Olin Downes Papers- Series 3. Lectures

Olin Downes Papers- Series 3. Lectures

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Hargrett Manuscripts
Creator: Downes, Olin, 1886-1955
Title: Olin Downes Papers- Series 3. Lectures
Dates: 1932-1953
Quantity: 2.8 Linear feet (7 document boxes)
Abstract:The series consists of the lectures of Olin Downes from 1932-1953. The lectures include handwritten manuscripts, typed drafts with corrections, and final copies. The lectures document Downes’ knowledge in the field of music and discuss various composers; types of music including classical, folk songs, blues, and opera; music and society; music history and theory; and music interpretation. Many of the lectures were produced for the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences lecture series, broadcasts for the CBS Music Hour, or for speeches and talks for various societies and musical organizations.
Coll. Number: ms688.series3

Biographical/Historical Note

Olin Downes (1886-1955), American music critic with the Boston Post (1906-1924) and the New York Times (1924-1955).

Scope and Content Note

Following is a summary of the entire Olin Downes Papers collection, of which Series 3 described here is a part:

Series 1. Subject Files includes printed material, articles, newspaper clippings, and programs pertaining to American music in general and to a variety of composers, conductors, and musicians, as well as organizations of key interest to Downes. Dates range ca. 1920-1955. Series 2. Correspondence is professional in nature and Downes’ career as a music critic and lecturer as well as his involvement with major organizations. For key correspondents see Series 2 finding aid abstract. Dates range ca. 1909-1955. Series 3. Lectures include handwritten manuscripts, typed drafts with corrections, and final copies of Olin Downes’ lectures. The lectures document Downes’ knowledge in the field of music and cover a great variety of musical genres. Dates range 1932-1953. Series 4. Articles covers articles written by Olin Downes in manuscript form with some corrected copies, the articles relate to criticism of American music in general and to specific composers, conductors, musicians, and productions. Dates range ca. 1930-1952. Series 5. Manuscripts contains Downes’ notes, research material, drafts, outlines, typescripts, and galleys of several of his major published and unpublished books, as well as a compilation edited by Irene Downes and materials for a memoir. Dates range ca. 1926-1957. Series 6. Reviews by Others consists of newspaper clippings of music reviews by other critics collected by Olin Downes from 1901-1919. Series 7. Personal and Family papers contains the papers of the Downes and Miles families from 1908-1962. Includes primarily family correspondence including that of Downes, as well as financial records, newspaper clippings, notebooks and engagement books, and some personal effects. See also Irene Downes Series 10. Series 8. Programs contains programs from various performances, with Brooklyn groups highlighted. Series 9. Photographs and Sketches includes those of Olin Downes and the Downes and Miles families Includes photographs of Olin Downes; his wives and children; and various public figures or friends in the field. Dates range from ca. 1910-1955. Series 10. Irene Miles Downes papers consists mainly of her correspondence and documents Downes’ work with various New York organizations and work after Olin Downes’ death, as well as manuscripts of her writings. Some Irene Miles Downes materials can also be found in Series 7. Series 11. Mildred Miles papers consists of manuscripts of her writings ca. 1940. Series 12. Scrapbooks, Clippings and Reviews mainly contains newspaper articles and reviews written by Olin Downes, as well as some articles and reviews by others. Dates range from 1909-1955. Series 13. Sheet and Manuscript Music includes published sheet music and some music manuscripts collected by Olin Downes from ca. 1900-1946.


This series is arranged in alphabetical order by title, subject or name of organization.

The collection as a whole is arranged in 13 series which are each listed and described separately. The entire collection is organized as follows:

Series 1. Subject Files (67 boxes) Series 2. Correspondence (66 boxes) Series 3. Lectures (7 boxes) Series 4. Articles (4 boxes) Series 5. Manuscripts (30 boxes) Series 6. Reviews by Other Critics (3 boxes) Series 7. Personal and Family Papers (37 boxes, 1 oversized folder) Series 8. Programs (2 boxes) Series 9. Photographs and Sketches (9 boxes) Series 10. Irene Miles Downes papers (8 boxes) Series 11. Mildred Miles papers (2 boxes) Series 12. Scrapbooks, Clippings and Reviews (9 boxes) Series 13. Sheet Music (6 boxes, 2 oversized folders)

Index Terms

Blues (Music)
Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences.
Columbia Broadcasting System, inc..
Folk music--United States
Music critics--United States.
Music theory.
Music--History and criticism
Music--Interpretation (Phrasing, dynamics, etc.)
Music--Social aspects
Music--United States--Societies, etc.
Radio broadcasters--United States

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Olin Downes papers, MS 688 (Series 3: Lectures). Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, University of Georgia Libraries.

Related Material

For the rest of the Olin Downes papers please see also companion Series 1, 2 and 4-14.

Series Descriptions and Folder Listing

11Brooklyn Lectures, Misc.
2Ballet Russe
3Brooklyn Misc.
4Brooklyn Lecture
5Brooklyn Lectures, Misc.
6Bauer, Harold
8Brooklyn Bethoven
10Brooklyn Institute (Barrere)
12BSO Modern Music
13Boston Symphony
14Brooklyn Institute Lectures (Schedules)
15Brooklyn (Aria & Song)
21English Singers
2Violin Elman
4Modern French (Brooklyn Hackett)
5Harvard Glee Club
8Myrer Hess
10Brooklyn Inst. Hoffmann
13Hall Johnson
14Brooklyn (Koussevitzky Wagner)
31Koussevitzky - GA Brooklyn Institute Lecture, 1943 - 1945
2Operatic Ensemble (La Forge)
3Lotte Lehmann
4Maier & Patterson
5Renaissance Music Malkin
8Olemeka (Olszewska)
9Brooklyn (Pons) Old Instrumnets
10Pons, Jan 4, 1934 & 1935
2Roth Quarter
3Schelling - Samuel - Smallens
4Finland Sibelius
6Spalding, 1932
7Stueckgold, Greta
9Violin Zimbalist
10Re Lecture Schedules & Publicity
11List of Lecture - Partial Topics, 1941
12Memorial Speech for Baermann
13Be Your Own Music Critic Notes & Lecture, Feb 16, 1952
14Be Your Own Critic
16Broadcasts O.B.
17CBS Music Hour, Sep 22, 1941
18Chopin Lectures
19Lecture Composer, Interpreter, Critic
20The Composers Workshop
21Concert Etiquette
22Contemporary Music
23The Critic, The Artist & The Public, 1941
51The Critic (Carnegie Hall)
2Lecture (critic)
3Florida State University, 1953
4Hunter College, 1941 & 1943
5Downes - Glazer Lectures
6Harrisburg Symphony
7Humor and Charaterization
8French Opera
9Ideal Opera
10Integrity of Art (Berhshire series) (Lectures)
11The Interpreter (Berkshire)
12Jewish Influence on Western Music, Feb 24, 1953
13The Listener (Berkshire)
14Broadcast (Koussevitzky), 1948
15MacDowell Colony Speech
16Lecture Monteverdi
17Music Criticism
18Oberlin, 1940
20Political Speeches (Thomas Dewey), 1944
21Sibelius Voice of America Broad., 1950
24Broadcast Sibelius
27Song (Harris)
29Songs (Background, etc.)
61Speech and Music
2The Star Spangled Banner
3Lecture Strings Philadelphia
4Lectures Symphony, 1939
5 - 6Symphony Broadcasts
7Radio Talk on Ten Operatic Masterpieces
8T.V. Production of Rossini
9Broadcast Tschaikowsky Violin Concert
10Wagner's Ring
12 - 15Lectures and Articles- Unsorted Misc. Mss.
71 - 6Lectures and Articles- Unsorted Misc. Mss.