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University of Arizona

Performing Arts

Archival collections housed in Special Collections

Music-related Archival Collections

American Vaudeville Museum Collection 1850-2007 MS 421  This collection consists of materials documenting vaudeville and other entertainment in the United States, particularly in the 1910s through 1940s. Primary materials such as photographs, scrapbooks and handwritten stage scripts document the careers of particular performers. There are substantial numbers of sheet music and theatre programs, and a large LP collection. The collection focuses on vaudeville but encompasses other forms and eras of American entertainment as well.

The American Vaudeville Museum Digital Archive  The American Vaudeville Museum Digital Archive contains over 4,321 items, from various vaudeville collections which are housed at the University of Arizona’s Special Collections. Presented in the digital archive are original materials comprised of theatre programs and postcards, sheet music, magazines, playbills, photographs and posters, stage scripts and other manuscripts, clippings and scrapbooks, films, miscellaneous papers.

Carmen Celia Beltran Music, circa 1930s MS 681  This collection includes eight music sheets and a program related to Carmen Celia Beltrán.

Club Filarmonico Tucsonense Records 1890-1899 MS 385  Federico Ronstadt was born in Magdalena, Sonora, Mexico in 1868 and in 1882 was sent to Tucson to work as an apprentice in the Dalton and Vasquez Wagon Shop. He began musical training from an early age and once in Tucson became associated with several musicians and music lovers who helped him to continue his musical studies. In 1889, Ronstadt and several friends formed a group, began music lessons and became the Club Filarmónico Tucsonense. They made their debut in 1890 at Carillo's Gardens. Band membership was diverse, with members representing several prominent businesses in the community. In addition to weekly concerts, the band played several civic functions and even toured Southern California in 1896. Ronstadt quit the Club Filarmónico Tucsonense shortly after 1898 and, the Club disbanded shortly thereafter. This collection includes sheet music, both original and previously published, playbooks, music books, music industry publications, poster, and articles and two photographs associated with the Club Filarmónico Tucsonese.

David Soren Popular Sheet Music Collection 1839-1974 MS 365  The David Soren popular sheet music collection, documents an approximately 150 year period in the creation, production, and dissemination of American popular music. These musical scores mirror trends in both American popular music and American history and culture. Full of pathos and emotion, these scores evoke feelings of patriotism, nostalgia, and gaiety. Apart from their musical value, many of these scores are beautifully decorated and like the music, the cover art represents significant trends in American art and fashion.

Film and Music of the Vaudeville Era MS 705  This collection is comprised of commercially recorded music and film, either in the form of compact discs, DVDs or VHS video tapes. The music recordings feature dance music from the "Roaring Twenties" for the most part, but also include later material up through the 1940s/50s. Some of the music consists of recordings of bands from the time period, and some of it has been preserved and recorded by contemporary "specialty orchestras" whose aim is to preserve the music of this particular era. The films are typically "pre-code era" features or shorts that include former vaudeville performers. A few are concert films of select jazz performers such as Artie Shaw and Tommy Dorsey. The collection includes 161 sound recordings (all CDs) and 85 films (7 VHS tapes, 78 being DVDs).

Friends of the Temple of Music and Art Records 1976-1981 AZ 444  The Friends of the Temple of Music and Art was a civic organization formed in 1976 in Tucson, Arizona, to restore and preserve the Temple of Music and Art, home of the Saturday Morning Musical Club, and to encourage the development of the performing and visual arts. The group disbanded in 1981. Includes correspondence, reports, minutes of meetings, financial records, clippings, publications, and programs of performances sponsored by the group.

Harry Partch Collection, 1956-1962 MS 479  Harry Partch was born on Jun 24, 1901 in Oakland, California. Partch is renowned as one of the 20th century’s most innovative American classical composers. He was one of the first composers in that century to extensively work with microtonal scales, which he wrote exclusively for his custom-made instruments that he built himself.This collection consists primarily of black and white photographs of the instruments that Harry Partch built; photographs of rehearsals and performances of his operas. The phonograph (LP) series is comprised of 8 separate titles released on Partch’s Gate 5 Records label.

Jill Corey Collection, 1953-2004 MS 476  This collection contains magazines, newspapers, sheet music, photographs, DVDs, CDs, records, and other documents relating to the life of Jill Corey. Jill Corey was a famous singer, television star, film actress, and radio personality in the 1950s and 1960s. In the latter half of the twentieth century she made a name for herself in musical theatre. Materials pertaining to both careers are found in the collection.

Papers of Helen Hopekirk, 1880-1945 MS 378  Helen Hopekirk (May 20, 1856-November 19, 1945) was a concert pianist, composer and teacher who was born in Scotland. She studied with many well-known artists, including Karl Muck, who later conducted the Boston Symphony, as well as American composer George Whitefield Chadwick. In 1882 Hopekirk married William A. Wilson, who became her manager. Hopekirk traveled throughout Europe, and made her American debut in 1883 with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. One of Hopekirk's most notable works is her edition of Seventy Scottish Songs (1905), which reflects her interest in folk material. She became an American citizen in 1918, and made her last public appearance in 1939 in Boston.This collection consists primarily of approximately 250 letters received by Hopekirk from a variety of friends and admirers.

Peter Wexler Papers, 1965-ongoing MS 338  The collection documents Peter Wexler's professional activity from 1967 to the present. The materials have been gathered into three series: Papers, Artwork, and Models. The center of the collection is the Artwork series that consists of large, blueprint size, mechanical drawings of floorplans and elevations of scenery for concerts, films, industrial shows, multi-media events, and theatrical productions. The bulk of the Papers series supports Peter Wexler and Peter Wexler Inc. projects in the Artwork series. The Papers series includes correspondence with clients and vendors, scripts, scores, and cue sheets, research, visual research through photos and photocopies. Correspondences include those with important persons in the field of Opera, Theatre and entertainment. The collection is inclusive of designs and artwork for original productions such as Godspell.

Records of the Arizona Opera Guild of Southern Arizona, 1958-1995 MS 321  The bulk of the Opera Guild of Southern Arizona records pertains to the its annual activities, especially promotional, educational and fund-raising events. Monthly bulletins, scrapbooks and yearbooks document the many activities of the guild: opera previews, luncheons, dinners, sponsorship of opera students, scholarships, loans and grants, underwriting of annual Metropolitan and San Francisco opera auditions, aid to groups producing opera, and sponsorship of free matinees for school students.

Records of the Tucson Meet Yourself Festival 1974-1996 MS 618  Correspondence, financial records, publicity, photographs, slides, sound reel tapes and transcripts documenting the activities of the Tucson Meet Yourself festival from its inception in 1974 up to the final festival sponsored and organized by the Southwest Folklore Center in 1994, with audio materials for 1996. General files include correspondence, volunteer files, financial records, and publicity relating to food and craft booths, folk artists, musicians, and dancers, workshops and contests. An estimated 400 to 500 photographs and slides exist for each year which cover every aspect of the festival including booths, artists, musicians, dancers, performances, and volunteer workers. 324 reel-to-reel tape recordings cover the main stage performances, interviews and workshops. Performances consist primarily of all kinds of ethnic music, but also include the annual corridos competition, fiddle contests, cowboy poetry and storytelling workshops, railroad oral history interviews, personal interviews and workshops. Transcripts are available for many of the reels. Some Reels have been migrated to CDs available for public use.

Saturday Morning Musical Club Records AZ 443  The Saturday Morning Musical Club was organized in 1907 by Madeline Dreyfus Heineman. It began with twelve women performing at each others' homes but soon grew to include performances by well-known artists. The Club incorporated in 1917, and in 1927, the Club built the Temple of Music and Art to showcase these performances. The Temple of Music and Art, Inc. a non-profit corporation, was established by the Club in 1925 and closed its existence in 1961. The Club sold the building in 1972, but it continued as a non-profit organization. This collection includes correspondence, reports, minutes of meetings, financial records, and programs of the various civic events and artists' series performances sponsored by the Saturday Morning Musical Club, as well as similar materials related to the Temple of Music and Art.

Southwest Folklore Center Cassette Recordings Collection 1975-1995 MS 615  Cassette recordings of gospel music, country and western music, Mexican American and Native American music, cowboy songs and interviews with Arizona residents. Most cassettes are commercially produced.

Southwest Folklore Center Field Recordings Collection, 1943-Ongoing MS 617  The collection includes dubbed versions of selections from the Center’s Pre-1980 Sound Disc Collection as well as field recordings of the University of Arizona Folklore Committee. These include regional music such as Mormon hymns, cowboy songs, Mexican American music and corridos, Native American music, and fiddle and banjo tunes. Recorded interviews concern family life and traditions, home remedies, Native American languages, Tucson slang, and oral histories.During 1974 and 1975, James S. Griffith collected field recordings while working for the Smithsonian Institution Office of Folk Life. Contributions of field recordings were made to the Bicentennial Festival of American Folk Life held in Washington, D.C., in 1976. The collection includes original copies of these tapes.Recordings made after 1980 were collected by James S. Griffith in southern Arizona, and relate chiefly to cowboy music and songs, corridos, oral history interviews about Tucson history and family life, and the annual Wa:k Powwow All O'Odham Fiddle Orchestra Contest.

Southwest Folklore Center Pre-1980 Sound Disc Collection, 1931-1964 MS 613  Sound discs of commercial and non-commercial recordings of oral history interviews and examples of local, national, and international folk music, collected by the Center before 1980. The collection includes recordings made in 33-1/3, 45 and 78 rpm formats.

Southwest Folklore Center Sound Disc Collection, 1945-1987 MS 614  This collection consists of sound discs acquired by the Center since 1980. The collection emphasizes Mexican American music, Native American music, and square dance music.

The University of Arizona Opera Theatre Records, 1952-1976 AZ 513  Includes a typescript historical survey, programs, photographs, clippings and related material. Gift of Professor Eugene T. Conley, who established the original opera workshop and directed these musical productions.

Up With People Archives 1937-2015 MS 491  This collection consists of the papers of the organization Up with People. The bulk of the material includes photographic and audiovisual material from Up with People performances and events. It also contains musical arrangements including scores, sheet music, song translations and symphony arrangements, publications such as newsletters, programs and promotional material and organizational records including annual reports, yearbooks, correspondence and manuals.