Entries Tagged as 'Cataloging'

Friday, May 13th, 2016

Prompt Service: Cataloging the HTC Promptbooks

For much of the past year, I have had the pleasure of cataloging promptbooks from the Harvard Theatre Collection. Promptbooks are texts of plays which have been annotated with stage directions, alterations, descriptions of scenery or sound effects, and other details from actual use in the theatre. They function almost like a blueprint to a […]

Tuesday, April 26th, 2016

Sherlock shoots up, in shorthand

This post is part of an ongoing series featuring items recently cataloged from the Julio Mario Santo Domingo Collection. Among the works of Arthur Conan Doyle, the Fitz Hugh Ludlow Memorial Library took a particular collecting interest in his second Sherlock Holmes novel, The sign of the four. The novel’s opening lines, here quoted from the […]

Wednesday, April 13th, 2016

More lobster sheet music

No quadrilles, but more lobster sheet music. Here are two pieces for piano, once again featuring ladies in large hats (see previous post) Published in Cleveland … lobsters are an exotic menu item in Cleveland perhaps?

Tuesday, April 12th, 2016

Xenophobia and the rise of Dr. Fu Manchu

This post is part of an ongoing series featuring items recently cataloged from the Julio Mario Santo Domingo Collection. Among recently-cataloged volumes in the Santo Domingo Collection is this small gathering of works by Sax Rohmer (1883-1959), an English novelist whose signal creation is the villainous crime lord Dr. Fu Manchu. Born Arthur Henry Ward, Rohmer […]

Thursday, March 31st, 2016

April Fool’s Day: odd sheet music

The Historical Sheet Music Collections at Houghton have been yielding some weird cover art lately. Here are a few in honor of April foolishness: This song tells the story of a gentleman escorting a lady friend to a cabaret, where she pawns him off on a female friend enamoured of his wealth; her friend calls […]

Wednesday, March 16th, 2016

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day

Houghton’s Historical Sheet Music Collections have a wealth of music about Ireland; many songs are American, whether adaptations of traditional Irish tunes, or songs from Tin Pan Alley, Broadway musicals or vaudeville. Here are some examples in honor of Saint Patrick’s Day. [chorus] The minstrell boy to the war has gone, and bold Jack Donoghue […]

Tuesday, March 15th, 2016

Carlyle’s bequest

Upon the death of the Scottish philosopher, novelist, historian, and mathematician Thomas Carlyle in 1881, a portion of his personal library was left to Harvard – the only public bequeathal in Carlyle’s will. The annual report of the President and Treasurer of Harvard College for that year quotes the relevant passage, which reads in part: […]

Wednesday, March 9th, 2016

Queen Liliʻuokalani’s composition “Aloha ʻOe” and American sheet music about Hawaiʻi

In honor of Women’s History Month, we invite you to look at some examples of sheet music composed by Queen Liliʻuokalani of Hawaiʻi. The Historical Sheet Music Collections are home to a great number of songs about Hawaiʻi, many of them written by popular music composers in the period following the annexation of the islands […]

Friday, March 4th, 2016

New on OASIS in March

Finding aids for five newly cataloged collections have been added to the OASIS database this month: Processed by: Irina Klyagin Guy Sheppard costume designs, sketches and caricatures (MS Thr 1310) Processed by: Jennifer Lyons Modern American theater programs (MS Thr 1138) Randall Thompson music scores (MS Thr 1202) Photographs of theatrical performers and sets (MS Thr 1248) […]

Friday, February 19th, 2016

Male impersonators in early 20th century American sheet music

In the aughts and teens of the 20th century, a few female vaudeville performers, British and American, had great success with male impersonation acts. In performance, they sang romantic love songs (as boys or young men), comic songs and bragging songs. Here are a few examples of their songs as published sheet music. Florence (or […]