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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Day, Anita G., Digital Prints. 2000. Forty (40) 5 inches X 7 inches digital prints, matted to 11 inches X 14 inches. Location: 91:3. The collection consists of 40 digital prints of images created at the 1999 Festivals Acadiens, an annual cultural event that began in 1972. The Lafayette Jaycees, along with the help of Rubber Boots, Inc., organize the principal components of Festivals Acadiens, including four separate festivals: Festival de Musique Acadienne; La Vie Cadienne Wetlands Folklife Festival; Heritage Pavilion, and; Bayou Food Festival. These festivals are held in Girard Park in Lafayette, Louisiana. The 1999 festival, during which these images were created, was held from Friday, September 17, through Sunday, September 19. These prints were part of the exhibition, "Preservation as Public Spectacle: Festivals Acadiens," displayed in Hill Memorial Library in 2000. Mss. 4993.

Referenced in Guides: Performing arts, Acadiana, French

De Bow, J. D. B. Letter, 1865 December 30. 1 item. Location: Misc.:D. Resident of New Orleans. Letter from De Bow requesting that Mr. Seymour of the "New York Times" write a favorable criticism of a comedy by the Louisiana historian Charles E. A. Gayarre, in order that the play might be brought to the New York stage. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1770.

de Caro Francis A. and Rosan A. Jordan. Collection. 1956-2009, undated (bulk 1966-2003). 13 linear ft. Location: 11:19, 15:15-21. De Caro and Jordan were folklorists, authors, and Louisiana State University (Baton Rouge, La.) professors. The collection includes personal and professional correspondence, writings, exhibitions, photographs, printed items consisting of brochures, handbills, newspapers, and posters; and topical files that document de Caro's folklore class at LSU, his work with the Louisiana Folklife Commission, and Jordan's work with the women's movement. Writings as well as exhibitions comprise material primarily related to folklore within Louisiana and British colonial life in India. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3197, 4089, 4164.

De Forest, George. Scrapbooks, 1935-1943. 4 vols. Location: 28-49. New Orleans bookseller. Contents consist almost entirely of the column 'Art, Music, Literature, and Drama,' clipped from 'The Border Telegraph' (Galashiels, Peeblesshire, Scotland) between 1935 and 1943. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2600.

Referenced in Guides: Performing arts, Literature

De Lapouyade, Robert. Collection, 1848-1936 (bulk 1894-1933). 206 items and 9 vols. Location: B:63, P:19, OS:D. Scenic artist born in Covington, St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana. Collection contains business correspondence (1911-1935), programs for plays and operas at various New Orleans theaters, photographs, a book of sketches, postcards displaying De Lapouyade's work, and a scrapbook concerning his work. Also included are photographs of De Lapouyade's stencil for marking stage settings and a spear made for an opera. Included are comments on the objects photographed.For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1011, 1040, 2629.

Referenced in Guides: Performing arts, New Orleans 1866-

Delsarte, Francois Alexandre Nicolas. Papers, 1811-1934 (bulk 1830-1899). 1,448 items, 107 volumes, 8 microfilm reels. Location: 35:, OS:D, MSS.MF:D. French educator, music and dramatic instructor, and originator of a widely recognized system of elocution. Professional papers contain materials relating to the study of pantomime; notes and manuscripts of writings by Delsarte's pupils, William Alger and James MacKaye, together with studies of the Delsarte system by S. S. Curry, Claude Shaver, and others. Partly in French. Preliminarily processed but open for use. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1301.

Referenced in Guides: Performing arts, Education, French, Literature

DeMunck, Eugene. Letter, 1819. 1 letter. Location: MISC:D. Personal letter from Eugene DeMunck in Brussels to Monsieur Reyer, alderman of Namur. DeMunck asks Reyer if the three nephews of DeMunck, who were returning from a trip to England, Scotland, and Ireland, could participate as soloists at his upcoming party. DeMunck speaks highly of his nephews' abilities and awaits the reply of Reyer. Mss. 822.

Referenced in Guides: Performing arts, French

Detro, Randall A. (Randall Augustus). Collection, 1932-1988. 20 items [photocopies]. Location: MISC:D. Mostly circulars of Huey Long and the Long political organization concerning the programs of Long during Governor O. K. Allen's administration. Collection includes a handbill and publicity photograph from a 1988 production of the play 'The Kingfish.' For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4138.

Referenced in Guides: Politics, Performing arts, Long Family

Doerr, Charles T. and Family. Papers, 1837-1967. 0.6 linear ft. Locations: 12:13, OS:D. Child of German immigrants and jeweler in New Orleans, Louisiana who designed a chalice for St. Alphonsus Church. Collection consists of personal papers, printed items, newspaper clippings, photographs, and artifacts. Mss. 3312.

Dunbar, Elijah. Correspondence, 1850, 1851. 2 items. Location: Misc:D. Resident of Canton, Massachusetts, and a boarder living in New Orleans, employed by a music dealer. Correspondence includes a letter by William T. Mayo of New Orleans, stating makes and number of pianos sold; and a letter by H. Waring, New Orleans, commenting on various people at Dunbar's boarding house. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1337.

Referenced in Guides: New Orleans to 1861, Performing arts