Emma Louise Hindle was born March 29, 1850 in Newark, Delaware to a musical family of English ancestry. In 1884, she and her husband, John Ashford, moved to Nashville, where Mr. Ashford became the Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds at Vanderbilt University. Mrs. Ashford began to compose and to immerse herself in the musical life of the university and the community and soon became famous on campus for her compositions about Vanderbilt. Mrs. Ashford was a prolific composer, as well as a frequent conductor of her work. Mrs. Ashford died September 22, 1930 at her home in Nashville.
The Emma L. Ashford collection is comprised mostly of music composed by Mrs. Ashford, as well as by others. Most of her works contained in this collection pertain to Vanderbilt University. All the printed works of other composers in the collection relate to Vanderbilt.
Robert A. Baldwin was born in 1930 in Bridgeport, Connecticut, and later moved to Andover, Massachusetts. In 1952, he received a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and in Fine Arts from Oberlin College. In 1955, he received a Masters of Fine Arts from Yale University concentrating in scene, costume and lighting design. He served in the U.S. Army from 1955-1957 as Designer-Technical Director, U. S. Army Entertainment Program in Stuttgart, Germany. He was employed by Vanderbilt University from 1957 until his retirement in 1995. He was awarded The Chancellor's Cup in 1987, and in 1995 became Professor of Fine Arts Emeritus and Professor Theatre Emeritus.
The 3 linear feet collection contains 28 designs of stage scenery from various play productions created over a 30-year period. The stage scenery designs have been professionally matted. There are also 17 costume designs for men, women and/or groups from various time periods. A CD-ROM of all designs is included. The collection is stored in five flat boxes.
Mid-20th century flyers and playbills, primarily from performances in Nashville, Tennessee.
Charles Faulkner Bryan was born in 1911 in McMinnville, Tennessee and became one of Tennessee’s greatest composers and musicians. He received his bachelor’s degree in music in 1934 from the Nashville Conservatory of Music. He received his master’s degree from George Peabody College in 1940. After serving in the civilian defense arm of the military in World War II, he received a Guggenheim Fellowship and studied at Yale University with Paul Hindemith. While at Yale, he wrote the Bell Witch Cantata which debuted at Carnegie Hall in April 1947. He served on the faculty of George Peabody College from 1947 until 1952, where he served as president of the Tennessee Folklore Society and co-wrote the folk-opera Singin’ Billy with Donald Davidson.
The Charles Faulkner Bryan Papers consist primarily of correspondence, the bulk of which is with Donald Davidson and deals with issues related to the production of Singin’ Billy.
Francis Jackson Craig was born in Dickson, Tennessee, on September 10, 1900, the ninth of ten children of a Methodist minister. Craig entered Vanderbilt University in January 1919 after a very brief stint in the Army between his eighteenth birthday and the signing of the armistice that ended World War I. A talented pianist, he formed a dance band in 1920 to help pay his college expenses. After graduating in 1922, he continued his music career.
The Francis Craig Papers date from 1919 to 1994 and include a small amount of biographical information, correspondence, memorabilia, and photographs. The bulk of the collection, however, dates from the 1930s and 1940s and consists of clippings, sheet music, and recordings.
Cyrus Daniel was born February 27, 1900. He received an A.B. in Greek from Shurtleff College in Alton, Illinois, and an Mus.B. in Organ and Composition from Northwestern University. He taught for a year at New Trier High School in Winnetka, Illinois. He held the position of Professor of Theory and Composition at Lawrence Conservatory in Appleton, Wisconsin until September 1944. He came to Vanderbilt University in 1944 as Visiting Lecturer in Music and Music Literature and remained as Lecturer in Music and as University Organist until 1968. After the planting of the Centennial Oak (Saturday, March 17, 1973) in celebration of the Vanderbilt University Centennial, the first performance of “Golden Morning” – composed by Cyrus Daniel – was heard from the carillon. Mr. Daniel composed the music as a setting for Donald Davidson’s lyric poem about the Vanderbilt campus.
The Cyrus Daniel Papers include compositions and arrangements by Daniel; miscellaneous programs 1944-1951; a bound copy of Vanderbilt University A Cappella Choir History, 1937-1967; and a selection of A Cappella Choir records, 1944-1965.
Ford, Jesse Hill
Jesse Hill Ford received his B.A. from Vanderbilt University in 1951 and his M.A. from the University of Florida in 1955. Before his death in 1996, he had received a Fulbright Scholarship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and an honorary D.Litt. from Lambuth College in Jackson, Tennesee in recognition of his fiction novels and short stories.
The Jesse Hill Ford Papers contains several script versions of The Conversion of Buster Drumwright and a typescript copy of “A Strange Sky.”
The Louisa F. France Collection documents over six decades of musical performances staged in the United States and Europe. The earliest programs date back to 1920s performances by Sergey Rachmanioff (1873-1943) and Jascha Heifetz (1901-87) at the Lyric Theatre in Baltimore, Maryland. Other key performance venues in the United States represented in the collection include the Metropolitan Opera House, Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall in New York City as well as the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.
In the late 1940s, Ms. France moved to Nashville with her husband, Dr. Richard France (Vanderbilt University Medical School Faculty 1948-85), where she and Dr. France patronized the local performance art scene. Items representing music programs staged at various churches in Nashville as well as those presented by George Peabody College for Teachers, Fisk University, Blair School of Music and the Nashville Symphony all are included in this collection.
Also included in the collection is small cache of booklets on English and European luthiers, composers and historic sites as well as souvenir programs for the Vienna Boys Choir, Leopold Stokowski and the All-American youth Orchestra, and Robert Shaw's Choral Ensemble. The items contained herein complement a collection of commemorative coins from Austria. Minted from 1929 - 1937, the series honors composers and artists including Franz Schubert, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Franz Joseph Hayden.
Grand Ole Opry
The Grand Ole Opry Collection was donated by Jesse Wills, president of National Life and Accident Insurance Company, the parent company of WSM, Inc. and the Grand Ole Opry. As president, Wills had access to a wide variety of material associated with country music in general and the Grand Ole Opry in particular. A collection of this material was donated by Jesse Wills in May of 1967 with additional items being given in July of 1968.
The collection is composed of a wide variety of items of historical and musical interest, including the following: correspondence from the 1950s and 1960s; newspaper clippings; songbooks from the 1930s and 1940s; news releases and programs from 1961 to 1967; and photographs.
Holroyd, Sara [small collection]
Sara Holroyd came to Peabody College to study music. While a student at George Peabody College for Teachers she was awarded many honors and was elected President of the Student Body and “Miss Peabody” in her senior year. She was a member of the college choir, orchestra, and band, and sang with the Peabody Madrigalians. She graduated in 1946. In 1951 she received a M.A. from Columbia, and afterwards she had a career in education as a Professor of Music at the University of Kentucky at Lexington.
This small collection (0.42 linear feet ) contains letters, programs, and newspaper clippings collected by Sara Holroyd, a 1946 graduate of George Peabody College for Teachers. (Peabody merged Vanderbilt University in 1979.). Ms. Holroyd was a student leader and a musician while at Peabody, and many of the programs feature her as a student musician. This collection also chronicles the end of WWII and activities at Peabody College during that time.
The Jon Krampner Papers are comprised of research materials pertaining to his published biography of Fred Coe. The papers include notes (both written and highlighted copies), clippings, photocopies of clippings, photographs, cassette tapes with interviews (recorded from 1992-1995), typed transcripts of these interviews, and both pre- and post-interview notes. The bulk of the collection is concerned with the interviews. Major topics of interest include Fred Coe; live television drama; early television; television and motion picture production; the Town Theatre of Columbia, South Carolina; and The Playhouse in Nashville, Tennessee.
The Douglas Lee Papers contain materials relating to the musician and composer Thurlow Lieurance. Included in the collection are Nashville Symphony programs from the 1980s and 1990s; a lecture on Lieurance; photocopies of correspondence; a reel to reel copy of Lieurance recordings of American Indian songs in the Library of Congress; and a transcription of an autobiographical essay by Lieurance owned by the University of Iowa.
This collection contains information related to the Little Theatre of Nashville Guild. It includes bylaws, minutes, and financial statements.
Delbert Mann, motion picture and television director, is a native of Lawrence, Kansas and graduated from Vanderbilt University in 1941. He directed a number of productions for television, including Jane Eyre, The Man Without a Country, All Quiet on the Western Front, All the Way Home, and April Morning. His motion picture credits include Marty (1954), Desire Under the Elms (1957), Separate Tables (1958), and That Touch of Mink (1961). Mann won the Academy Award, Best Director, for Marty in 1955.
The papers of Delbert Mann consist primarily of the materials generated by Mann's television and motion picture productions. Papers on approximately two hundred productions often include scripts, publicity, reviews, scrapbooks, casting and shooting schedules, background information, memoranda, and correspondence.
Mitchell, Charles S.
Starting with materials collected originally by either Mitchell’s father or grandmother, Charles S. Mitchell continued to collect theatre materials throughout his life. The Charles S. Mitchell Collection includes correspondence and playbills ranging in date from 1866 to 1952; newspaper clippings; pamphlets; and photographs.
The George Mitchell Collection is a small collection consisting of an 1850 stock certificate; 18 playbills and programs 1867-1952; and three pamphlets.
Louis Thurston Nicholas was born on October 2, 1910, the son of Jeff Thurston and Lottie Dunivant Nicholas. He received the A.B. degree at Southwestern at Memphis (now Rhodes College) in 1934, did post-graduate work at the Memphis College of Music from 1934-1938, received the M.Mus. degree at the University of Michigan in 1939, and received a diploma for Specialist in Music Education from Columbia University in 1952.
His career as an educator includes positions in Dyer County, 1928-1930, and Memphis, 1936-1941, Public Schools, and Instructor of Music at North Texas State Teachers College, 1941-1944. In 1944, Nicholas came to George Peabody College for Teachers, where he was a member of the music faculty until 1979. He was also a music critic of note, having held the position of Music Editor and Critic for The Tennessean in Nashville from 1951 to 1975.
The Papers of Louis Thurston Nicholas, which cover the years 1920-1995, consist of 40 cubic feet of material and are concerned with Nicholas's personal and professional life. Major series in the papers include personal and professional correspondence; The Tennessean - music editor and critic; Thor Johnson: American Conductor; personal and biographical material; National Association of Teachers of Singing; George Peabody College Summer Concert Series; musical and academic career; and collection of programs.
Francis Arthur Robinson began his career in the theater as an usher at the Ryman Auditorium while he was studying at Vanderbilt. He went on to spend more than thirty years at the Metropolitan Opera where he served variously as tour director, assistant manager, press representative, and host of Saturday afternoon broadcasts from the Met. He received his B.A. from Vanderbilt in 1932 and his M.A. in 1933. He also served on Vanderbilt’s Board of Trust until his death in 1980.
The Robinson Collection includes 7,000 pieces of correspondence; 4,000 photographs; and a myriad of scrapbooks, clippings, playbills, and memorabilia.
Norman Stuart was an actor and dialogue director. This collection contains 35 pieces of correspondence, nine photographs, and one theatrical program. Subjects in correspondence cover the theatre, television, World War II, V-E Day, general notes, telegrams, and thank you notes. Please note that some correspondence has been glued on sheets with other correspondence.
John Lark Taylor was a Shakespearean actor who began his early career in Augustin Daly’s production of “The Taming of the Shrew” and who appeared with the late John Barrymore in a production of “Hamlet.” After retiring from the stage, he moved to Nashville and helped organize the Little Theatre group. He died in 1946.
The John Lark Taylor Papers include biographical material; correspondence; contracts; plays and stories by Taylor; scrapbooks; theater programs; photographs; promptbooks; scripts; music composed by Taylor; playbills and programs 1879-1944; and miscellaneous materials.
A 1924 graduate of Vanderbilt, Warren Taylor died in Oberlin Ohio in 1991. His collection of papers includes correspondence; essays completed while Taylor was a student at Vanderbilt under John Crowe Ransom and Walter Clyde Curry; lectures prepared at Oberlin College; poems; photographs; theater programs 1921-1932; musical programs 1922-1931; clippings; and miscellaneous materials.
WSM Radio and Television
President of National Life and Accident Insurance Company – the parent company of WSM, Inc. – Jesse Wills appreciated the research value of the wide variety of material related to the activities of WSM Radio and TV. In May of 1967, he donated to Vanderbilt University an assortment of this material and added to the collection in July of 1968. Jesse Wills also donated the Grand Ole Opry Collection, which complements the WSM Radio and TV material.
The WSM Radio and TV Collection is composed of correspondence; photographs; scripts of radio programs; and promotional material. Dates of the collection range from 1928 to 1966 with a large portion of the material dated in the 1940s.