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Guide to the William Allen Duncan Papers
MS 70  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Access Restrictions
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Accruals
  • Processing Information
  • Biography / Administrative History
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Arrangement
  • Indexing Terms
  • Bibliography

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: William Allen Duncan papers
    Dates: 1975-1994
    Bulk Dates: 1975-1977
    Collection number: MS 70
    Creator: Allen, William Duncan.
    Collection Size: 1.5 linear feet (1 oversized box)
    Repository: African American Museum & Library at Oakland (Oakland, Calif.)
    Oakland, CA 94612
    Abstract: The William Duncan Allen papers include photographs, certificates, plaques, and a diploma documenting the life and career of concert pianist, teacher, and music critic William Duncan Allen. The bulk of the papers consist of 288 photographs of Allen's music colleagues and friends at receptions in the Bay Area and while traveling in Europe in 1975-1977.
    Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English

    Access

    No access restrictions. Collection is open to the public.

    Access Restrictions

    Materials are for use in-library only, non-circulating.

    Publication Rights

    Permission to publish from the William Duncan Allen Papers must be obtained from the African American Museum and Library at Oakland.

    Preferred Citation

    William Allen Duncan papers , MS 70, African American Museum & Library at Oakland, Oakland Public Library. Oakland, California.

    Accruals

    Accession 2013-062 added on October 1, 2013.

    Processing Information

    Processed by Sean Heyliger, 10/01/2013.

    Biography / Administrative History

    Pianist, teacher, and music critic William Duncan Allen Jr. (1906-1999) was born on December 15, 1906 in Portland, Oregon the oldest son of William Duncan Allen Sr. and Lillian Medley. Allen was raised in Portland, Oregon, where his father owned and operated the Golden West Hotel, at the time the largest black-owned hotel on the West Coast. After graduating from Portland’s Jefferson High School, he attended Oberlin College in Ohio earning bachelor and master’s degrees in music in 1928 and 1936 before studying one year at the Julliard School of Music.
    In 1929, Allen accepted a position teaching music and piano at Howard University until 1935 when he returned to Oberlin College to continue his studies. After studying with Dutch pianist Egon Petri in Poland in the 1930s, Allen returned to teach music at Fisk University in Nashville until 1943. Beginning in 1944, Allen accompanied tenor Todd Duncan on a world tour playing at venues in the U.S., Australia, South America, and Europe. Allen continued to tour with Duncan until 1953 when he moved to San Francisco where he worked as an accompanist, music teacher, and music critic. He served as the minister of music at the South Berkeley Community Church, director of the Berkeley Junior Bach Festival, and music critic for the San Francisco Sun-Reporter and the Oakland Post.
    Allen was a visiting professor and artist in residence at Talladega College for the 1981-1982 academic year and was awarded an honorary doctorate of music in 1978 from the Center for Urban-Black Studies.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The William Duncan Allen papers include photographs, certificates, plaques, and a diploma documenting the life and career of concert pianist, teacher, and music critic William Duncan Allen. The bulk of the papers consist of 288 photographs documenting Allen's music colleagues and friends at receptions in the Bay Area and while traveling in Europe in 1975-1977. The photographs include several notable musicians and vocalists including George Shirley, William Parker, Peter Van Derick, and William Warfield. The papers also include a small assorted of certificates and plaques awarded to William Duncan Allen for his musical contributions as a teacher, performer, and critic.

    Arrangement

    Series I. Photograph album Series II. Biographical

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    Allen, William Duncan.
    African Americans--California--East Bay--History.
    African American musicians--California.

    William Duncan Allen, Teacher, Pianist, and Accompanist to Concert Artists, an oral history conducted in 1995 by Caroline Crawford, Regional Oral History Office, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, 1996.