Bellfoundry Indexes Advice

What bellfoundry indexes are - and aren't

The bellfoundry index pages on this Website are unlike all of our other index pages.  They are not "lists of ..." instruments which have certain characteristics (size, weight, etc.).  Thus they are not "lists of instruments manufactured by" the various bellfounders. 

While some of the entries in these indexes do represent complete carillons or chimes, other entries represent only the production of a set of bells (or even just a single bell) which is (or was) only a part of a particular carillon or chime.  (There are also entries for each great bell which is not part of a carillon or chime.)  Thus instruments which have bells from multiple foundries, or in which bells were installed over a period of years (especially those which developed from chimes into carillons), will usually have multiple entries in these indexes.  Each entry in a bellfoundry index represents one phase in the development of a particular carillon or chime (or one independent great bell), and links to a site data page for that instrument (if it is extant) which contains a description of each and every phase of its developmental history.  Other work by the various bellfoundries is not indexed (e.g., ordinary single bells, peals, clock-chimes, etc.)  However, such bells will be mentioned in the Remarks section of a site data page if they were later incorporated into (or associated with) a chime or carillon.

What does not appear in these indexes is major work which did not involve casting, tuning or original installation of bells.  (An exception is made for certain keyboard replacements.)  Transmission replacements, reconstruction of frames, etc., &c., may be described in the Remarks sections of site data pages, but are not indexed.  Carillon builders and rebuilders who are not also bellfounders may likewise be identified, but are not indexed.

There are three categories of bellfoundry index pages:

Category 1 - for a single foundry:

Index to carillons and chimes
  with bells by [Bellfounder's name]

Typical introduction:   The XYZ foundry, now closed, provided bells for various carillons and chimes throughout the world.  See the bottom of this page for some historical notes.

Each index of this nature shows all of the work of one bellfoundry, regardless of its destination around the world.  There is also an index of the same nature for work by Unknown (though not necessarily anonymous) bellfoundries, as well as one for work by Miscellaneous bellfoundries (those for whom there is as yet no separate foundry index page).

Category 2 - for a geographic region:

Index to [regional] sites by maker

Each index of this nature shows all bellfounders' work which arrived in the particular region for an instrument which is extant, even if the bells themselves are no longer extant.

Category 3 - for one type of instrument in a geographic region:

Index to [regional]
[instrument type]s by maker

Each index of this nature shows all bellfounders' work which arrived in the particular region for a site which now has an instrument of a particular type, regardless of what type the instrument might have been at some earlier stage in its history.  Any change in type during the course of that history will be shown by a # or * flag on the type indication (see below).

For Categories 2 and 3:

These regional indexes are subdivided into sections, one for each bellfoundry whose work is found in the region being indexed.  There may also be sections for work of Unknown origin and work from Miscellaneous foundries.  At the end of each bellfoundry section is a link to the corresponding Category 1 index.

For all types:

Typical introduction:   This index page, like all bellfoundry indexes on this Website, contains an entry for each set of bells shipped from the foundry for a carillon or a chime, as well as one for each independent great bell. 

Order of listing, and appended details:

Within each index (or index section), sites are listed in order by the year of casting (unknown first), which may be different from the year of installation in the present location.  For a given year, they are generally in order by country and city.
Following the year is an indication of the founder's contribution to the instrument in that year:

Finally, there is an indication of the type of instrument as detailed in Instrument Type Abbreviations.


Individual index entries follow this format for instruments:

WEST HARTFORD                 : USA - CT     1969 F  trad
   Gordon Stearns Memorial Carillon
   First Church of Christ, Congregational 
WEST HARTFORD                 : USA - CT     1985 E  trad
   Gordon Stearns Memorial Carillon
   First Church of Christ, Congregational 
and a similar format for great bells:
Philadelphia                  : USA - PA     1876 -  great
   Independence Hall

Click on any underlined link to go to the site data page for that instrument or to the relevant descriptive section of a page listing the great bells of a country or region.  Instruments which were built in multiple phases (as the above example was) will have multiple links (index entries), all pointing to the same site data page.  The Links section of every site data page has references back to where each such index entry occurs, making it easy to see how each instrument is related to other instruments that are similar to it in various ways.

Historical Notes:

Indexes to the work of individual bellfoundries (Category 1) usually contain some information about the foundry's history.  If the foundry is still active, then contact information also appears there.  Regional multi-foundry indexes (Categories 2 and 3) do not contain such information.

Return to Indexes to bellfoundries.

This page was created on 2-Jun-10 and last updated on 31-Jul-15.

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