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Westminster Choir College Scrapbook Collection

Creator: Talbott Library

Title: Westminster Choir College Scrapbook Collection

Dates:  ca. 1922-2005 (Bulk 1920s-1940s)

Abstract: Contains scrapbooks from multiple sources that document student life, Choir activities and tours, and the institutional history of Westminster Choir College. The scrapbooks are mainly comprised of newspaper clippings, photographs, postcards, programs, notes, and other ephemera.

Provenance: Individual scrapbooks created and donated by various alumni and faculty, and also by Westminster Choir College staff and administrative departments. Collection assembled by Talbott Library staff.

Historical Note

John Finley Williamson and Rhea B. Williamson founded the Westminster Choir School in 1926 in Dayton, Ohio. In 1929, the school left Dayton to become affiliated with Ithaca Conservatory in Ithaca, NY where the curriculum expanded to a four year degree program.  The college moved again and settled permanently in Princeton, NJ in 1932, taking advantage of its close proximity to both New York and Philadelphia.  The College’s Princeton campus, completed in 1934, originally consisted of four Georgian buildings on a quadrangle, with later buildings being added in the 1970s.

In the 1920s and 1930s, the choir embarked on various domestic and international tours. During the following decades, particularly in the 1950s, the choir toured throughout the United States, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia, and performed with internationally prominent orchestras and conductors such as Arturo Toscanini, Leopold Stokowski, and Bruno Walter among many others. 

Dr. and Mrs. Williamson retired from the college in 1958. The Williamsons toured Africa with an alumni choir in 1959, and continued to travel across the U.S. and Asia, teaching and conducting vocal clinics. John Finley Williamson was followed by presidents MacCalmont (1958-1961), Bristol (1962-1969), Robinson (1969-1987), and Fuller (1987-1990). In 1992, the College merged with Rider University in nearby Lawrenceville, NJ and is now a part of Rider’s Westminster College of the Arts, while retaining its historical identity as Westminster Choir College.

Scope and Content Note

Scrapbooking was a popular hobby for many young people throughout much of the 20th century and into the 21st century. Many of the scrapbooks were compiled by students who sought to document their time at Westminster by creating these mementos. Other scrapbooks, particularly ones comprised solely of press clippings, were more likely assembled by administrative departments at Westminster. The scrapbooks mainly contain newspaper clippings, photographs, postcards, programs, notes, and other ephemera. Overall, they reflect the Westminster experience and document student life, Choir activities, and various tours undertaken by the Choir over the decades as well as the institutional history of the College. The collection is particularly strong in representing the 1920s through the 1940s. Scrapbooks are arranged in rough chronological order.

Some of the scrapbooks are extremely fragile with brittle, crumbling pages and should not be handled extensively. Items marked with an asterisk* should receive priority for conservation treatment.

Subject Access Points

Brown, Elaine Isaacson

Williamson, John Finley, 1887-1964

Williamson, Rhea B.

Zabrack, Harold

Choirs (Music)—New Jersey

College Campuses

College Students

Westminster Choir—Tours

Westminster Choir College

Brochures

Clippings (Books, clippings, etc.)

Notes

Postcards

Photographs

Scrapbooks

Title

Date

Box

Newspaper clippings and programs scrapbook

1922-1924

1

Westminster Choir newspaper clippings scrapbook, Dayton, Ohio era 

1923-1924

2

Newspaper clippings scrapbook, Dayton, Ohio  era

1925-1928

3

Composition booklet with newspaper clippings—Dayton, Ohio era, Harriet E.N. Chace (box also contains folder of scrapbook pages from unidentified 1927 scrapbook)

1927

4

Ward Bedford and Mary Louise Bates -U.S. and European Tour scrapbook  (photos, newspaper clippings, programs) See also Mary Louise Bates Tour Diary (JFW Collection 1/A/41)

1929

5

Leslie Burgess scrapbook – photos of Westminster Presbyterian Church (Dayton, Ohio), and other Dayton, Ohio, also Washington, DC, NYC, Europe

1929

6

Press clippings scrapbook from U.S. /European Tour (Tour to the Boat) (all newspaper clippings)*

1929

7

See also Scrapbook #41  (Westminster memories scrapbook of mostly the 1920s era, compiled in 1976 (3 parts—copies) by Elizabeth C. Krueger)

 

 

Ithaca era scrapbook (press clippings, booklets)

1930

8

“Scraps”—(clippings and booklets) scrapbook with a 1935-1936 section and a 1929 section

1929-1936

9

Press clippings scrapbook with spiral binding

1930s

10

European Tour scrapbook (photos, diary, brochures)—by Ella Robinson Crane

1934

11

Photograph Album (Princeton campus, students) by J.  Lyman Congdon

ca. 1934-1935

12

European Tour scrapbook by J. Lyman Congdon (photos, postcards, clippings, brochures)

1934

13

European/USSR tour scrapbook by James Rawlings Sydnor

1934

13A

European/USSR tour scrapbook (clippings, photos, brochures)

1934

14

Diary/scrapbook for European/USSR Tour, (postcards, brochures, photos) by Lewis Bullock (‘35)*

1934

15

Scrapbook (clippings, brochures, mementos, programs, photos) by Carlotta Davison (?)

1934-1935

16

Scrapbook (clippings, programs) by Carlotta Davison (?)

1936

17

Scrapbook  (name lists, photos of campus, students, and faculty) by Hurlbut B. Cutting

1934-1937

18

Scrapbook (name lists, photos of campus, students, and faculty) by Hurlbut B. Cutting

1937-1938

19

Scrapbook  (name lists, photos of campus, students, faculty) by Hurlbut B. Cutting

1938-1939

20

U.S. Tour scrapbook of  Westminster “Chorus” (diary, photos, brochures )

1936-1937

21

John Finley and Rhea B. Williamson scrapbook  (name lists, photos, programs)

1937-1939

22

U.S.Tour scrapbook (photos, mementos, postcards, etc.)

1940

23

U.S. Tour (and Cuba) scrapbook (brochures, clippings, postcards)

1940-1941

24

Student life/U.S. Tour scrapbook (postcards, brochures, programs) by Emma Binns*

1939-1940

25

Student life scrapbook (postcards, brochures, programs, photos ) by Emma Binns*

1940-1941

26

Student life scrapbook (postcards, brochures, programs, photos) by Emma Binns*

1941-1942

27

Student life/U.S. Tour/ Toscanini  scrapbook (postcards, brochures, programs) by Emma Binns*

1942

28

Student life scrapbook (postcards, brochures, programs, photos) by Emma Binns*

1942-1943

29

Student life/U.S.-Cuba Tour (diary, programs, photos, brochures) by Frank L. Pugh*

1945

30

Personal publicity scrapbook  (clippings, programs, etc.) by Ida Coe Munsell

1938-1949

31

“My treasures” student life scrapbook (cards, programs, receipts, dormitory rules) by Ida Coe Munsell *

1946-1949

32

Tour, student life scrapbook by Ida Coe Munsell

1949

33

Graduation year scrapbook (programs, cards) by Ida Coe Munsell

1950

34

Touring choir (U.S. Tour) photographs scrapbook dedicated to John Finley and Rhea B. Williamson from the Westminster Touring  Choir

1953-1954

35

Touring choir (U.S. Tour) photographs scrapbook dedicated to John Finley and Rhea B. Williamson from the Westminster Touring  Choir

1955-1956

36

Summer Professional School scrapbook, (photographs, postcards, programs, notes, student list) scrapbook by Mary Walker Delafield

1959

37

Clippings scrapbook

1958-1962

38

U.S. Tour with Elaine Brown photograph scrapbook

1970-1971

39

Clippings scrapbook

1974-1976

40

Westminster memories scrapbook of mostly the 1920s era, compiled in 1976 (3 parts—copies) by Elizabeth C. Krueger

1976

41

Spoleto clippings and programs scrapbook (very large size)

1983

42

Printed material (programs, newsletters, catalogs, etc.) scrapbook (very large size)

1984-1985

43

Tribute to Harold Zabrack (piano faculty) scrapbook (photographs, notes, programs, biographical information)

1995

44

Westminster Choir College in Japan scrapbook  (notes, photographs, programs) by Carol

Jones Imaizumi (included memories of the Williamsons)

1997-1998

45

Class of 1955 50th reunion scrapbook with then and now photographs of graduates, poems, etc

2005

46