Percy Grainger’s death, Ella Grainger continued to live at White Plains. Helping musicians
locate performing material was a frequent demand, as was the hosting of
scholarly research and an ever-increasing number of people, mainly
musicians, who wanted to tour the house because of its historic
significance. Ella tackled and began organizing the piles of Grainger
papers, recordings, and memorabilia that surrounded her.
of Ella’s early efforts to preserve Percy's legacy resulted in a New
York State Regent’s charter for the Percy Grainger Library Society,
granted provisionally in 1964, and permanently on September 26, 1969.
Initial incorporators were Ella, along with Charles W. Hughes
(1900–1999, Professor, Lehman College, New York), Fannie Lippman Hughes
(1994–1989, Charles’ wife), James Holden (1905–1991, Attorney, Holden
Brothers Law Firm), Martha C. Holden (1916–2013, James’ wife), and
“their associates and successors”. As a private foundation, activities
were funded out of the proceeds of Percy Grainger’s royalties,
administered and contributed to by Ella Grainger.
The purposes were to: maintain a musical research library, to foster
knowledge and appreciation of the music of the late Percy Grainger and
others; to encourage the performance of music; and to make financial
grants to orchestras and musical institutions. Among the incorporators
was James Holden, a partner in the law firm of Holden Brothers, who had
prepared Percy’s final Will (dated September 29, 1959). The charter
provided that the organization had the power to enact bylaws, and that
it should have not less than 5 or more than 28 trustees. There was to be
one annual meeting per year on May 14. (Photo to right: The four Charters of the Society: upper left, Provisional, 1964; lower left, Permanent, 1969; upper right, name change from "Percy Grainger Library Society" to "International Percy Grainger Society", 1981; and lower right, Name change from "International Percy Grainger Society" to "Percy Grainger Society", 2022)
The house was soon placed on the National Park Service’s National
Register of Historic Places. Reflecting its broadening focus and
membership, the organization changed its name to the International
Percy Grainger Society on November 20, 1981. On May 22, 2022, following a strategic review in 2021, the
International Percy Grainger Society merged with the UK-based Percy Grainger Society, to become one organization, simply named the Percy Grainger Society.