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Music Division





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Special Collections in Dance
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Other Special Collections and Primary Source Material



Special Collections in Music

The Arsis Press was founded in 1974 by Clara Boone (b. 1927), also known as Lyle de Bohun, to publish and promote music by contemporary women composers. The Arsis Press Archives (partially processed, 6 linear feet, 9 containers) contains printer's masters of scores published by the press; correspondence between Clara Boone and various composers, publishers, and business associates; and business trademark papers. Composers published by the press include Mary Jeanne Van Appledorn (b. 1927), Emma Lou Diemer (b. 1927), Anna Larson (b. 1940), Ruth Loman (b. 1930), Vivian Fine (1913-2000), Clara Shore (b. 1954), Ruth Schonthal (b. 1924), Nancy Van De Vate (b. 1930), and Elizabeth Vercoe (b. 1941).10

The Carrie Jacobs Bond Collection (7 linear feet, 11 containers, approximately 1,050 items) consists of music manuscripts, papers, photographs, and other materials relating to the personal and professional life of American sentimental song composer Carrie Jacobs Bond (1861-1946). Best known for her songs “I Love You Truly” (1901), “A Perfect Day” (1910) [full item], and “God Remembers When the World Forgets” (1913), Bond became an entrepreneur and started her own publishing house in 1896 after experiencing great difficulties getting her music published elsewhere. Her song “A Perfect Day” sold over eight million copies of sheet music and five million recordings.

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Geraldine Farrar. Copyright 1923. Prints and Photographs Division. LC-USZ62-90320 (b&w film copy neg.)

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Legendary American soprano Geraldine Farrar (1882-1967) donated her personal papers to the Library in 1954. Other materials acquired through gift and purchase were later added to the collection that documents the stellar career of this remarkable singer. The Geraldine Farrar Collection (17 linear feet, 58 containers, approximately 25,000 items) contains music, including compositions by Farrar; correspondence; concert programs; Metropolitan Opera contracts; drafts of her autobiography Such Sweet Compulsion; scripts for radio programs; and photographs. Fifty-five phonograph records that were included have been transferred to the Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division.

The Alma Gluck Collection (11 scrapbooks) documents the life of the notable American soprano Alma Gluck (1884-1938) [picture] with particular emphasis on the years from 1909 to 1917, when she was at her height as a performer and recording artist. Donated by her daughter Marcia Davenport in 1973, the collection includes photographs, annotated music scores, and scrapbooks of performance reviews. The finding aid lists 113 of the 124 recordings she made on the Victor Red Label that are housed in the Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division.

Pianist and composer Helen Hopekirk (1856-1945) was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, and received her musical training in Europe. She made her American debut in 1883 with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, under the management of her husband, the music critic William A. Wilson. In 1897 she accepted a teaching position at the New England Conservatory and became a fixture in the musical life of Boston. Both she and her husband became American citizens in 1918. The Helen Hopekirk Collection (6 linear feet, 16 containers) contains her original music manuscripts, scores by other composers inscribed to her, biographical material, and five scrapbooks of press clippings and programs.

Sylvia Fine (1913-1991) was a writer and composer of musical comedy best known for the special material she wrote for her husband, the actor and comedian Danny Kaye. The two met in 1939 while working on a Max Liebman production and married the following year. Fine wrote songs for several of Kaye's films, including The Court Jester (1956), The Five Pennies (1959), On the Riviera (1950), and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (1947). In 1975 Fine began a lecture series on musical comedy at Yale University. These lectures later became the basis for Musical Comedy Tonight, a series of three television specials produced by Fine in 1979, 1981, and 1985. The Danny Kaye and Sylvia Fine Kaye Collection (435 linear feet, 1,079 containers, approximately 96,377 items) contains music, scripts, books, slides, programs, and various research materials related to these shows. Other music manuscripts, printed music, and lyric sheets by Fine are also found in the collection, as well as material relating to the career of Danny Kaye.

Marian MacDowell (1857-1956) was the wife of composer and pianist Edward MacDowell and founded the MacDowell Colony for creative artists in Peterborough, New Hampshire. The essay “The House that Marian Built” in this volume is largely based on material from the Edward and Marian MacDowell Collection, and discusses it in some detail.

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Leonora Jackson. Prints and Photographs Division. LC-USZ62-77382 (b&w film copy neg.)

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Leonora Jackson McKim (1880-1969) was one of the first American women to achieve international acclaim as a concert violinist. Mrs. Grover Cleveland was one of her early patrons, enabling her to study in Chicago, Paris, and Berlin. She was decorated by Queen Victoria and performed throughout Europe and the United States with leading orchestras including the London Philharmonic and the Boston Symphony. She retired from performing after her marriage in 1915 to Dr. William Duncan McKim (1855-1935). The McKims were avid supporters of the arts, holding musical programs in their home and collecting a large number of works of art, many of which were donated to the Smithsonian Institution and the Maryland Historical Society after the death of Dr. McKim. The McKim Fund was established in 1970 for the creation and appreciation of music for violin and piano. The fund has commissioned new works for violin and piano by many well-known contemporary composers, including Ellen Taaffe Zwilich (b. 1939), Annie LeBaron (b. 1953), and Daria Semegen (b. 1946).

The McKim Fund Collection (21 linear feet, 39 containers, approximately 1,500 items) consists of the personal papers of Leonora Jackson McKim and the holograph music scores of the McKim Fund commissions. Among the personal papers are clippings of performance reviews; programs; posters and other publicity material; photographs, including one of Susan B. Anthony with a Mrs. Gross of Chicago; correspondence; Leonora's music library; and an extensive collection of her writings, including novels, short stories, plays, and poetry in manuscript form.

Loretta C. Manggrum (1896-1992) was a notable composer, teacher, and church musician who in 1953 became the first African American to receive a master's degree from the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music. She composed numerous works for church, including her cantatas Christ Our Lord (1953) and Watch (1958). The Loretta Cessor Manggrum Collection (2 linear feet, 4 containers, approximately 140 items) contains printed and manuscript musical scores, programs, and other biographical materials.

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Debria Brown, as Carmen. Carl Van Vechten, photographer. 1958. Carl Van Vechten Photograph Collection. LOT 12735, no. 158. Prints and Photographs Division.

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Founded in 1941, the National Negro Opera Company was the creation of Mary Cardwell Dawson (1894-1962). A graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music and Chicago Musical College, Mrs. Dawson managed the company until it ceased with her death in 1962. The National Negro Opera Company Collection (27 linear feet, 67 containers) contains financial records, correspondence, photographs, music, programs, and promotional material. Also included are scrapbooks and miscellaneous biographical material of the soprano La Julia Rhea (1908-1992), who performed with the company in 1941. Other notable female singers who performed with the company include Carol Brice (1916-1985), Debria Brown (b. 1932?), Minto Cato (1900-1979), Lillian Evanti (1890-1967) [picture], Omega King (1892-1973), Muriel Rahn (1911-1961), and Camilla Williams (b. 1922).

Violin virtuoso Maud Powell (1867-1920) [picture] achieved international distinction in her performing career at a time when female solo instrumental performers were rare. She enjoyed the support of her husband, who was also her manager, and continued to perform up until her untimely death at the age of fifty-two. The Maud Powell Collection (unprocessed, up to 30 linear feet) consists of the research material compiled for Karen A. Shaffer and Neva Garner Greenwood's biography Maud Powell: Pioneer American Violinist (Arlington, Va.: The Maud Powell Foundation; Ames: Iowa State University Press, 1988; ML418.P79S5 1988). Included in the collection are binders containing copies of programs, reviews, advertisements, periodical articles about Maud Powell, research correspondence, and almost six hundred photographs. Maud Powell's 78-rpm Victor Red Seal Recordings and audio and video interviews of people who knew her will be transferred to the Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division.

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Gaelic Symphony (First page of the fourth movement). Amy Beach. 1896. Arthur P. Schmidt Company Archives. Music Division. Printed by permission of The MacDowell Colony. Copyright © 2003 The MacDowell Colony. Special Coll in Music

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The German-born music publisher Arthur P. Schmidt came to America in 1866 and began publishing music in 1877. He was a valuable ally of American composers, many of whom first saw their publications in print under the A. P. Schmidt Company name. The Arthur P. Schmidt Company Archives (212 linear feet, 514 containers) include the records of the company, correspondence with composers, and autograph manuscripts used for the printed editions, many by women composers. Among them, the manuscripts of Amy Beach are of particular note. Other women represented in the collection include Florence Newell Barbour (1866-1946), Marion Bauer (1887-1955), Gena Branscombe (1881-1977), Mabel Daniels (1878-1971), Helen Hopekirk (1856-1945), Lucinda Jewell (1874-?), Margaret Ruthven Lang (1867-1972), Frances McCollin (1892-1960), Edna Rosalind Park, Olga von Radecki (fl. 1882), Anna Priscilla Risher (1875-1946), Clara Kathleen Rogers (1844-1931), and Mildred Weston.11

The Charles and Ruth Crawford Seeger Collection (partially processed, estimated up to 40 linear feet) contains the music manuscripts, printed materials, correspondence, and other papers of composer Ruth Crawford Seeger (1901-1953) and her husband, musicologist Charles Seeger. The first woman to receive a Guggenheim Fellowship in Composition, Ruth Crawford Seeger was a respected figure in the American musical avant-garde early in her career. After her marriage, her musical interests turned to folk song when her husband became involved in collecting American folk music. She was highly regarded as a music teacher and maintained a grueling teaching schedule while raising four children. Her transcriptions and arrangements of folk songs are well-known through her American Folk Songs for Children (1948; reprint, Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1980; M1629.S4 A5 1980). The music manuscripts include her original compositions as well as the hundreds of folk song transcriptions and arrangements that she made from recordings in the Archive of American Folk Song at the Library of Congress American Folklife Center. Additional papers acquired from the Seeger family by Judith Tick, author of Ruth Crawford Seeger: A Composer's Search for American Music (New York: Oxford University Press, 1997; ML410.S4446 T5 1997), are recent additions to the collection.

The Beverly Sills Collection was established in 1992 with an initial gift of forty scrapbooks from the noted American soprano Beverly Sills (b. 1929) [picture]. Twenty-eight scrapbooks chronicle her life and career, four are devoted solely to her recordings, and eight are devoted to specific topics. They contain clippings, photographs, correspondence, programs, promotional materials, and other items. A brief finding aid to the scrapbooks is available.

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