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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Beauregard House Association program, 1932. 1 item. Location: E:Imprints. Program for the play 'An Old Romance' by Grace King, presented by the New Orleans Beauregard House Association. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1834.

Referenced in Guides: Performing arts, Women, Baton Rouge, Literature

Beauregard-Keyes House program, 1932. 1 program, 3 pages, 23 centimeters. Location: EPHEMERA COLLECTION SUBGROUP VI. Program for presentations of Grace King's 3-act play "An Old Romance" at the Beauregard House in New Orleans, Oct. 24-26, 1932. Mss. 1834.

Referenced in Guides: Performing arts, Literature

Blind Tom letter, 1867. 1 item. Location: Misc.B. Letter from a guest at Trenton House [Trenton, New Jersey], commenting on the artistic ability and physical characteristics of the blind African-American musician 'Blind Tom,' after attending a concert given by the pianist. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1533.

Referenced in Guides: Performing arts, African Americans

Boland, Rose Mary Shields. Scrapbook, 1906-1940. 1 vol. [on microfilm] Location:Mss. Mf.:B. Child actress and member of New Orleans theatrical family. Scrapbook contains newspaper clippings, photographs, and miscellaneous items, largely concerning her career as a child actress with the Brown-Baker Stock Company. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2595.

Referenced in Guides: Performing arts, Women, New Orleans 1866-

Boston Museum (1847-1903). Playbill, 1861. 1 broadside. Location: E:Imprints. Abolitionist playbill reading: First nights of Dion Bourcicault's greatest production! Illustrating American character! American scenes! and Southern homes! entitled the Octoroon or--life in Louisiana, ...this Saturday afternoon, Dec. 14, 1861. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1558.

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