The original drafts and recordings of Elizabeth’s music, once performed or published, found their way into her attic at Rooks Nest House, together with programmes, newspaper cuttings, correspondence and photos. This was because they were finished and also she was wary of dealing with publishers, having had occasion in the past to fight them hard in order to receive fair play.
Towards the end of her life she met Malcolm Williamson and his partner & publisher, Simon Campion, and decided that he should be her literary executor and copyright holder, expressing in her will the hope that he would give all manuscripts of her musical and literary works to a suitable trust for safe-keeping.
In 2013, some 100 box files of written material, mainly correspondence, were duly catalogued and deposited at The Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies (HALS) at County Hall, Hertford and now, all the available music (nearly 300 items) has been checked and recently deposited at the Music Department of the British Library. So Elizabeth’s dying wish for the safe-keeping of her archive has been largely fulfilled.
After her death, the huge task of sorting out the music had been undertaken by Simon and one of Elizabeth’s close friends, Suzanne Rose. Together, they listed, detailed and categorised all items of music, placing each in a numbered envelope. The majority of items are extant, despite Simon’s disruptive moves to storage at Standon and then Royston.
In checking the material before dispatch, several new items have been discovered – correspondence, music and photographs, especially about her early years. One, a letter in neat copperplate by Elizabeth to her mother from her birthplace, Highfield, when she was just 7½ years old tells "Mummie" about the Easter eggs and other sweets that she and her baby brother consumed.
Another item was a composition for voice and piano Shall I wasting in Despair, written when she was only 13; in it she used the first and last verses of a poem by George Wither but with slight changes of her own – something she was to do later in some of her translations of Italian songs. Other new finds were books of dance tunes and nursery rhymes bought when she was just 16 or 17 and, another, the earliest letter written to Elizabeth by the Canadian composer, Jean Couthard soon after their meeting in Canada in 1954 which marked the beginning of a lifelong friendship.
Pending full cataloguing, the British Library deposit number of this material and accompanying recordings of her work is 2015/51.