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   Douglas Moore Papers, 1907-1969

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Preferred Citation

Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Douglas Moore Papers; Box and Folder; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.

COinS Metadata available (e.g., for Zotero).

Summary Information

Abstract

Douglas Stuart Moore (1893-1969) was an American composer, educator, and author. His best known works include the operas The Devil and Daniel Webster (1937-1939), The Ballad of Baby Doe (1953-1956), and Giants in the Earth (1949-1950), which won the Pulitzer Prize for Music in 1951. The papers include clippings, correspondence, course and lecture materials, librettos, photographs, programs, publicity materials, recordings, and scores.

At a Glance

Bib ID:4079541 View CLIO record
Creator(s):Moore, Douglas, 1893-1969.
Title:Douglas Moore Papers, 1907-1969
Physical description:41.8 linear ft. (90 document boxes, 6 ½ document boxes, 12 flat boxes, 4 phonograph record boxes, 1 card file, and 1 video box)
Language(s):In English
Access: This collection has no restrictions, however, if you would like to use audiovisual materials, please contact the library in advance of your visit to discuss access options. The following boxes are located off-site: Boxes 43-58, 64-105, 107-108. You will need to request this material from the Rare Book and Manuscript Library at least twenty-four (24) hours in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.  More information »

Arrangement

Arrangement

This collection is arranged into eleven series and several subseries:

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Description

Scope and Content

Douglas Stuart Moore (1893-1969) was an American composer, educator, and author. His best known works include the operas The Devil and Daniel Webster (1937-1939), The Ballad of Baby Doe (1953-1956), and Giants in the Earth (1949-1950), which won the Pulitzer Prize for Music in 1951. The papers include clippings, correspondence, course and lecture materials, librettos, photographs, programs, production information, publicity materials, recordings, scores, and sketches.

The collection includes a wide range of materials documenting Moore’s work as a composer. The collection includes manuscript scores, published scores, outlines, recordings, and sketches. These materials document Moore’s compositions from his early work at Hotchkiss School and at Yale University, as well as his professional career. Moore also kept a register of all his compositions, arranged chronologically. The register includes the date of composition for each work, lists of all performances of which he was aware, and includes notes on recordings and publications. In addition, the collection includes clippings, correspondence, librettos, photographs, programs, publicity materials, and texts related to his works and to the performances of his works.

Moore’s professional career at Columbia University and his work with professional organizations is also documented his papers. There is material relating to the curriculum and administration of Columbia University’s Music Department, which Moore chaired from 1940-1962, as well as course binders and other lectures notes. There is also correspondence related to Moore’s membership in the Century Club, the MacDowell Association, and the National Institute of Arts and Letters, and to his editorship of the Prentice Hall Music series.

There is also documentation of Moore’s professional writing. The papers include articles, clippings, and manuscripts of articles, books, and reviews written by Moore.

The papers also include personal, biographical, and school materials. This collection includes appointment books, awards, biographical materials, diaries, holiday cards, photographs of Moore and of Moore’s friends, school materials, memorabilia, and materials related to Moore’s activities at Yale University and in the Navy. The material from Yale University includes photographs and programs documenting his activities with the Dramatic Association and the Elizabethan Club, as well as materials related to his friendship with poet Archibald MacLeish. The collection also includes articles, clippings, dissertations, and theses about Moore, as well as recorded interviews with Moore and some of his colleagues and friends.

The papers also include family materials. Moore’s correspondence with his mother, Myra D. Moore, is particularly valuable due to its length and frequency. Moore habitually wrote to his mother every week, and their correspondence documents their activities over a large span of time (1906-1933). There is also a smaller amount of correspondence, as well as clippings, diaries, photographs, and other materials related to Moore’s wife, Emily Moore, and other family members.

The papers include a small amount of material from other individuals. These items include inscribed books and scores, as well as articles and clippings about Moore written by others. In addition, Lewis J. Hardee, who wrote his master’s thesis on Moore, donated his research material and original interviews to be included with the Moore Papers: these form Series XI of the papers.

Series I: Cataloged Correspondence

This series includes correspondence files for several prominent correspondents (Box 1), as well as the correspondence with Moore’s mother, Myra D. Moore (Boxes 2-9). These materials were originally cataloged at the item level; catalog cards for individual persons/items can be found in the card catalog the Rare Book & Manuscript Library, but they are not available online.

Much of the correspondence in Series I is between Moore and his mother, Myra D. Moore. This correspondence, which spanned a 27 year period from the fall of 1906 to late 1933 represents perhaps the most comprehensive record of Moore's life, for it was his habit to write to his mother every Sunday, a ritual to which he was remarkably faithful. The various stages of Moore's life are apparent in his letters: his first experience away from home at the Hotchkiss School in Connecticut, his undergraduate years at Yale, time spent in a Maritime Academy in Maryland, his service in the Navy during the First World War, his tenure as Musical Director of the Cleveland Museum of Art, further travels in Europe, his position in the Music Department of Columbia University (1926-1962). The letters also follow the course of Myra Moore's life, where she lived in Brooklyn, Long Island, and finally Orange County California.

Correspondence added to the collection at Columbia University after 1991 was not cataloged at this level. Additional correspondence for individuals named in Series I can be found in Subseries II.3.

Series II: Arranged Correspondence, 1904-1971, undated

This series contains correspondence that was arranged in folders, but not cataloged at the item-level (cataloged correspondence is in Series I).

There is material relating to the curriculum and administration of Columbia's Music Department, which Moore chaired from 1940-1962, in this series and in Series III. Correspondence related to Moore’s membership in the Century Club, the MacDowell Association, and the National Institute of Arts and Letters, and correspondence concerning his editorship of the Prentice Hall Music Series is also included in this series.

Subseries II.1. Compositions, 1932-1969, undated

This subseries contains correspondence related to Moore’s compositions.

Subseries II.2. Family Correspondence, 1904-1969, undated

This subseries contains correspondence with various relatives and family members, with the exception of Moore’s mother, Myra D. Moore. Correspondence with Myra D. Moore can be found in Series I and Subseries II.3.

Condolences written to Emily Moore after Moore’s death in 1969 are also filed in this subseries.

Subseries II.3. Individuals with Cataloged Correspondence in Series I, 1914-1968, undated

This subseries contains additional correspondence for individuals named in Series I. Correspondence in this subseries is arranged in folders, but not cataloged at the item level as it is in Series I.

Subseries II.4. Organizations, 1914-1971, undated

This subseries contains correspondence with various organizations outside of Columbia University, including Cleveland Museum of Art, MacDowell Association, National Institute of Arts and Letters, and Yale University.

Subseries II.5. Columbia University, 1942-1962, undated

This subseries contains correspondence relating to Columbia University.

Subseries II.6. Other Correspondence, 1915-1966, undated

This subseries contains general correspondence files, chronological subject files, unidentified correspondence, and correspondence with other individuals and subject matter outside of that filed in Series I and Series II: Subseries 1-5.

Series III. Course Materials, Lectures, and Talks, 1930-1960s, undated

This series contains course binders and materials used in courses that Moore taught at Columbia University, as well as general lectures notes.

Series IV. Scores by Others, 1883-1952, undated

This series contains scores by composers other than Moore. Some printed scores and a few books were written, inscribed, and signed by fellow composers such as Ernest Bloch, Vincent D'Indy, and Roger Sessions; most of these items in in Boxes 22-23.

Series V. Scores, Sketches, and Composition Plans, 1907-1974, undated

This series contains manuscript scores, published scores, sketches, and composition plans for Moore’s musical works.

Moore also kept a register of his compositions. This register, in Box 103, is arranged chronologically. It includes the date of composition for each work, lists of all performances of which he was aware, and has notes on recordings and publications.

Librettos and related materials are filed in Subseries VIII.1.

Series VI. Clippings, Concert Programs, and Publicity Materials, 1913-2003, undated

Series VI.1. Clippings, 1913-2000

This subseries contains clippings related to Moore’s individual works and to his other professional activities.

Series VI.2. Concert Programs, 1921-2003, undated

This subseries contains concert programs related to performances of Moore’s works. The files are arranged alphabetically by composition title, and miscellaneous programs are placed last.

Series VI.3. Other Publicity Materials, 1915, 1939-1968, undated

This series contains additional publicity materials such as advertisements, invitations, production photographs, posters, press releases, biographies, and program notes.

Series VII. Recordings, 1944-1968

This series contains primarily audio recordings of performances of Moore’s works. The collection also includes a film recording of Gallantry, as broadcast on CBS (1962) and audio recordings from radio interviews and appearances.

Additional recordings can be found in Series XI.

Series VIII. Writings, 1925-1993, undated

This series contains writings by Moore and others, as well as librettos and other texts related to Moore’s works.

Additional writings can be found in Series XI.

Suberies VIII.1. Librettos and Other Texts from Moore’s Works, 1942-1968, undated

This subseries includes outlines, librettos, and other texts used in Moore’s works.

This is one additional libretto for Carry Nation filed in Subseries XI.4.

Suberies VIII.2. Writings by Moore, 1925-1966

This subseries includes articles, clippings, and manuscripts of articles, books, and reviews written by Moore, as well as two items related to radio talks featuring Moore.

Suberies VIII.3. Writings by Others, 1938-1993, undated

This subseries contains articles, dissertations, and other pieces about Moore and Moore’s works written by others. The subseries also contains books owned by Moore, some of which were source material for his works.

Series IX. Personal and Biographical Materials, 1909-1997, undated

This series includes appointment books, awards, biographical materials, diaries, holiday cards, photographs of Moore and of Moore’s friends, school materials, memorabilia, and material related to Moore’s activities at Yale University and in the Navy.

Series X. Family Materials, 1909-1950, undated

This series contains clippings, diaries, photographs, and other materials related to Moore’s wife, Emily Moore, and other family members.

Family correspondence is filed in Series I and Series II.

Series XI. Lewis J. Hardee Gift, 1911-1975, undated

Lewis J. Hardee wrote his thesis, “The Musical Theatre of Douglas Moore” (1971) on Moore and donated books, interviews, recordings, scores, and other materials related to Moore that he created and used during his thesis research.

Subseries XI.1. Concert Programs, 1966-1988

This subseries contains concert programs for the “The Ballad of Baby Doe.”

Subseries XI.2. Recordings, circa 1957-1975

This subseries contains audio recordings of interviews and of Moore’s music. The interviews are of Moore, and some of Moore’s colleagues, relatives, and friends; all were conducted by Hardee. The recording of the WQXR broadcast of Carry Nation also includes an interview done by WQXR.

Subseries XI.3. Scores, 1911-1915, 1938-1968, undated

This subseries contains scores of Moore’s works. Most of these are published scores or copies of published scores.

Subseries XI.4. Writings, 1932-1973, undated

This subseries contains writings by Hardee, and writings by others collected by Hardee in the course of his thesis research.

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Using the Collection

Partially Offsite

Access Restrictions

This collection has no restrictions, however, if you would like to use audiovisual materials, please contact the library in advance of your visit to discuss access options.

 The following boxes are located off-site: Boxes 43-58, 64-105, 107-108. You will need to request this material from the Rare Book and Manuscript Library at least twenty-four (24) hours in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.

      offsite requestMore information and link to off-site request form

Restrictions on Use

Permission from the Moore family is required to make photocopies or other copies of musical scores. Otherwise, single photocopies may be made for research purposes. The RBML maintains ownership of the physical material only. Copyright remains with the creator and his/her heirs. The responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.

Preferred Citation

Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Douglas Moore Papers; Box and Folder; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.

Selected Related Material-- at Columbia

Jack Beeson Papers, Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

John Latouche Papers, Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

Annie Laurie Williams Records, Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

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About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries. Rare Book and Manuscript Library; machine readable finding aid created by Columbia University Libraries Digital Library Program Division

Processing Information

Papers Entered in AMC 11/06/90

1991 Addition Updated 02/07/92 MK

Several accessions of the collection were processed by staff (BRC, RL, JI-W, and MK) between 1972 and 1991. Additional accessions received between 1993 and 2015 were processed during 2016-2017 by Orit Hilewicz (GSAS 2017). Finding Aid written by Orit Hilewicz (GSAS 2017) and Catherine C. Ricciardi, incorporating existing description, in 2017.

This material processed from 1972-1991 is in Boxes 1-42, and Flat Boxes 332-336 and 754. Although the finding aid was rewritten during 2017, this material was not re-arranged or moved in any way.

Machine readable finding aid generated from MARC-AMC source via XSLT conversion June 26, 2009 Finding aid written in English.
    2010-02-17 Legacy finding aid created from Pro Cite.
    2017-09-28 XML document instance created by Catherine C. Ricciardi.

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Subject Headings

The subject headings listed below are found in this collection. Links below allow searches at Columbia University through the Archival Collections Portal and through CLIO, the catalog for Columbia University Libraries, as well as ArchiveGRID, a catalog that allows users to search the holdings of multiple research libraries and archives.

All links open new windows.

Genre/Form

HeadingCUL Archives:
Portal
CUL Collections:
CLIO
Nat'l / Int'l Archives:
ArchiveGRID
Lectures.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Librettos.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Minutes.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Motion pictures.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Portraits.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Scores.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Sheet music.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Sketches.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Surveys.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID

Subjects

HeadingCUL Archives:
Portal
CUL Collections:
CLIO
Nat'l / Int'l Archives:
ArchiveGRID
Benét, Stephen Vincent, 1898-1943 PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
College teachers.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Columbia University--Music DepartmentPortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Composers.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Composition (Music)PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Hardee, Lewis PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
MacLeish, Archibald, 1892-1982 PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Moore, Douglas, 1893-1969 PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Music--Manuscripts.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Musicians.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Sessions, Roger, 1896-1985.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Yale UniversityPortalCLIOArchiveGRID

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History / Biographical Note

Biographical Note

Douglas Stuart Moore (1893-1969) was an American composer, educator, and author. His best known works include the operas The Devil and Daniel Webster (1937-1939), The Ballad of Baby Doe (1953-1956), and Giants in the Earth (1949-1950), which won the Pulitzer Prize for Music in 1951.

Moore studied at Yale University (B.A., 1915, B. Music, 1917) with D.S. Smith and Horatio Parker. He composed several songs at Yale, including the fight song “Goodnight, Harvard.” After he left Yale, Moore served in the Navy as a lieutenant during World War I. After his discharge, Moore studied music in Paris with Vincent d’Indy, and later studied with Nadia Boulanger and Charles Tournemire. In 1921, Moore became Director of Music and organist at the Cleveland Museum of Art, and also studied with Ernest Bloch. From 1923-1925, he served as organist at Adelbert College, Western Reserve University. And in 1925, Moore won a Pulitzer Traveling Fellowship, and spent a year in Europe.

Moore joined the faculty at Columbia University as Professor of Composition in 1926. He remained at Columbia until his retirement in 1962, also serving as Chair of the Music Department from 1940-1962.

Moore published two books, Listening to Music (1932) and From Madrigal to Modern Music (1942).

Moore was also a prominent spokesman for composers and musicians in the United States. He became active in the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) and served as Director from 1957-1960. He was elected as a member of the National Institute of Arts and Letters in 1941, and later served as vice president and president. Moore’s diverse positions, including the Secretary of the Alice M. Ditson Fund, allowed him to help numerous European musicians escape to the United States during World War II. For example, Moore arranged a stipend from the Ditson Fund for composer Bela Bartok to transcribe the folk songs in his collection. Moore established the Columbia Opera Workshop through the Ditson Fund, as well as an annual festival of contemporary music at Columbia University.

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