Huntington Library Sheet Music Collection: Finding Aid

Finding aid prepared by Cathy Cherbosque, Krystle Satrum, and Diann Benti.
The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens
Prints and Ephemera
The Huntington Library
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, California 91108
Phone: (626) 405-2129
Email: rarebooks@huntington.org
URL: http://www.huntington.org
© 1997
The Huntington Library. All rights reserved.


Overview of the Collection

Title: Huntington Library Sheet Music Collection
Dates (inclusive): 1792-1982
Bulk dates: 1820/1920
Collection Number: ephSMC
Extent: approximately 3800 items in 35 boxes and 28 volumes
Repository: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Prints and Ephemera
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, California 91108
Phone: (626) 405-2129
Email: rarebooks@huntington.org
URL: http://www.huntington.org
Abstract: The Huntington Library Sheet Music Collection chiefly illustrates the physical and thematic development of sheet music printed in the United States from the late eighteenth century through the early twentieth century. The collection includes over 3800 items, the bulk of which spans the years 1820-1920.
Language: English.
Note:
Finding aid last updated on February 13, 2015.

Administrative Information

Publication Rights

In order to quote from, publish, or reproduce any of the materials, researchers must obtain formal permission from the office of the Library Director. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Huntington as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained. Researchers may contact the appropriate curator for further information.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item]. Huntington Library Sheet Music Collection. The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

Provenance

The provenance of individual items within the collection is primarily unknown. The collection has been developed gradually since 1923 through donations of single items and donations and purchases of scrapbook volumes containing sheet music.

Processing/Project Information

An item-level list of the collection was created in August 1997 by Cathy Cherbosque and a brief online finding aid was created in 1999. Diann Benti combined and updated this finding aid in January 2015.

Access

The collection is open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information, please visit the Huntington's website: www.huntington.org.  

Scope and Content

The Huntington Library Sheet Music Collection chiefly illustrates the physical and thematic development of sheet music printed in the United States from the late eighteenth century through the early twentieth century. The collection includes over 3800 items, the bulk of which spans the years 1820-1920. Musical genres included are English and American theatre music, comic opera, patriotic songs, Scottish and Irish melodies, “Englished” versions of Italian opera, contemporary topical themes (such as the Civil War, including a small number of Confederate imprints), and modern Broadway music. Subjects and themes covered include sentimental songs, especially courtship and maternal relationships; songs offered in tribute (e.g. to Washington, Lincoln, Bonaparte; Jenny Lind, etc.); and patriotic songs, especially of the Civil War. Major and minor publishers are represented. Cities most prominently featured as publishing centers include Boston, Philadelphia, New York, and Baltimore; there are also imprints from Cincinnati, Chicago, Milwaukee, San Francisco, St. Louis, and New Orleans. A significant portion of the collection is illustrated which, along with the themes and lyrics of the songs themselves, provides further insight into the attitudes and values of the American people over time.

Related materials in the Huntington Library

Beyond the Sheet Music Collection which is housed in the Prints and Ephemera Division of the Rare Book Department, sheet music has also been catalogued in numerous locations in the Rare Book Department. Other catalogued material include: Librettos, Song Books, Song Sheets, and Broadsides.

Arrangement

The collection consists of individual pieces arranged chronologically by publication date within folders, and then alphabetically by song title. These are stored flat in boxes. A portion of the items have been bound into numbered scrapbooks, reflecting the tastes and musical interests of various compilers.
Items without a date are arranged alphabetically by song title in a “n.d.” (no date) sequence. These are housed in a separate “no date” box.
Please note that in some cases, the publication dates are only approximate dates assigned by the cataloger.

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the Huntington Library's Online Catalog.  

Subjects

Dramatic music -- United States.
Dramatic music -- England.
Patriotic music -- United States.
Songs, Irish.
Songs, Scots.
Operas.
Sentimentalism -- Songs and music.
Courtship -- Songs and music.
Motherhood -- Songs and music.
Love songs.
Topical songs.
Celebrities -- Songs and music.
Music -- Pictorial works.
United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Songs and music.
Broadway (New York, N.Y.) -- Songs and music.
Confederate States of America -- Songs and music.

Forms/Genres

Sheet music.
Songs.


Collection Contents

 

Sheet music, boxes

Box  1

1797-1819

Box  2

1820-1825

Box  3

1826-1827

Box  4

1828-1831

Box  5

1832-1835

Box  6

1836-1838

Box  7

1839-1840s

Box  8

1840-1841

Box  9

1842-1844

Box  10

1845-1847

Box  11

1848-1850

Box  12

1851-1853

Box  13

1854-1856

Box  14

1857-1860s

Box  15

1860-1862

Box  16

1863-1864 (A-F)

Box  17

1864 (G-Z)-1865 (A-I)

Box  18

1865 (J-Z)-1866 (A-I)

Box  19

1866 (J-Z)-1869

Box  20

1870s-1874

Box  21

1875-1879

Box  22

1880-1883

Box  23

1884-1889

Box  24

1890-1891 (A-M)

Box  25

1891 (N-Z)-1894 (A-I)

Box  26

1894 (J-Z)-1897

Box  27

1898-1900

Box  28

1901-1904

Box  29

1905-1908

Box  30

1909-1912

Box  31

1913-1917

Box  32

1918-1922

Box  33

1923-1928

Box  34

1929-19--

Box  35

Undated (also a small amount of British sheet music)

 

Sheet music, volumes

Volume  1

1852-1866

25 items. Volume labeled "Fannie M. Moody."
Volume  2

1849-1864

41 items. Volume labeled "Lou E. Hodgen."
Volume  3

British sheet music, 1880-1890

18 items; pieces inscribed to Rosa Alexander between 1886 and 1888. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. A. Valentine, December 1884.
Volume  4

British sheet music 1896

1 item; piece inscribed to Georgina Strong.
Volume  5

1842-1851

36 items. Inside front cover labeled "Alice Baskervill." Gift of Mrs. Kenneth W. Wood, September 1997.
Volume  6

1848-1865

43 items. Inside front cover contains inscription of Alexander Thomas Leonard, Jr. (1929) and bookplate of John Smeyla. Gift of Dr. Leon J. Whitsell, September 1993.
Volume  7

1828-1840

37 items. Volume labeled "C.A. Stewart." From the Brock Collection.
Volume  8

1833-1836

29 items. Volume labeled "M.S. Hereford."
Volume  9

1859-1882

25 items. Decorative binding.
Volume  10

1884-1898

25 items. Music with stamp of "The Wiley B. Allen Co." of Portland, Oregon. Volume labeled "Instrumental."
Volume  11

1840-1850

33 items. Volume labeled "Mary A. Church" From the Brock Collection.
Volume  12

1844-1858

23 items. Volume labeled "H.A. Nichols."
Volume  13

1830s

48 items, with cover for "Symphonien von L. van Beethoven" at front. Volume labeled "Harriot A. Stanton."
Volume  14

1854-1871

32 items. Volume labeled "A. Eva Paige." From the Brock Collection.
Volume  15

1860-1870

27 items. With hand-drawn label on flyleaf: "Anne M. Carter."
Volume  16

1820s-1830s

40 items. Volume labeled "Harriet A. Stanton.
Volume  17

1850-1860,

36 items including some Germand and French pieces. Volume labeled "Emmie G. Nichols."
Volume  18

1885-1900

46 items. Volume labeled "Vocal."
Volume  19

1885-1898

27 items. Volume labeled "Music."
Volume  20

1842-1853

42 items. Guitar music. Gift of Mrs. Albert E. Rapp.
Volume  21

1838-1858

32 items. Volume labeled "H.A. Nichols."
Volume  22

1850-1866

34 items. Music primarily published in New Orleans, Louisiana. Purchased from Mrs. Paul W. Brown.
Volume  23

1832-1837

46 items. Volume labeled "Julia K. Watson." From the Brock Collection.
Volume  24

1846-1869

23 items. Volume labeled "Fannie M. Moody." Purchased from Marie H. Duvall.
Volume  25

1849-1865

40 items. Volume labeled "Flora C. Clark." Gift of Elizabeth Connor, August 1958.
Volume  26

1840, 1853-1861

38 items. Volume labeled "Delle Evangeline Fortier."
Volume  27

1840s-1850s

67 items. Purchased from Peter Adams, July 1997.
Volume  28

1837-1850

56 items, with three handwritten pieces in pencil: "The Maid of Monterey" by J.H. Hewitt (page 68); "Go Forget Me Why Should Sorrow" by Mozart (page 71); and "When it's Springtime in the Rockies: A Charming Walk Song" (pages 125-6, 129-30). Volume labeled "Jeannie Haseltine." Purchased from Thomas V. Lange, September 1997.