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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Anonymous letter from New Orleans, 1864 November 15. 1 item. Location: Misc.A. Letter from Sarah, apparently a young girl and resident of New Orleans, Louisiana, written upon her return from a trip to New York City, commenting on a minstrel show in New Orleans, Louisiana, and expressing interest in the New York presidential election returns. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1418.

Applewhite, Cornelia. Papers, 1877-1878, 1924-1925, undated 3 items, 2 ms. Vols., 2 printed vols. [on microfilm]. Location: Mss. Mf.:A. Student at Whitworth Female College, Brookhaven, Mississippi. Two notebooks containing entries on basic subjects; lists of students; and biographical and genealogical notes. Also included are a printed song book (1877); a printed volume on the history of Sarepta (1924-1925); and three pictures. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3498.

Referenced in Guides: Performing arts, Women, Education

Armstrong, A. Notebook, 1839-1847. 1 vol. Location: F:2. Notebook of miscellaneous items including remedies, beverage recipes, medical reports, observations on phrenology, Clay and Polk campaign songs, poetry, memoranda, directions for erecting a house, correspondence, and events in Armstrong's life. Included is Armstrong's will, July 7, 1841, made before meeting 'Mr. Smith' in an affair of honor. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 664.

Referenced in Guides: Performing arts, Medicine, Literature

Armstrong, Louis. Photograph, circa 1948-1949. 1 black and white photographic print. Location: MISC:A. Photographic print (8 in. x 10 in.) shows Louis Armstrong and His All Stars performing on stage. Members photographed include Louis Armstrong, Jack Teagarden, Arvell Shaw, Barney Bigard, Sid Catlett, and possibly Earl Hines behind Louis Armstrong. Photograph is also signed by Louis, Sid, and Earl. Mss. 5388.

Referenced in Guides: Performing arts, African Americans

Bailey theater papers. 1 linear ft. Location: Range 38 B 1S. Mss. 3336.

Referenced in Guides: Performing arts

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