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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Carver, George Washington, 1864?-1943. Letter: to Harry Ittner, 1933 March 8. 1 item. Location: Vault. African American educator and agricultural scientist, and director of the Research and Experiment Station at Tuskegee Institute, Alabama. Letter by Carver to Ittner discusses Ittner's studies at Antioch College (Ohio), and comments on Carver's interests in music, motion pictures, and theater. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3412.

Cavalleria rusticana opera scrapbook, circa 1936-1937. 1 volume. Location: T:98. Contains a program for the opera Cavalleria rusticana and a recital of modern dance, performed during the 1936-1937 Louisiana State University Opera Season by the School of Music and the Dance Center, sponsored by The Baton Rouge Grand Opera Association. Scrapbook also contains black and white photographic prints (portraits) of the opera's cast, including Marcella Uhl as Lola. Mss. 5380.

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

Chol, Emmanuel, 1834-1916. Papers, 1845, 1854-1921. 1,213 items, 6 ms. vols., 31 printed vols. Location: U:163-164, 65:29, 98:. Native of France, music teacher and composer of Thibodaux, Lafourche Parish, Louisiana. Bills and receipts, manuscript and sheet music, pamphlets, and other imprints reflect Chol's professional career, his affiliation with the Catholic Church, and the education of his children in parochial schools. Partly in French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1780, 1906.

Cior, Charles, 1819-ca. 1894. La musique, selon les sciences observes. L'histoire, la phylosophie, la physiologie, etc., etc., entendre, comprendre, se souvenir, 1885. 2 ms. vols. Location: H:20. Music teacher of New Orleans and native of Paris, France. Pedagogical manuscript containing lessons on music theory, exercises, and diagrams. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3287.

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

Coates, Charles E. and Ollie Maurin. Family Papers, 1862-1980 (bulk 1937-1972). 17.5 linear ft. Location: 12:15-23, OS:C. LSU professor of Chemistry. Correspondence, printed items, photographs, and writings of Charles Coates; and papers documenting Charles Coates and Ollie Coates involvement in Baton Rouge theater and pageantry. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3579.

Referenced in Guides: Performing arts, Education, Baton Rouge, LSU

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