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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Wehrmann, Henry, 1870-1956. Sheet music, 1912-1954, undated .2 linear ft. Location: 65. Music composer, arranger, and publisher of New Orleans. Manuscript sheet music composed, arranged, or published by Wehrmann, primarily for violin, viola, and cello. Most of the music is by 17th and 18th century composers, newly arranged by Wehrmann. One published item, Songs of the South, composed and published by Wehrmann (1912), is included. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4669.

Referenced in Guides: Performing arts, New Orleans 1866-

Wehrmann, Henry. Scrapbook, 1838-1939. 1 v. Location: A:110. Music composer, arranger, and publisher of New Orleans, La. Scrapbook contains articles and programs documenting theater and opera in New Orleans. Mss. 3999.

Weiss, Seymour. Papers, 1927-1972 (bulk 1930-1960). 11.25 linear ft. Location: 30:38-42, OS:W, Vault:36. Manager and owner of the Roosevelt Hotel in New Orleans. Weiss was a confidant of Louisiana Governor and U.S. Senator Huey P. Long, who made the hotel his headquarters. The bulk of the collection consists of circulars announcing speeches and the political positions of Long and other Louisiana politicians. Also present are political cartoons by 'Trist' [Trist Wood] and various campaign items. The collection includes letters of Huey P. Long related to issues of concern to Louisiana citizens and sheet music for 'Every Man a King,' 'Follow Long,' and several other songs, with words by Long. Mss. 4165.

Referenced in Guides: Politics, Performing arts, Long Family

Whig Party campaign song, undated [1848]. 1 item. Location: Misc. Autograph manuscript of an original song composed by John Greiner, Ohio State librarian, celebrating the Whig Party nomination of Zachary Taylor. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3029.

Referenced in Guides: Performing arts

Whitaker, Lily C. Poem, circa 1916. 1 item. Location: Misc.:W. Copy of her poem 'Shakespeare,' presented before the Shakespearean Anniversary Association at the Tulane Theater, New Orleans. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1284.

Whitfield, Irene. Manuscript, circa 1939, 1 item. Location: W:7. Manuscript of Louisiana Folk Songs (Baton Rouge: LSU Press, 1939), including revisions and miscellaneous notes. Lyrics of songs are in French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2823.

Referenced in Guides: Performing arts, French, Literature

Wiksell, Wesley A., 1906-1991. Wesley A. and Jean Starr Wiksell papers, 1920-1970 ca. (bulk 1950-1965). 39 linear ft. Unprocessed. Location: OS:W; Offsite, contact for details. Professor of speech and communication at LSU. Wesley and Jean Starr Wiksell were puppeteers. Papers include subject files, correspondence, photographs, and other items that document Wiksell's activities as a professor, puppeteer, and theater performer. Papers of Jean Starr Wiksell relate primarily to the theater and to her work as a puppeteer. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4329.

Referenced in Guides: Performing arts, Women, LSU

Williams, L. Kemper. Collection, 1867-1896, 1915-1966. 14 linear, 115 printed vols. Location: 77:71- 84. Printed materials, principally from New Orleans and other areas in Louisiana pertaining to Louisiana folkways and customs, cultural attractions, public education, economic growth, school desegregation, entertainment, religions, and tourism. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2203.

Wise, Claude M. Papers, 1889-1967. 40 linear ft. Location: 6:8; 115:; 118:14; VAULT:44; MAP CASE 4, DRAWERS 21-24. International authority on phonetics and head of the Louisiana State University Speech Department from 1928 until 1958. Personal and professional papers. Unprocessed collection. Mss. 2245.

Womens University Students Association. Papers, 1896-1940. 139 items. Location: 78:60. Miscellaneous pamphlets not pertaining to the association. Loose issues of the Proceedings of the Academy of Political Science, copies of the Tulane news bulletin, concert programs for performances of music in New Orleans and elsewhere, issues of the Whitney-Central observer, first aid guides, pamphlets from the Church of the Latter Day Saints and other religious organizations, annual reports of the Louisiana State Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, leaflets from New Orleans area businesses, and materials on homeopathic medicine.For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 599.