The OHS Pipe Organ Database

This site is the publicly accessible gateway or interface for a relational database that was established in 2004 as a digital catalog of all pipe organs either built or installed in North America. Limiting the content to pipe organs, to the exclusion of reed organs and electronic instruments, whether analog or digital, is intentional and the direct outgrowth of the mission of the Organ Historical Society.

The Organ Historical Society cel­ebrates, pre­serves, and studies the pipe organ in America in all its his­toric styles, through re­search, edu­cation, ad­vocacy, and music.

Making individual entries for what might be as many as 120,000 pipe organs is a daunting task, and one that cannot be accomplished without the contributions of many individuals throughout the pipe organ community. The total number of contributors is too great to list their names here, but we owe particular thanks for those people who have insured our catalog includes complete opus lists. In an ongoing process, the following complete catalogs have been added to our catalog.

  • All organs built by M.P. Möller, courtesy of Stephen Schnurr and Jeff Scofield.
  • All organs built by Walter B. Holtkamp, Sr. between 1932 and 1961 (December 2008); revised and corrected by John Igoe (November 2015).
  • The complete opus list of Juget-Sinclair, courtesy of David Szanto (November 2008).
  • The complete Aeolian-Skinner opus list, according to information in Allen Kinzey and Sand Lawn's E.M. Skinner/Aeolian-Skinner Opus List, completed July 3, 2008.
  • The complete opus list of Estey Organ Co., courtesy of James R. Stettner. (October 2007).
  • All organs built by Lively-Fulcher Pipe Organs (October 2007 — courtesy of Paul Fulcher).
  • All organs built by E. M. Skinner/The Ernest M. Skinner Co./Skinner Organ Co., i.e., through Opus 871 (May 2006).
  • New organs built by Nichols and Simpson, Inc. (January, 2006 — courtesy of David Scribner).
  • Organs built by Reuter Organ Co., courtesy of  Chris leaver (November 2005).
  • Organs by Fritts-Richards and Paul Fritts & Co., Organbuilders.
  • 518 organs built by the Hall Organ Company between its founding in 1898 and the publication of an opus list in 1929.
  • 164 organs built by Geo. H. Ryder of Boston, taken from a list he published in 1896.
  • Organs built by Dobson Pipe Organ Builders, courtesy of John Panning.
  • A list of 1766 Pilcher organs, compiled from original sources by Elizabeth Schmitt (April 2005); revised and corrected by John Igoe (October 2015).
  • The complete list of Organs by E. &. G. G. Hook/E. & G. G. Hook & Hastings/Hook & Hastings (February, 2005); reviewed and corrected by John Igoe (October 2015).
  • The complete opus list of Austin Organs, Inc. (Added December 2004.)

Our data on pipe organs is stored in a relational database that includes fields for the following information on each instrument.

  • Location: country, state, city, institution, building and room, street address and zip code
  • Builder: Builder's name and opus number
  • Awards:
    • OHS Historic Organ Citations
    • OHS Historic Organ Awards
    • OHS Convention Organs
  • General information: number of manuals, divisions, registers, stops, ranks and pipes, and date of completion.
  • Instrument details: type of chest, type of key action, and type of stop action.
  • Current state and condition.
  • Installation/placement: type of installation (encased, exposed, chambers, etc.), case description (where appropriate), and placement in room (divided chambers in chancel, center stage, rear gallery, etc.)
  • Console: placement (attached, en fenêtre, movable, etc.), general design, type of stop controls (drawknob, terraced, stop tab, etc.), and playing aids (combination actions, swell shoes/pedals and their placement, piston sequencers, etc.).
  • General notes are used to provide details not covered by the contents of the Database structure itself. In addition a note is used to identify the source of information when the person contributing the information has not examined the instrument first hand.
  • Auxiliary files: links to
    • Photographs.
      • Thumbnail images are displayed on the details page for each entry, and each thumbnail is a link to a larger image.
      • We accept photographs of pipe organs and of the buildings that contain them.
      • We avoid photographs where the main subject is a person rather than the instrument, its components, or its surroundings.
      • We do not appropriate photographs from other web sites.
      • With the exception of vintage photographs that appear to be in the public domain, we do not accept submitted photographs if the contributor does not hold the rights to the image.
    • Stoplists.
      • If the stoplist has been submitted as a plain text file, it is visible at the foot of the detailed entry.
      • If the stoplist is stored in another format, such as a PDF or HTML file, a link is provided on the details page, and the stoplist opens in another window or tab.
    • Documents. We provide links to documents that cannot be displayed on the details page. These may be any digital item that contains information about a pipe organ but is neither a photograph nor a simple stoplist.
  • Bibliographic entries are provided when they are known to reference specific instruments, and when they contain significant information beyond the contents of the Database entry. The OHS Database web site does not provide direct access to publications.
  • Links to other web sites are included when those sites (or independently accessible pages) are devoted to specifically to the featured organ. For builders' sites and other sites of a general nature, see our Links page. We accept no responsibility for dead links to web sites that may have changed since our link was added.