The Montague F. Gowthorpe Opera Collection was created a period of years by Montague F. Gowthorpe chairman of the Detroit Symphony and one of the original vice-presidents at Paramount Pictures. Gowthorpe was born in Kings Lyn, England in 1898 and was a lifetime devotee of opera which he regarded as the highest form of art and entertainment. After his death in 1980 this collection was passed to his niece, Bonnie Lamar, MD of Tennessee. She donated it to Special Collections in 1998.
The collection consists of 200 reel-to-reel tapes recorded by Mr. Gowthorpe from radio. The tapes were recorded at 3 ¾ and 7 ½ speeds from the years of 1959 to 1968 though the bulk of the recordings were made in the early 1960’s.
The last box of the collection contains 48 libretto books collected and annotated by Mr. Gowthorpe to accompany the recordings he made.