McArthur, Edwin (1907-1987)
The Edwin McArthur collection contains manuscripts, printed material, photographs, audio, and other material.
Manuscripts in the collection include several pieces written by McArthur that are either signed or stamped by him; musical scores and pieces written by other composers; pieces signed by their performers; numerous pieces of sheet music; musical production notes for various, works such as Annie Get Your Gun, Bye Bye Birdie, Guys and Dolls, South Pacific, West Side Story; and more. Also present are drafts of The Second Book, a manuscript by McArthur about his career, and his book Flagstad: A Personal Memoir (Knopf, 1965), as well as many research and business records regarding Flagstad, including correspondence with Flagstad and notes written by her; publicity for Flagstad; snapshots; recordings of her work; and more.
Printed material include scrapbooks, clippings, programs, educational material, libretti, scripts, magazines and more. Scrapbooks contain newspaper clippings about McArthur except for two with clippings about Kirsten Flagstad. The programs date mostly from the 1940s to 1950s. The educational material includes German and French musical terms and was probably distributed to McArthur's class. Other printed items include opera scores, scripts, magazines, fliers, catalogues, advertisements, and press clippings (1950s -1980s were later added to the collection.
Photographs include those of McArthur’s productions and shows, and family photos. Several snapshots of McArthur are included, especially travel and personal photos. Several photographs of performers McArthur worked with are also included.
Audio recordings includes cassette tapes and record albums. Cassette tapes are either interviews with McArthur or recordings of his productions, some used for radio broadcasts. Record albums include hundreds of recordings, most not of McArthur; about half of these are vocal and opera music, the rest are instrumentals. Notable performers include Eileen Farrell, Ezio Pinza, Joan Sutherland, and Lotte Lehman.
Correspondence is largely professional regarding various Opera houses and dating from the 1940s to the 1980s. Personal correspondence includes sympathy letters, family snapshots, poems by his mother, an essay on his grandfather, birthday and Christmas cards, and more. Other correspondence is between McArthur and other names in music and show business such as Kirsten Flagstad, Marks Levine, Rosaline Nadell, Eva Turner, Ann Bollinger, Wilhelm Furtwangler, and Bruno Walter.
Other material includes a baton from the Metropolitan Opera in 1941, and other various batons; two bookstands; a membership plaque from the St. Louis Advertising Club; and award from the Harrisburg Symphony; an animal sculpture; a plaque from McArthur's students at Eastman (1968-1969); McArthur's wallet and ID from the war; two honorary degrees from the Lamont School of Music and Elizabeth College; various recognition awards; scrapbooks of some of McArthur's works and one of his fiftieth anniversary; tax records and financial logs; and other items.