Manuscript Resources on The History of Music, Drama, and Other Performing Arts

This guide describes manuscript resources in the Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections that document performing arts history. Most of the collections relate to music, with smaller numbers dealing with theater, and a few dealing with dance. Geographically, most of the collections center around Louisiana, with many reflecting the rich cultural history of New Orleans and its diverse French and American cultural streams. Baton Rouge and other cities and towns are documented to a lesser degree. The cultural life of rural Louisiana is reflected in plantation collections containing sheet music, playbills, and other evidence of cultural activity.

The collections include papers of music and drama teachers, composers and writers, and performers. They also contain papers of those who sat in the audiences of musical and other performances and commented on them in letters and diaries, or compiled collections of programs and other ephemera dealing with the performances they witnessed. Finally, they contain papers of researchers who wrote about music and theater history.

Though extensive, the resources listed in this guide form a small part of the totality of materials documenting performing arts history in LSU's Special Collections. An exhaustive search of available inventories of manuscript collections would turn up additional important documentation. The Rare Book Collections contain a wide variety of relevant imprints, and include an extensive database of uncataloged sheet music. Similarly, the Louisiana Collection contains additional imprints on the performing arts, specifically related to Louisiana and the Lower Mississippi Valley. A folder containing several music history finding aids in addition to this one is available at the Special Collections reference desk.

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Funchess, Lloyd Vance, 1908-1976, interviewee. Oral history interview, 1976. 1 sound cassette (1 hour), transcript (26 pages). Location: L:4700.0020. Faculty member at LSU, composer of the LSU alma mater, and supervisor of music for the Louisiana State Department of Education. Interview concerning the composition of the LSU alma mater and Funchess' career. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4700.0020.

Referenced in Guides: Performing arts, LSU

Gaiety Theatre Broadside, circa 1830-1860. 1 item. Location: EPHEMERA COLLECTION SUBGROUP VI. Plays starring Laurette Taylor, Florence Vidor, Edmund Lowe, George Arliss, and Alice Joyce at the Gaiety Theatre in New Orleans, La. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2525.

Referenced in Guides: New Orleans to 1861, Performing arts

Gardner, Joel. Papers, 1978-2021 (bulk 1980-1985). 3.5 linear ft. Location: G:86-87. Joel Gardner is a journalist and oral historian from Louisiana. Contains assorted oral histories, grant proposals, workshop materials, recordings from participants, entertainment articles written by Gardner for lifestyle magazines, assorted scholarly articles written on oral histories, and theory-related materials. Mss. 3954, 3562.

Gebelin-Walsh-Hynes-Frenzel family. Papers, 1860-2007 (bulk 1900-1970). 2.5 cubic feet. Location: 92:69-71, OS:G, AA:, MSS.MF:G. This collection of photographs and a few textual materials provides a largely visual record of the allied Gebelin, Walsh, Hynes, and Frenzel families. Beginning in the 1860s and continuing through the 1980s, portraits and informal photographs document the lives of family members and family friends and acquaintances. A few images, beginning 1900 and continuing until the 1960s, record three family homes in Baton Rouge. The bulk of the material documents the life and times of Elizabeth Gertrude Gebelin Hynes (Feb. 20, 1911-Feb. 9, 1982) including her childhood, marriage, travels, family events, and social life and customs of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4983.

Geelvink, H. A. Notebook, 1824. 1 vol. Location: M:20. Native of Emden, Germany. Notebook contains handwritten music and lyrics. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 63.

Referenced in Guides: Performing arts

Gillespie, James A. and family. Papers, 1776-1929 (bulk 1840-1890). 1,530 items, 20 volumes. Location: E:22-24, E:118, G:16, 65:G, OS:G Vault:38. Planter of Hollywood Plantation, Adams County, Mississippi, and Indian Village Plantation, Concordia Parish, Louisiana. Collection includes plantation records, business papers, and correspondence of the Gillespie family and business papers of the Davis family. Papers include slave sales, land deeds, a will, diaries, portraits, maps, sheet music, and fashion publications. Includes some printed items in German. Available (with some omissions) on microfilm 6061: University Publications of America Records of Southern Plantations from Emancipation to the Great Migration, Series B, Part 4, Reels 5-8, or Records of Ante-Bellum Southern Plantations from the Revolution through the Civil War, Series I, Part 3, Reels 13-14. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 669, 695, 1104, 2086.

Girault, Auguste, ca. 1790-. Papers, 1808-1845. 12 items. Location: Misc., OS:G. Music professor in New Orleans. Girault (earlier known as Giraud) was a native of Nantes, France. Papers include passports, a discharge from military service, and correspondence, among it a letter from Dulisse Alleye recalling two years spent in prison with Girault. In French, one item in Spanish. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1145.

Glenk, Robert. Letter and French Opera House Lithograph, 1900-1925. 2 items. Location: Misc.:G, OS:G. Robert Glenk was the Chief Curator for the Louisiana State Museum. Letter from Robert Glenk to the wife of James Gallier, Jr., Algae Villavaso, asking for materials for a Louisiana State Museum exhibit featuring Louisiana architects (Sept. 14, 1925). James Gallier, Jr. was a prominent architect in New Orleans. The letter includes a lithograph by Gallier of the interior of the French Opera House, which was located on Toulouse and Bourbon Streets (circa 1900-1919). Mss. 5169.

Referenced in Guides: Performing arts, New Orleans 1866-

Gottschalk, Louis Moreau. Letter, circa 1850-1865. 1 item. Location: Misc. Louisiana composer and musician. Letter to 'Mon cher Antony' introducing Louisa Scheibel, a pupil of Gottschalk. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1454.

Referenced in Guides: Performing arts, French

Gottschalk, Louis Moreau. Photograph, undated 1 item. Location: E:730. Louisiana composer and musician. Carte de visite photograph, possibly of Louis Gottschalk. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2734.

Referenced in Guides: Performing arts

Gottschalk, Louis Moreau, 1829-1869. Photograph, circa 1860. 1 item. Location: E:73. Louis Moreau Gottschalk was a classical pianist from New Orleans who toured in Europe, the United States, and South America. This carte de visite by Charles D. Fredricks & Co. of New York City presents Gottschalk seated at a piano. Mss. 3658.

Referenced in Guides: Performing arts

Gray, Lillie Trust. Papers, 1865-1920 (bulk 1886-1890). 178 items, 9 volumes. Location: U:154; F:9. Musician and teacher at the Convent of the Sacred Heart, Convent, St. James Parish, Louisiana. Papers document Gray's teaching of and interest in music, and include a record book (1874-1900, 1902) containing lists of musical compositions and a diary (1900-1905) containing entries on music sung at Roman Catholic masses. Collection also includes household and farm entries; receipts for music lessons; and a payroll book (1865-1867) for Houmas Plantation. The payroll book is available on microfilm 6061: University Publications of America Records of Southern Plantations from Emancipation to the Great Migration, Series B, Part 1, Reel 15. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 165, 965, 422, 2070.

Referenced in Guides: Religion, Plantations, Performing arts, Women

Grunewald, Ella. Journal, 1884-1886. 1v. Location: G:20. Ella Grunewald writes about her family, friends, and neighbors; social life and culture in New Orleans; Mardi Gras; she describes in detail her school lessons in Classical mythology and chemistry experiments; Catholic religious observances; plays, concerts, and other entertainment; and lectures given by Dr. Stanford E. Chaillé. She also describes her visits to the two World\'s Fairs held in New Orleans: the World\'s Industrial and Cotton Centennial Exposition (Dec. 1884-June 1885) and the North, Central and South American Exposition (Nov. 1885-March 1886). Mss. 3858.

Gueymard, Earnest. Programs, 1948-1972. 127 items. Location: W:5, OS:G. Programs for a variety of civic, social, and cultural activities in Baton Rouge, New Iberia, and New Orleans, Louisiana, collected by Gueymard. Includes programs for three world premiere performances. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2600.

Hanley, Ben. Collection, 1919-1936. 41 items. Location: U:115. Director of the New Orleans School of Speech and Dramatic Art, teacher in the New Orleans Public High Schools, and one of the organizers of Le Petite Theatre du Vieux Carre and the New Orleans Conservatory of Music. Papers include announcements, circulars, programs, and related items pertaining to the Anna Morgan Studios in Chicago, Emerson College in Boston, and the New Orleans School of Speech and Dramatic Art. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1683.

Hart-Bonnecaze-Duncan Family Papers, 1775-1949 (bulk 1840-1875, 1905-1940). 2 linear ft., 2 mf reels. Location: T:18, OS:H, Mss.Mf:B. Baton Rouge families related by marriage. Leon Bonnecaze was a businessman and French consular agent; Samuel Hart was the first chief of the Baton Rouge Fire Department; Robert Hart served as Baton Rouge mayor in 1898-1902. Papers include correspondence and writings; legal records; financial records; ephemera; sheet music; and photographs. Papers provide some information on civilian conditions in the Civil War and on the Baton Rouge Fire Department. Partly in French and Spanish. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3371, 4208.

Hasselmans, Louis. Papers, 1825-1945. 116 items, 4 printed volumes. Location: U:156, 11:10, MSS.MF:H. Musician and conductor of the Opera comique in Paris, France, and in Montreal, Canada; the Chicago Civic Opera; and the Metropolitan Opera (as director of French repertory). He later was professor of music at Louisiana State University. Collection includes papers and photographs of Louis Hasselmans and papers of his grandfather, Joseph Hasselmans, a native Belgian who conducted orchestras in Strasbourg and Marseilles, France. Partly in French. Some digital images of photographs are available on the digital library. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 865.

Referenced in Guides: Performing arts, French, LSU

Hayden, Estelle T. Theatre scrapbooks, 1899-1949. 12 manuscript volumes. Location: F:20. Programs of New York City operatic, dramatic, and musical productions, collected by Hayden. Scrapbooks contain pictures of many of the actors and singers involved. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1675.

Referenced in Guides: Performing arts, Women

Himel family sheet music, 1870-1913. 48 items. Location: 65:34. Residents of Convent, St. James Parish, Louisiana. Sheet music collected by members of the Himel family (Helene, Carrie, Edna, Rita, and Odette). For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2600-73.

Referenced in Guides: Performing arts, Women

How are you Maximilian? or, Off for Mexico. 1865. 1 item. Location: E:Imprints. Lyrics for a Reconstruction song suggesting that North and South unite against Maximilian in Mexico, invoking the Monroe Doctrine. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3365.

Referenced in Guides: Performing arts