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.

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

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

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 2: Music Instruments, 1911-1938Add to your cart.
Consists of two cornets, arranged chronologically.
Item 1: C.G. Conn "New Invention Model" Cornet in A and Bb, ca. 1911Add to your cart.

Serial Number: 118922. Includes two slides pitched in A. Silver lacquer, gold bell.


Item 2: Buescher "Aristocrat Model" Cornet in Bb, 1938Add to your cart.

Serial number: 287684. Includes Taylor and Horn Cornet mouthpiece (1910), a Buescher True Tone mouthpiece (undated), a Vincent Bach 7C mouthpiece (undated), a cleaning snake and rod, and a lyre.


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