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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Souchon, Edmond. Articles, 1959, 1960. 2 items. Location: E:Imprints. New Orleans, Louisiana, surgeon. Articles from periodicals on Dr. Souchon and his interest in the jazz idiom and, in particular, the promotion of New Orleans jazz. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1925.

St. Charles Theatre broadside, 1855. 1 item [photostat]. Location: EPHEMERA COLLECTION SUBGROUP VI. Theatre located in New Orleans, La. Broadside advertising the performance of Julia Dean in "Love" at the St. Charles Theatre. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 586.

Referenced in Guides: New Orleans to 1861, Performing arts, Women

Stopher, Henry Wallace, 1883-1947. Loose-leaf notebook, circa 1935. 1 volume. Location: M:19. Head of the Department of Music and later Director of the School of Music, LSU (1915-1940). Notes compiled on Louisiana composers with a partial list of their works, publishers, and copyright dates, arranged alphabetically by the name of the composer. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 965.

Referenced in Guides: Performing arts, LSU

Stopher, Henry Wallace. Papers, 1882-1944 (bulk 1914-1940). 1.5 linear ft., 1 volume. Location: UU:134-135, OS:S. Head of the Department of Music and later Director of the School of Music, Louisiana State University (1915-1940). Collection includes Stopher's correspondence and related papers and his records during the period he was associated with LSU. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2224.

Sullivan, Arthur Seymour, 1842-1900. Letter, 1877 August 15. 1 item. Location: Misc.:S. English composer. Letter returning lyrics sent to Sullivan by J. Martin. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1350.

Referenced in Guides: Performing arts

Texada, Lewis and family. Papers, 1830-1939. 274 items. Location: W:25, OS:T. Lewis Texada was a planter of Bayou Rapides, Rapides Parish, Louisiana. Collection includes papers related to property ownership in Rapides Parish; letters from Louisiana Governor Henry Watkins Allen; papers related to a girls' school in Virginia; and letters of Confederate civilians in the Civil War. Also included are sheet music and printed items. Available (with some omissions) on microfilm 5735: University Publications of America Confederate Military Manuscripts Series B, Reel 19. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2985.

Referenced in Guides: Politics, Performing arts, Civil War, Education

Thompson, Benjamin, 1766?-1816. Letters, 1800, 1815. 3 items. Location: Misc.:T. English dramatist. Letters concern artistic and commercial problems encountered in writing his plays, and discuss his social life. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1350.

Referenced in Guides: Performing arts, Literature

Thornton, William J., 1919-1996. Papers, 1939-1998. 10 linear ft. Location: 116:26-32. Composer residing in Texas and LSU Alumni, the William J. Thornton Papers consists primarily of manuscripts, reel-to-reel and cassette tapes, acetate discs, and video tape recordings. The collection also includes a script and photographs of his service during WWII. Mss. 5012.

Referenced in Guides: Performing arts, Education, LSU

Toland, Bessie. Scrapbook, 1934-1935. 1 ms. vol. Location: G:18. School teacher of Jeanerette, Iberia Parish, Louisiana. Award winning scrapbook consists of clippings of news stories from various Louisiana newspapers describing pageants, plays, musical performances, and other events held in celebration of the tercentenary in Louisiana high schools. Also included are articles describing the history of various Louisiana high schools and observances of the tercentenary in Jeanerette, La., Bessie Toland's hometown.. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 893.

Referenced in Guides: Performing arts, Women, Education

Tower, Luther Field. Diary, 1845-1846. 2 vols. Location: H:20. Clerk for a New Orleans. La., cotton exchange. Diary provides a daily account of local weather conditions in New Orleans, the arrival and departure of cargo ships, cotton and sugar prices, the cotton trade, local military and political celebrations, Tower's attendance at Protestant church services, concerts and opera performances, and prominent visitors to New Orleans. Entries for November and December of 1845 describe the trial of Dr. W.A. Scott, minister of the First Presbyterian Church in New Orleans. Entries also note the progress of the Mexican War and the funeral of U.S. President Andrew Jackson. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 765.