International Clarinet Association Research Center

Special Collections in Performing Arts (SCPA) at the University of Maryland is the home of the International Clarinet Association (ICA) Research Center, a hub for students and researchers to delve into the rich history of clarinet performance and composition. The ICA Research Center at SCPA includes hundreds of linear feet of scores, recordings, and archival collections. SCPA is proud to announce a major new expansion of the ICA Research center with the addition of the Sidney Forrest collection of clarinet scores, which are now open for use.

The Student Clarinetist book.

Professor Sidney Forrest (1918-2013) was a renowned performer and educator. He was the principal clarinet of the National Symphony Orchestra, as well as a faculty member at the Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins, Catholic University, Levine School of Music, and Interlochen Arts Camp. His career started as the clarinet soloist with the United States Marine Band throughout World War II. Professor Forrest’s influence lives on through his former students, many of whom took positions with orchestras in Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Boston, Baltimore, London, Paris, and elsewhere.

The Sidney Forrest collection of clarinet scores at SCPA is now easily accessible for patrons of SCPA and UMD Libraries. Students, faculty, and staff from the University System of Maryland (USM) are permitted to borrow scores for up to two months, as are active members of the ICA. For anyone outside of the ICA and USM interested in accessing the materials, they can still view the materials in SCPA’s reading room inside the Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library or request digital access to the items. Every score in the collection can be found by using SCPA’s online database of scores in our collections. Patrons can search by title, composer, instrumentation, or publisher and request access to the item once they have created a researcher account with SCPA. As Peter A. Jablow, president of the Levine School of Music told The Baltimore Sun in 2013, Professor Forrest “had a remarkable impact on music in the Baltimore-Washington region for the last seven decades. It was a remarkable career and he loved it. He believed that playing music kept you young.” Jablow summed up Professor Forrest’s life-long dedication saying “he loved music and teaching young people.” The Sidney Forrest collection of clarinet scores at SCPA helps preserve the profound legacy of Professor Forrest, allowing his influence to persist through the users of his score collection.

Items from the International Clarinet Association Research Center at Special Collections in Performing Arts.

Collection Highlight: The Adrienne Mandel papers

From the poet Emma Lazarus having her words inscribed at the base of the Statue of Liberty (you may remember the line “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free”) to Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s accomplishments in the Supreme Court, Jewish women have been leaving their mark on America. This Jewish-American Heritage Month, we are highlighting one such woman in our collections: Adrienne A. Mandel, member of the Maryland House of Delegates from 1995-2006. 

Campaign Flier for Adrienne Mandel. Features a Black and White Image of Mandel. Text Reads: "Re-Elect Adrienne Mandel Delegate- State Legislative District 19. With Local Loyalty and State Experience Adrienne MANDEL Speaks for YOU."

Adrienne A. Mandel was a Democrat who represented the 19th District, Montgomery County, in the Maryland House of Delegates. Her papers consist of committee files, correspondence, minutes, working papers, reports, photographs, speeches, and press releases pertaining to her service in the Maryland House of Delegates and bills that she supported, primarily relating to health care. The collection also includes topics directly relevant to Montgomery County,  the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission, and the Intercounty Connector (ICC). 

The papers also consist of a number of items directly related to Jewish issues. The papers reveal that Mandel would give out the traditional triangle-shaped cookies called hamantaschen to fellow Delegates during the holiday of Purim while educating her fellows about this holiday of victory in the face of evil. She also was a strong advocate for Holocaust survivors living in Maryland. On top of various Holocaust education efforts, she was one of the leading figures in passing H.B. 177, the Holocaust Victims Insurance Act, ensuring that Holocaust survivors would not be taxed on insurance claims received via the International Commission of Holocaust Era Insurance Claims (ICHEIC) (more info here). 

Adrienne Mandel was but one of many Jewish Americans who have made this country what it is today.

Below are a few further resources to explore at UMD’s Special Collections and University Archives (SCUA):

Philip Perlman papers

Jo-Ann Orlinsky papers

Jewish topics in the Women’s Studies pamphlet collection

Publications from the Jewish Museum of Maryland held in SCUA

Books in Hebrew and Yiddish held in SCUA

Special Collections Spotlight: The Bock Ark Papers

Bock Ark (白聖德) (1896-1974) immigrated from Toisan (Taishan), Guangdong Province, in 1911 and went on to become a restaurateur and active member of the Baltimore Chinese community. He advocated for the Chinese-American business community on the East Coast, lobbied for legal protections for Chinese refugees of the Sino-Japanese War and WWII, and worked to promote a democratic future for China through his work as a member of the American branch of the Republic of China’s Kuomintang government. The Bock Ark papers contain records of his activities in these areas, as well as his involvement in numerous organizations such as president of the Consolidated Chinese Association of Baltimore, a leader of the Chinese Benevolent Society, and secretary of the Chinese Merchant’s Association. The papers also hold records of his wife Sue Bock’s activities as president of the Chinese Women’s Association of Baltimore and her involvement in other Chinese organizations.

Long horizontal sheet of paper with Chinese characters hand written in vertical lines right to left.

A handwritten record of the major milestones of the Republic of China in its first 18 years.

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A Life in the Labor Movement

Nestled in the archives of the AFL-CIO sit the Alan Kistler papers, a collection of documents and memorabilia chronicling the activities of the federation’s second Director of Organization and Field Services. Whereas the majority of the AFL-CIO’s archive is closed to the public, the Alan Kistler papers are open, offering researchers a personal window into the USA’s largest labor coalition.

Cesar Chavez and United Farm Workers, Pro-Union Flyers and Pamphlets, 1951-1982, Rosalynn Carter Certificate, 1978 (0086-LBR-RG95-009, Box 18, Folders 1, 14, and 22).
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Cartoons, Pamphlets, and Posters, Oh My! Highlighting the Bernard Seaman Cartoon Collection

Bernard Seaman was a cartoonist whose illustrations appeared in many union publications. Born in Stamford, Connecticut, he attended the City College of New York, the Art Students League of New York, and the University of Alabama. He served as the Art Editor for the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union, the Seafarers’ International Union, and the International Union of Electrical Workers, and later became the Editorial Cartoonist for AFL-CIO News. His works were published in the New York Times, Business Week, ILGWU Justice, The Call, Labor and Management News, The Labor Leader, Labor’s Daily, and American Maritime Officer, among many others, and were reprinted widely across the United States and Europe.

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Lynn Sams and “The Last Taxable Instrument”

As many Americans scrambled to file their taxes on time, we at Special Collections in Performing Arts (SCPA) would like to highlight the efforts of music industry luminary Lynn L. Sams in advocating for tax repeal on the purchase of musical instruments! 

Born on April 4, 1896, Sams’ career in music began as a traveling salesman for the Conn Corporation, one of the largest and most historically significant instrument manufacturers in the United States. Sams’ early days in instrument sales may have inspired the character of Harold Hill in Meredith Willson’s beloved musical The Music Man. Throughout his career, which included some time as vice president of the Buescher Instrument Company, Sams collected and conducted research on school bands as well as the American Bandmasters Association, an organization of band directors, composers, and members of allied professions of which he was a founding member. Sams’s personal papers are part of the American Bandmasters Association Research Center at SCPA, and the presence there of a most unusual item, “The Last Taxable Musical Instrument Award,” pictured below, inspired further research into his advocacy efforts just in time for this year’s Tax Day.

The Last Txable Musical Instrument Award - a plaque with a cornet attached.
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The ABCs of Katherine Anne Porter: W is for…

White House!

Having witnessed many struggles for political power and extremism in different forms around the world, Katherine Anne Porter felt strongly that democracy was a privilege not to be taken for granted. As such, she felt every citizen had a responsibility to get involved in politics by writing to government officials, campaigning, and voting in every election.

In the mid 1950’s, Porter’s opinions on U.S. politics can be found in her correspondence and writings. Referring to the political parties in America, she writes: “Republicans appeal to the basest thing in human nature- fear and hatred of unfamiliar ideas, its resentment of the existence of any breeding or intellect superior to their own.” Porter much preferred the openness of the Democratic party, which she wrote: “has always been by definition low-brow, and God knows we are a wonderful grab-bag of samples from every walk of life, every degree of intelligence, every sort of origin; its a party meant for everybody who wants to go along, nobody inquires about his brains or his worldly accomplishments; if he has got sense enough to register, he is free to vote. This is democracy, in one of its manifestations, whether you like it or not. I happen to like it thoroughly.”

In a letter to John F. Kennedy, Porter wrote, “I found a long time ago that one need not always know who a man’s friends are, but a good look at his enemies helps much in forming a notion of his character and motives.” This idea drove Porter’s involvement in the Democratic Party. Thanks to her proximity to Washington, D.C., Porter was often invited to events at the White House. She attended Kennedy’s inauguration, served on an art commission for LBJ, and more. After Porter’s passing, First-Lady Laura Bush helped with the dedication of Porter’s Texas home into a museum.

You can explore digitized letters by Katherine Anne Porter’s online in the online exhibit Katherine Anne Porter: Correspondence from the Archives, 1912-1977.

Browse the finding aid to the Katherine Anne Porter papers and visit us in person to learn more about Porter!

Mattie Lewis is a student in the Masters of Library and Information Sciences program and Graduate Assistant with the Katherine Anne Porter Collection at UMD.

Humanity in Archives

By: Ben Henry; Student Assistant- Maryland and Historical Collections

When people think of archives, they usually think of “important documents from important people.” Indeed, many archives have tended to function in this way, historically serving as repositories for official government documents. The Special Collections and University Archives is, to a degree, not an exception. One example of such a collection in our holdings is the Spiro T. Agnew Papers

There is more to the story, however. In the short time I’ve been here, I’ve handled thousands of postcards, come across newspaper clippings and microfilm, giant maps, old lacrosse sticks, and even the original Testudo (yes, there is an actual taxidermy turtle locked away in Hornbake Library). 

Oversize document on a white background. Pages are aged and text is machine-printed.

I experienced the variety of the materials that come into our collection during my first week at the Maryland and Historical Collections (MDHC). We had some new acquisitions, and I along with another newcomer to MDHC were tasked with creating an inventory.

At first the items seemed pretty random, a mish-mosh of old documents and books. Diving deeper, however, revealed a few treasures—one that I found particularly interesting was a bill from 1793 that failed to pass the Maryland state legislature regarding drafting citizens for the local militia (fig.1). 

Some of the other items included an overview of Methodism in the District of Columbia from 1892, a travel guide for North America and the West Indies from 1833, Baltimore directories from 1824 and 1829, and volumes 1-4 of the works of Scottish poet Robert Burns published between 1814 and 1815.

Two light blue rectangular boxes arranged vertically side by side. The box on the left contains larger items like booklets and photographs, the one on the right contains loose letters and other papers.

Published documents like these are not all we carry, however; we also collect items of a more personal nature. An example was the items we received belonging to Grace and Henry Post. Their items were stuffed haphazardly in a shoebox, which have temporarily been rehoused into two separate archival boxes (fig.2). I was thereby able to start piecing together their story.

I learned that Henry attended Columbia University from a copy of the 1904-1905 Columbia University Blue Book, complete with shopping lists scrawled on its blank pages. In a booklet from their church I learned that Grace and Henry were married on January 25, 1907, and from newspaper clippings inside the booklet I learned that they left for Valparaiso, Chile the next day, where Henry had “business interests.” I also discovered that Henry was an accomplished athlete in his student years and, “In student affairs he was greatly interested, being President of his class, and accredited as one of the most popular men in the university.” (fig.3)

Wedding booklet opened to the page showing the handwritten names of Grace and Henry and the date and location of their marriage. The booklet is surrounded by brown newspaper clippings.

Other materials included family photos; official documents regarding Henry’s time as an aviator in the US Army (the Air Force did not exist yet); dozens of letters and postcards to Grace and Henry from Valparaiso; and multiple documents, including newspaper clippings, official documents, and letters of condolence to Grace about Henry, “who plunged to his death in San Diego Bay” on February 9, 1914 as a result of an aviation accident. 

There is more I could say about the Posts, but my main takeaway was that archival materials are not just about official records. They have the power to tell us about the lived experiences of actual people, to close the distance between past and present, the living and the dead. Often, it’s the everyday items, the things that no one would expect would end up in an archive that tell the best stories.

The ABCs of Katherine Anne Porter: V is for…

Virgin Violeta!

Set in Mexico, Virgin Violeta is a vignette of the moment the main character realizes, for the first time, the reality of romantic love doesn’t match the idealized version created in childhood. At 14, Violeta is sheltered by her family and educated at a convent. Like many teens, she feels invisible to those around her and yearns for what will surely be a more exciting life as an adult. After being kissed by her cousin one night, Violeta immediately begins to cry and runs to her mother. She is confused how a kiss could mean nothing and ashamed for going against the Virgin Mary. Although the event distressed Violeta, it encouraged her to mature and be more critical of her surroundings. True to Porter’s style, the story is a brief but artful telling of growing up and dealing with expectations from the Church, society, and your family.

Virgin Violeta was first published in December 1924 in Century magazine and later published as a bound volume in Tokyo. It is also included in Collected Stories of Katherine Anne Porter.

Browse the finding aid to the Katherine Anne Porter papers to learn more about Porter’s manuscripts! Visit us in person at Hornbake Library to see the Katherine Anne Porter Room and her personal library. Contact us for an appointment!

Mattie Lewis is a student in the Masters of Library and Information Sciences program and Graduate Assistant with the Katherine Anne Porter Collection at UMD.

The ABCs of Katherine Anne Porter: U is for…

University of Maryland!

On June 28, 1966 Katherine Anne was awarded a Doctor of Humane Letters from the University of Maryland. Unable to attend the official commencement ceremony, Porter was presented the degree in her home. She wore full graduation regalia and celebrated with champagne! Porter was enamored by the attention and deference shown to her from UMD and by October of the same year she had agreed to donate her papers to the Libraries. 

While Porter lived in nearby Washington, D.C in the 1960s, and later relocated to a College Park suburb, she did not have an strong ties to the University of Maryland. She was born in Texas, and spent much of her life traveling. writing, and teching classes at a variety of colleges and universities. She was, however, a well known and respected Modernist author and literary woman. UMD was not the first university to inquire about Porter’s papers. University of Texas, Howard Payne, Library of Congress and a few others asked, but it never happened for one reason or another.

“Its all pure feeling,” Porter said of the decision in a press conference. “[UMD] is a very beautiful, active, and effective kind of university. It grows and keeps growing.”

As part of the agreement to accept her literary archive, the University of Maryland agreed to set up a room dedicated to Katherine Anne Porter. Porter hand picked what she wished to donate and sent the items to the university a few boxes at a time over a period of years. She was inspired by her time at the University of Virginia where she saw clothing and household items that once belonged to Thomas Jefferson and chose to similarly donate personal items that would be displayed in the Katherine Anne Porter room, along with her expansive literary archive and personal papers that would be housed in the Literary Manuscripts division of the Special Collections Library.

The accessioning process for the new collection was complex and sometimes frustrating for those involved, but through hard work and patience, the Katherine Anne Porter Room was officially opened on May 15, 1968 and her literary archive was opened to researchers. Porter herself would serve as a docent of the Katherine Anne Porter room in its original location in McKeldin so she could be close to her papers and chat with anyone who dropped. She wanted to share her knowledge and for her collection to be used and enjoyed by students.

The Katherine Anne Porter papers continues to be used be researchers and students visiting Special Collections and University Archives in Hornbake Library. The Katherine Anne Porter Room is open by appointment for visitors looking to explore Porter’s book collection and artifacts.

You can view digitized letters from Katherine Anne Porter in the online exhibit Katherine Anne Porter: Correspondence from the Archives, 1912-1977.

Browse the finding aids to the Katherine Anne Porter papers and visit us in person to learn more about the partnership between University of Maryland and Katherine Anne Porter. Contact us to learn more!

Mattie Lewis is a student in the Masters of Library and Information Sciences program and Graduate Assistant with the Katherine Anne Porter Collection at UMD.