Heritage organisations

British Institute of Organ Studies (BIOS)

The British Institute of Organ Studies (BIOS) was founded in 1975 and serves effectively as the amenity society for the British organ. It lobbies Government, Historic England and other national bodies on behalf of the instrument and, through the Historic Organs Certificate Scheme, lists organs deemed to be of historic and musical significance to our national musical heritage. Historic England, the Heritage Lottery Fund and other national bodies concerned with buildings containing organs increasingly take note, where appropriate, of the listed status of an instrument, albeit currently non-statutory. 

Areas of interest

  • Promotion of objective, scholarly research into the history of the organ and its music in all its aspects, and, in particular, into the organ and its music in Britain.
  • Conservation of the sources and materials for the history of the organ in Britain, and to make them accessible to scholars.
  • Preservation, and where necessary, faithful restoration of historic organs in Britain.
  • Encouragement of an exchange of scholarship with similar bodies and individuals abroad, and to promote, in Britain, a greater appreciation of historical schools of organbuilding overseas.

Training and Education:

  • BIOS organises a regular programme of events for members. These normally include a residential conference, a one-day research conference (held at Birmingham University), an AGM (usually combined with study of an important organ in London) and a number of study days, usually centred around individual instruments of historical importance. BIOS also hosts two research tools: the National Pipe Organ Register (NPOR) available on the web, and the British Organ Archive (BOA) which now forms part of the special collections at the Cadbury Research Library at Birmingham University.


  • Books, technical pamphlets and information sheets
  • Archive available to researchers by appointment (the British Organ Archive)


  • BIOS does not provide grant aid for organs but can assist with attracting funding to specific projects.