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Dale Barco papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 7789

Scope and Contents

This collection includes materials collected by Dale Barco throughout his years of repairing and making harps. Dates span from approximately 1966 to 2005. It contains various sheet music, manuscripts, and photocopies of music for piano, guitar, vocals, and harp. Also includes newsclippings, personal documents and correspondence, American Harp Society conference programs, audio and video recordings, harp strings, and framed art and photographs.


  • circa 1966-2005


Conditions Governing Access

Open to public research.

Conditions Governing Use

It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances.

Permission to publish material from the Dale Barco papers must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services and/or the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Board of Curators.

Biographical History

Dale Barco (1928-2010) was most infamously know as the Harp Doctor. His work restoring, fixing, and making harps continues to be known throughout the harp world. Much of the success of the Salvi Company in America can be attributed to his efforts.

Before pursing his career of over forty years in the harp world, Dale assembled torpedoes for the Naval Ordnance. He served with the United States Navy, working on mine-laying destroyers in Mine Warfare and with booby traps in Germany. Dale left his torpedo job and in 1954 started working for the Comptometer Corporation in Chicago. While there, he helped to develop the first quartz crystal oscillator, which was sent up into space on the first satellite. Dale’s contract with the company expired in 1961 and left him in search of a job. He walked past the Lyon and Healy Factory and saw an advertisement that they were looking for help. He talked to the manager at the time, Mr. Kopseaker. Dale was told that the machinist job advertised was taken, but that there was a position open for fixing harps. He accepted the position and went through six months of training. For the next fourteen years, Dale worked with Lyon and Healy in Los Angeles. In 1975, Victor Salvi invited Dale to work for him to help open the Salvi Company in America. He took many trips representing the Salvi Company to see how harps were made. He then opened up his own harp repair shop in Los Angeles. The first harp he made was for Gail Laughton. He also restored a Louis XV gold harp and customized many others.


5 boxes (2.5 linear ft.)

5 cartons (5 linear ft.)

Language of Materials



Original order of the collection has been maintained.

Custodial History

Donated by Dale Barco in 2005.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated; Dale Barco; October 2005.


Prominent Harpists, (Section IV.a.i. International Harp Collection Development Policy January 2011).

Processing Information

Processed; Lynzi Phillips; April 2011.

Register of Dale Barco papers
Lynzi Phillips
2011 April 7
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English in Latin script.

Repository Details

Part of the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Repository

1130 HBLL
Brigham Young University
Provo Utah 84602 United States