Barbara Blaford Papers and Music Instruments


Scope and Contents

Biographical Note

Subject Terms

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

Correspondence, Newspaper Clippings, and Photographs

Music Instruments

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Finding Aid for Barbara Blaford Papers and Music Instruments, 1910-2010 | The Sousa Archives and Center for American Music

By Maia Perez

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Collection Overview

Title: Barbara Blaford Papers and Music Instruments, 1910-2010Add to your cart.View associated digital content.

ID: 12/9/174

Primary Creator: Blaford, Barbara (1922-2021)

Extent: 1.25 cubic feet

Arrangement: Arranged in two series: Series 1, Photographs and Correspondence; and Series 2, Instruments.

Date Acquired: 03/31/2022. More info below under Accruals.

Subjects: Bands (Music), Brass Instruments, High School Music, Marching bands, Urbana, Illinois

Scope and Contents of the Materials

Consists of photographs, correspondence, newspaper clippings, and instruments documenting Barbara Blaford's participation in the Urbana High School Band between 1936-1939, and her uncle, Elbert Blaisdel's, role as a cornetist during WWI.

Biographical Note

Barbara Blaford was born near the town of Allerton, IL, later moving with her family to Urbana, IL. She began learning to play the cornet at nine years old, and in high school became the only female member of the Urbana High School Marching Band's brass section. As a member of the Urbana High School Band, she competed in several high school band competitions. After high school, she continued to play cornet in the University of Illinois' summer band, in an all-girls dance band, and throughout her life.

Blaford was inspired to learn cornet from older relatives; notably Helen Blaisdel, her aunt, whose brother, Elbert Blaisdel, participated in WWI and played cornet there. Elbert Blaisdel's cornet is a highlight of this collection, which also includes correspondence between him and his mother, Barbara's grandmother, during WWI.

Subject/Index Terms

Bands (Music)
Brass Instruments
High School Music
Marching bands
Urbana, Illinois

Administrative Information

Repository: The Sousa Archives and Center for American Music

Accruals: Box 1, folder 4 was acquired from Bonnie Blaford on September 25, 2023.

Acquisition Source: Bonnie Blaford

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Correspondence, Newspaper Clippings, and Photographs, 1918-2010],
[Series 2: Music Instruments, 1911-1938],

Series 1: Correspondence, Newspaper Clippings, and Photographs, 1918-2010Add to your cart.
Arranged in folders by type of material, then chronologically within each folder. Highlights include photos of Helen and Elbert Blaisdel holding the Conn Cornet, also in this collection.
Box 1Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Correspondence between Elbert Blaisdel and his mother, 1918-1919Add to your cart.
Folder 2: Newspaper clippings about Helen Blaisdel, and about Barbara Blaford, 1935-1939Add to your cart.
Folder 3: Photographs of Helen and Elbert Blaisdel, and of Barbara Blaford, ca. 1918-2010Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Folder 4: Letter and Envelopes from Elbert Blaisdell to his Mother, 1918-1919Add to your cart.

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