On 11 May 1931, a few hours before the death of violinist and composer Eugène Ysaÿe, the doorbell was rung at the house of the famous virtuoso. The violinist Philip Newman was waiting at the door and was subsequently let in by Ysaÿe's son Antoine. Behind the door of Ysaÿe's bedroom, Newman, unpacked his violin and he played Ysaÿe's fourth solo sonata, which brought some relief in the composer's last exhausting hours. After Ysaÿe's death, his family offered a notebook containing the first sketches, of among others, the six solo sonatas to Newman.

Josette Lavergne, 1945.
Josette Lavergne (1921-2015)

After Newman's death in 1966, his music library was inherited by the Belgian violinist Josette Lavergne from Ostend. When she had died in 2015, the library of the Royal Conservatory Brussels was contacted by her heirs. It was their intention that her collection of violin music and documentation would be properly preserved and made accessible for musicians and researchers.

The Lavergne collection consists of no less than 6 metres of materials and was classified immediately after its removal. When it turned out to contain a notebook with compositional sketches in Ysaÿe's handwriting, a research project around the notebook was started up. As a tribute to Josette and in agreement with the heirs, the notebook was given the name 'Lavergne manuscript'.