The database was first created in 1987 by Dr. Martha Clinkscale. Information came initially from her systematic survey of printed sources, including museum catalogs and checklists, journal articles, dissertations, and other publications. Her visits to museum collections and private communications with scores of piano owners, collectors, and scholars provided much information for the database. New information and corrections to the database have been continuously entered for the past three decades.
Two books were based upon the database:
Makers of the Piano, vol. 1: 1700–1820 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993).
Makers of the Piano, vol. 2: 1820–1860 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999).
The present online database contains all of the piano data and maker biographies originally included in both volumes, but with corrections and the addition of over 2700 pinaos).
Preparation of the Clinkscale Online began in 2009 and was made publicly accessible in 2011.
The database includes pianos of all types made up to the year 1860. Pianos remain in the database whether or not their current location is known, and in some cases, after they are known to have been destroyed. The database is not able to accept data on post-1860 instruments due to practical limits of database maintenance and administration.
Database editors continually work to maximize data accuracy, but due to the massive number and geographical spread of the instruments, information must come from many sources. This sometimes results in information that is incomplete or lacking broadly accepted descriptive language. Users are strongly encouraged to to help refine the data by submitting corrections and additions.
Download the interactive data entry form (pdf) to enter your information. An editor will check over the entry. Please consider also uploading photos to assist editors with the description.
Clinkscale Online uses a MySQL database on the back end with an ASP.NET interface.