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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Howard, Ellen E. ( Ellen Elizabeth). Journal, ca.1866. 1 item. Location: Misc. H. Resident of Mississippi. Incomplete diary relates her travel experiences to New Orleans, Louisiana, social activities, and descriptions of the city and Mardi Gras, and a stage performance by the actor, Lawrence P. Barrett. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3877.

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

Hudson, Frederick Gray. Collection, 1890-1957. 154 items, 1 volume. Location: W:55, J:24, OS:H. Attorney of Monroe, Louisiana. Scrapbook of newspaper clippings and related magazine articles concerning the League of Nations, the aftermath of WWI, and New York theatrical activities. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1796, 2953.

Referenced in Guides: Performing arts, 20th Century Wars

Huey P. Long collection, 1934-1935. 3 items. Location: Misc:H. Louisiana governor (1928-1932), U.S. Senator (1932-1935). Collection includes a photograph of Long and friends, a pamphlet concerning Long and the Senate, and published sheet music. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4264.

Referenced in Guides: Politics, Performing arts, Long Family

Hunt, William H. (William Henry), 1823-1883. Letter, 1844 August 28. 1 letter. Location: MISC:H. William H. Hunt served as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Confederate Army and as Secretary to the United States Navy under President James Garfield. This is a letter from William H. Hunt in New Orleans to Charles Day, Esq. of New Haven, Connecticut. The letter updates Day on common acquaintances, including Charlotte Ewing, a performer in New Orleans, and a duel between a Colonel and Balie Payton. Mss. 5124.

Referenced in Guides: New Orleans to 1861, Performing arts

Hush . Hush, Sweet Charlotte script, 1964. 1 item. Location: M:19. Copy of the final script of 139 pages, which includes 12 revised pages. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2172.

Referenced in Guides: Performing arts, Literature

John B. Kellogg-Anna Kellogg letters and photograph, 1866-1869. 22 items. Location: T:100 (short shelf). New York bank cashier and his wife. Six detailed letters addressed to Anna Kellogg were written during her mother and sister’s Mississippi steamboat trip to New Orleans, Louisiana. Letters discuss the trip itself and ultimately their stay in New Orleans, including places they visited, people they met, and their impressions. 15 letters addressed to John B. Kellogg discuss in detail the purchase and shipment of Louisiana cattle bound for Chicago. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4955.

Johnson, Walter B. Scrapbook, 1962.1 vol. Location: M:19. Scrapbook of clippings from English-language Indian newspapers contains information about urban problems, industry, education, the arts, and other aspects of contemporary life in India. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2825.

Referenced in Guides: Performing arts, Education

Johnson, William T and family. Papers, 1793-1937 (bulk 1830-1870). 6 linear ft., 54 volumes. Location: U:161-162, O:71-73, 65:, OS:J African American barber and planter of Natchez. Personal papers, commercial records, diaries, and music of the Johnson family reflecting the condition of cultured and educated free persons of color both before and after the Civil War. Available on microfilm 5322: University Publications of America Records of Ante-bellum Southern Plantations Series I, Part 4, Reels 1-6. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 529, 561, 597, 770, 926, 1093.

Jones, Ellen E., b. 1852. Ellen E. Jones journal and Claude Perry letter, 1854-1872 (bulk 1871-1872). 2 items. Location: MISC:J. Resident of Georgia. Journal contains reminiscences about Jones's school years in Georgia and Pennsylvania. She discusses life in Macon, Georgia, mentioning holidays, balls, and theatrical productions. Also included is a letter from her aunt, Claude Perry, to her mother. Available on microfilm 5750: University Publications of America Southern Women and Their Families in the 19th Century: Papers and Diaries Series E, Reel 15. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4057.

Referenced in Guides: Performing arts, Women, Education

Kidd, John W. Photographs and broadside, 1936-1940. 8 items. Location: MISC:K. LSU alumnus, conductor of the swing band Johnny Kidd and His Orchestra, and member of Owen Reed and the Playhouse Orchestra. Photographs of Kidd and other members of swing bands based at LSU; and a broadside of 'Johnny Kidd and His Orchestra' (undated). For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4635.

Referenced in Guides: Performing arts, LSU