Performing Arts Library Small Special Collections, 1911-1981
Ca. 1970 - Dorothy Bowen papers acquired; Ca. 1985 - Hausserman papers acquired from John W. Hausserman, Jr.; 1990 - Marhall Howenstein collection acquired; Ca. 1977 - Gabriel Magyar collection acquired; Ca. 1965 - Songs of France records acquired; Ca. 1980 - Harriet Ward programs acquired; Ca. 1960 - Lucille V. Wilkey music acquired; Ca. 1970 - Lew Williams Jazz Collection acquired. March 20, 2015 - The dePeaux collection (Unisonics score) acquired from Music and Performing Arts Library. May 13, 2015 - The Festival of Contemporary Arts Collection of programs, brochures, and clippings was acquired from the Music and Performing Arts Library.
On July 7, 2019, additional materials were found for the Kitty Cheatham Collection (formerly called the Yolande Oglesby Collection) and one folder was removed from Series 1 to be included within the Kitty Cheatham Collection in order to maintain the provenance of the original body of material.
Organized in three series: Series 1, Small Special Collections, Series 2, Lawrence Tibbett Music and Papers, 1919-1929, and Series 3, Jere C. Mickel Scrapbook and Opera Program Collection, 1920-1970. Content of each series is arranged alphabetically.
Administrative History of Creating Unit
The University of Illinois Music and Performing Arts Library was initially founded in the memorial room of Smith Hall in 1943. The school's first music librarian was Jay Allen (1943-1960) and his assistant was Virginia Shirley. In 1963, the University of Illinois received a generous gift from Ellnora Krannert (class of 1912). However, the grant arrived just as the School of Music was planning to construct a new educational building for music on campus. Since Krannert's grant was so substantial, the State of Illinois dropped the budget it had planned for two construction projects: a new library (conceived to alleviate the overcrowded music library in Smith) as well as an addition to Smith Hall. At the time, the library was under the direction of Thor E. Wood (1960-1965). While the new Krannert Center (opened in 1969) contained numerous performance spaces, it did not have space to accomodate the vast library of music books and recordings that had been collected by the School of Music. Funding eventually came in the early 1970s and the School of Music moved into its current location in the Music Building 1114 W. Nevada Street in 1972. The library soon followed, opening in 1974. Head librarian William McClellan (1965-1997) resided over the new library space and quickly began expanding the library's holdings to include not only books and audio recordings but also special collections. Wilma Jean Geil (assistant librarian 1965-1996) collected and processed many of the small special collections. In
most cases, if a collection contained published music, LPs, or tape cassettes the items were ingested, cataloged, and dispersed among the circulating library collection. Many of the paper records within special collections acquired by the library remained unprocessed until 2015 when the majority of the special collections were transferred to the Sousa Archives and
Center for American Music.Sources:
Ann Silverberg, A Sympathy With Sounds: A Brief History of the University of Illinois School of Music to Celebrate its Centennial (Urbana: University of Illinois School of Music, 1995).