Scope and Contents
Title: Bob Arnold Collection
Collection number: ARS.0080
: 135 open reel tapes ; 94 audiocassettes ; 17 videocassettes ; approx. 10 boxes of program notes, correspondence, and research
Repository: Archive of Recorded Sound
Bob Arnold was a popular music historian and collector. His collection consists of his research and correspondence, and includes
scrapbooks, program notes, interviews on cassette, and compilations on open reel tape drawn from his music collection.
Language of Material: English
Open for research; material must be requested at least two business days in advance of intended use. Contact the Archive for
Property rights reside with repository. Publication and reproduction rights reside with the creators or their heirs. To obtain
permission to publish or reproduce, please contact the Head Librarian of the Archive of Recorded Sound.
Bob Arnold Collection, ARS-0080. Courtesy of the Stanford Archive of Recorded Sound, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford,
The Bob Arnold Collection was donated to the Stanford Archive of Recorded Sound by Carla Foster in 2006.
This finding aid was produced with generous financial support from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.
Scope and Contents
The Bob Arnold Collection is named for Robert Louis Arnold (1922-2005), a researcher and collector of popular music from the
1920s through the 1940s who was based in Albany, California. His collection consists of his research projects and notes, correspondence
and interviews with musicans, composers, and other researcher/discographers, and compilations he assembled on open reel tape.
These tapes, along with program notes, were informally distributed to libraries as teaching aids. Arnold also kept several
chronological scrapbooks of newspaper clippings, and indexed them meticulously.
Perhaps his most successful project was about a 1930s singer named Midge Williams. His tenacity resulted in bringing to light
a remarkable amount of detail about Williams' life, as well as her family performing group the Williams Quartette, the Williams'
history in Allensworth, California (an African-American agricultural community in Tulare County), and the manager of the Williams
(and arranger/composer in his own right) Roger Segure. Arnold appeared to be in the process of assembling a book based on
this research, and a few typescript chapters appear in the collection.