David and Annabelle Stone Gilbert and Sullivan Collection for the Libraries


About the David and Annabelle Stone Gilbert and Sullivan collection and endowment


Ernst Perabo, “Iolanthe,” 10 transcriptions for the piano,
Geo. Walker & Co., Lithographer, c.1883. 83 pages,
from the David and Annabelle Stone Gilbert
and Sullivan Collection

In 2014, David N. And Annabelle D. Stone established the David and Annabelle Stone Gilbert and Sullivan Collection for the Libraries. The purpose of the fund is to preserve, protect, and catalog their extensive collection of Gilbert and Sullivan-related materials dating from the late 1850’s. The entire collection will ultimately be transferred through the George Mason University Foundation to the University Libraries and housed in the Special Collections Research Center in the Fenwick Library. To learn more about this gift, visit "Gilbert and Sullivan Collection to Make Its Home at Mason."

David Stone spent over forty years amassing the treasure trove of Gilbert and Sullivan related materials that has evolved into four collections in one: the fourteen Gilbert and Sullivan Operas; W.S. Gilbert; Arthur Sullivan; and the D’Oyly Carte Opera Company. The collection includes manuscript materials, books, periodicals, opera libretti, printed music, photographs, posters, programs, recordings, set and costume designs, and other production material and ephemera.

During the first half of 2017 the George Mason University Libraries, in conjunction with Mason's College of Visual and Performing Arts and collector David Stone, embarked upon a series of events, performances, and exhibits to celebrate the creative genius of Gilbert and Sullivan. A multi-part exhibit, Oh Joy Unbounded: A Celebration of Gilbert and Sullivan, was mounted in Fenwick Library and the Hylton Performing Arts Center. A corresponding digital exhibit and print catalog were also created.

The peak of the celebrations occurred in April 2017 when about 100 attendees convened at George Mason University for a day-long affair, including a guided tour of the three exhibition galleries in Fenwick Library and a scholarly forum examining the life, works, and influence of Gilbert and Sullivan. Many attendees stayed for a Friends of Music dinner that evening and then joined a full house in Mason's Harris Theatre for a delightful performance of Iolanthe by Mason Opera students. You can read more about Oh Joy Unbounded in the Spring 2018 edition of the Libraries at Mason magazine.

Following the 2017 celebration, David and Ann Stone reflected, "Our pleasure with the success of the exhibition, forum, and student productions is only enhanced by the knowledge that the collection has found the perfect permanent home as a resource for scholars and performing artists at Mason."

About David N. Stone

David N. Stone grew up in the Washington, D.C. area, graduated from Lake Forest College in Illinois, served a tour as a U.S. Army officer in the Vietnam War, and worked with the Veterans Administration (later the Department of Veterans Affairs) until retirement in 2000. His interest in music and the Mason music program grew out of a strong, some would say fanatical, love of the Gilbert & Sullivan operas. In 2015, he joined the board of the Friends of Music at Mason.

In the mid-1970s he joined the Montgomery (later Washington) Savoyards, serving as a baritone chorister, board member, program producer, and occasional set crew member. He is a member of the Gilbert & Sullivan Society, London, the Society's New York branch, the W.S. Gilbert Society, and the Sir Arthur Sullivan Society, and has written articles on matters Gilbert & Sullivan for all of their publications. David is on the board of the Internet Gilbert & Sullivan Archive and wrote and maintains the Archive's "Who Was Who in the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company" website.

Questions about the collection?

Contact our Special Collections Research Center at speccoll@gmu.edu.

Questions about contributing to the endowment?

Contact Kathleen Kehoe, director of development, at kkehoe@gmu.edu.