Sousa at Illinois: The John Philip Sousa and Herbert L. Clarke Manuscript Collections at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: A Catalogue of the Collections

By Maloney, S. Timothy | Fontes Artis Musicae, January-March 2009 | Go to article overview

Sousa at Illinois: The John Philip Sousa and Herbert L. Clarke Manuscript Collections at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: A Catalogue of the Collections


Maloney, S. Timothy, Fontes Artis Musicae


Sousa at Illinois: The John Philip Sousa and Herbert L. Clarke Manuscript Collections at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: A Catalogue of the Collections. By Phyllis Danner. Detroit Studies in Music Bibliography, No. 85. Warren, MI: Harmonie Park Press, 2005. [xxxvii, 179 p. ISBN 0-89990-115-8. $55.00]

Today most archival catalogues, whether published in hard copy or mounted on-line, are organized according to principles laid down by the Society of American Archivists or similar professional organizations. Their prefatory texts are rigorously organized into discrete sections giving summary information (collection title and name of the collection's creator, beginning and ending dates of the archive, catalogue number, and contact information for the repository); conditions governing access to, and use of, the collection; background information regarding its acquisition, provenance, and processing; a brief biographical or historical sketch of the person or organization it came from; a description of the intellectual arrangement of the collection; its physical extent (expressed in linear feet); a scope and content note summarizing the intellectual make-up of the collection; a detailed list providing folder-or item-level descriptions of the collection in descending hierarchical order; and additional details, as warranted.

The Sousa-Clarke Catalogue does not follow that model, which may render it less able in the future to be migrated to the Web in anything approaching standard EAD formatting unless major changes are made. Extensive prefatory texts (37 pages) do provide some information of the type outlined above, though without the usual rubrics and in a different order. Included in the lengthy introduction are an account of the acquisition process, a discussion of the manuscripts themselves, including details about Sousa's dedications and editorial emendations, his arrangers and copyists, and annotations made by band members, some notes on the vocal and instrumental solos and soloists, information on the photographs in the collection, and titles of previously unknown works by Sousa (e.g., an unpublished and apparently unperformed operetta, The Irish Dragoon (1915)).

The catalogue itself is organized into four sections, corresponding perhaps to major series of documents within the archive, though not so described. In fact, one wonders to what extent, if any, the archival principle of provenance (also referred to as respect des fonds) may have guided this enterprise. Of course, the use of Sousa's scores and instrumental parts for over sixty years by the UIUC bands may have erased all traces of Sousa's own original organization of the materials, and Ms. Danner may have been forced to make organizational decisions based on what seemed appropriate to her given the nature and extent of the materials at hand. In any case, the first three sections of the catalogue comprise the "Sousa Performance Collection," divided into "Original Works and Arrangements for Band," "Vocal Solos and Ensembles with Band Accompaniment," and "Instru mental Solos and Ensembles with Band Accompaniment." Each entry lists composer, title (with uniform titles added in square brackets), date, score height in centimeters, useful information about the score and parts, colophon and marginalia (where applicable), and bibliographic data for any accompanying published materials. Standard instrumentation is listed at the outset and the presence of nonstandard instruments (e.g., sarrusophone) in individual scores is noted, where necessary. The exception to that rule is the repertoire with soloists, where the accompanying instrumentation was quite variable.

The fourth section (or series) of the catalogue is devoted to the "Clarke Performance Collection," where compositions are arranged first by genre (solos, duets, etc.) and then alphabetically by composer and title. …

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