Music Library Collections

Willis Conover Collection

A 1997 gift of the Willis Conover Jazz Preservation Foundation, Inc., the collection consists of over 22,000 recordings of all kinds, correspondence, memos, magazines, record catalogs, manuscripts, program notes, memorabilia, photographs, books, and other personal items. Many of the recordings and books are being added to the regular collection, cataloged in the main on-line catalog, and allowed to circulate. The archival and historical material will be made available as special collections.

Merrill Ellis Collection

Merrill Ellis (1916-1981), founder of the electronic music program at The University of North Texas, was born on December 9, 1916 in Cleburne, Texas, just south of Fort Worth. He began his studies at The University of Oklahoma in 1935, earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1939, and a Master of Music in 1941, and studied composition privately with Roy Harris, Spencer Norton and Charles Garland. His master’s thesis at OU was entitled An Evaluation of the Oklahoma Federal Music Project. He pursued further graduate studies at the University of Missouri from 1948 to 1951, and continued to study privately with Spencer Norton (1940-1941), Roy Harris (1950-1960) and Darius Milhaud (1957).

Duke Ellington Collection

The Duke Ellington Collection was assembled by Rhodes Baker, a Houston attorney whose lifelong hobby was collecting Ellington recordings. It consists of over 1,000 Ellington recordings. Among these are 88 reel-to-reel tapes of rare performances by the Duke Ellington Orchestra, including radio, television, and live appearances in the U.S. and abroad. Many of these tapes are the only existing recordings of these performances. More than 800 commercially-released recordings of the Ellington orchestra or sidemen associated with him are also included in the collection.

Maynard Ferguson Collection

The Maynard Ferguson Collection at the UNT Music Library contains over 750 arrangements for Ferguson’s bands from the 1950s through the early 2000s, and includes the work of arrangers such as Willie Maiden, Don Rader, Slide Hampton, Denis DiBlasio, and Steve Wiest, among many others. The collection also includes copies of published arrangements, as well as Thai and Indian music that Ferguson collected. Access provided only by special arrangement with the Music Library.

Don and Barbara Gillis Collection

Composer, arranger, and music educator Don Gillis was a producer for NBC Radio during the Toscanini era. This collection, donated to the University of North Texas Music Library by Barbara Gillis after her husband’s death in 1978, includes a complete set of tapes from the radio series Toscanini: The Man Behind the Legend. It also includes manuscripts, other copies, and tapes of Gillis’s works, an unpublished autobiography, papers, pictures, and scrapbooks.

Merritt Johnson Collection

Merritt Johnson (1902-1978) was a pianist, organist, and composer on the faculty at Northern State College (now University) in Aberdeen, South Dakota, and was a student of Joseph Lhevinne and Darius Milhaud. His collection at UNT consists of five boxes of music compositions, with numerous materials in the UNT Digital Library.

Stan Kenton Collection

World renowned bandleader Stan Kenton bequeathed his entire orchestra library to the University of North Texas. The collection comprises more than 2,000 manuscripts representing the work of Kenton’s famous arrangers including Bill Holman, Pete Rugolo, Robert Graettinger, and Bill Russo. The Stan Kenton Collection is supplemented by a gift from Noel Wedder, Kenton’s publicist, of over six hundred photographs of Kenton and his orchestra and a collection of research materials related to Robert Graettinger, donated by his biographer Robert Morgan.

Jean-Baptiste Lully Collection

This project was conceived in 1996 both as a multimedia thematic catalog of the UNT Music Library’s collection of early editions of operas and ballets by the French Baroque composer Jean-Baptiste Lully (1632-1687), and as a nucleus for collecting information useful to anyone studying those works. A pilot version of the Lully Web Project has been on the web since 1997.

William P. Latham Collection

Composer William P. Latham served on the faculty of the University of North Texas College of Music from 1965 until his retirement in 1984, at which time he was appointed Professor Emeritus. Throughout his extensive career, he taught both theory and composition. The collection consists of dozens of boxes of Latham’s compositions, related materials, and papers; numerous items are also available in the general, circulating collection of the UNT Music Library.

Julia Smith Collection

The collection consists of approximately 66 boxes of music books, scores, correspondence, memorabilia, manuscripts, photographs, and recordings relating to the career of composer and University of North Texas alumna, Julia Smith (1905-1989). Best known for her six operas and biography of Aaron Copland (1955), Smith spent over fifty years as a composer, pianist, and advocate of American music. The collection was bequeathed to the University of North Texas Music Library upon her death in 1989.

Photo credit: UNT Portal to Texas History.

Source: Music of the Avant-Garde Magazine

The archives contain materials submitted to the seminal avant-garde magazine Source: Music of the Avant-Garde during the years 1967-1973. Submissions to the magazine range from the indeterminate, graphic, conceptual, performance art, electronic and multimedia. The collection includes scores, photographs, recordings, articles and correspondences both published and unpublished. In addition to original materials from issues 1-11, the collection includes scores, photographs, and layouts for the never-published issue 12.

Arnold Schoenberg - Hans Nachod

This collection contains items that once belonged to Schoenberg’s cousin Hans Nachod, an operatic tenor for whom the role of Waldemar in Gurre-Lieder was created. It includes many letters from Schoenberg to Nachod, a few from Nachod to Schoenberg, as well as a number of music manuscripts in Schoenberg’s hand, among which are early songs and arrangements.

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