but that there was a position open for fixing harps. He accepted the position and went through six months of training. For the next fourteen years, Dale worked with Lyon and Healy in Los Angeles. In 1975, Victor Salvi invited Dale to work for him to help open the Salvi Company in America. He took many trips representing the Salvi Company to see how harps were made. He then opened up his own harp repair shop in Los Angeles. The first harp he made was for Gail Laughton. He also restored a Louis XV gold harp and customized many others.

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David Day
Curator - Music Special Collections