Clare at the piano

The music trade was a constant in my childhood as my father managed a music importing business and my family had been involved in the music trade in New Zealand since 1861, and prior to that in Scotland.  While at school and later university I worked in the sheet music department of a music shop in Wellington, where the elderly lady in charge used to talk fondly of “Elton” and his contemporaries while selling their music.

My MA dissertation at the University of Otago was a history of the music firm of Charles Begg & Co Ltd, 1861 – 1945 and I subsequently developed this research into a book, extending the coverage to 1970 when the firm ceased to exist as music traders.

I recently completed a PhD at Victoria University of Wellington, researching music sellers in New Zealand 1840 to 1940 by examining owner bound volumes of music.

It seems the music trade is in my blood.

Clare Gleeson



2 thoughts on “About

  1. Hello Clare, I am researching my Begg Family Tree and came across your book “Meet me at Beggs'”. I thought I had found a relation but it would appear that you are a researcher. Do you by any chance know how to contact any living Begg Relation. I am from Alexander Milne Begg’s line who was made Managing Director of “Charles Begg and Company Limited on his sister Elizabeth Warwick Kerr’s death 15 April 1918. Would appreciate any help or direction you may beable to give me. Kind Regards, Trish Hislop, Hastings , NZ


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