Scope and Content
Title: Derrick Norman Lehmer Musical Compositions,
Date (inclusive): 1926-1937
Collection number: ARCHIVES LEHMER 1
Lehmer, Derrick Norman, 1868-1938
Extent: Number of container: 1 box
Berkeley, California 94720-6000
Shelf location: For current information on the location of
these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
Mrs. Helen H. Berryhill, Berkeley
Collection is open for research.
All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in
writing to the Head of the Music Library.
[Identification of item], Derrick Norman Lehmer musical compositions, ARCHIVES LEHMER 1,
The Music Library, University of California, Berkeley.
(from the Berkeley Gazette, September 8, 1938).
Dr. Derrick Norman Lehmer, professor of mathematics emeritus of the University of
California at Berkeley, poet and composer, died at his home, 2736 Regent Street, this
morning after an extended illness. He retired from the University on July 27, 1937 after
a service of 37 years as instructor, assistant professor, and professor.
Dr. Lehmer was born on July 27, 1867 at Somerset, Indiana, the son and grandson of
Pennsylvania pioneers and the great grandson of a Hessian tropper who later joined the
Continental Army and settlted in Pennsylvania. His mother was Isabel Smith Perry, born in
1823 in Covington, Kentucky.
His primary education was received in the schools of Nebraska and he received his A.B.
degree from the University of that State in 1893. His master's degree followed from the
same institution in 1896, and he received his doctorate at the University of Chicago in
1900, in which year he came to the University of California as instructor in mathematics.
In the same year he married Eunice Mitchell at Decatur, Illinois.
Professor Lehmer's talents as poet and composer matched his skill as a mathemetician.
While achieving a high place in the world of mathematics, he also held membership in the
Poetry Society of London and the Poetry Society of America and wrote numerous poems and
sonnets that won wide recognition. His production of the Indian opera "The Necklace of
the Sun" was seen twice in Oakland and once in San Francisco, and his songs, particularly
those taken from Indian lore were well received everywhere.
Memberships in distinguished societies included Phi Beta Kappa, Sigma Epsilon, American
Mathematical Society, Circolo Refinconti de Palermo, Mathematical Association of America
and member of its executive council; American Geographical Society, American
Anthropological Society, Poetry Society of America, Poetry Society of London, California
Writers' Club, Bookfellows, Nebraska Writers Guild, League of Western Writers. He was
also a fellow of the American Association of the Advancement of Science.
During his service at the University of California at Berkeley, Dr. Lehmer also filled
the position of fellow in mathematics at the University of Nebraska, University of
Chicago and research assistant at the Carnegie Institution.
Professor Lehmer is survived by his widow, Mrs. Eunice Mitchell Lehmer, and by four
daughters and sons: Mrs. Charles Henry Blake of Lincoln, Mass., Mrs. Henry Colman Coffee
of Berkeley, Prof. Derrick H. Lehmer of Lehigh University and Stephen M. Lehmer of
Mountain View. He also leaves four grandchildren.
Scope and Content
Collection includes various Indian lore songs, and songs from Lehmer's opera The harvest,
as well as a folder of biographical notices.
Professor Lehmer also wrote a second opera which is not represented in the UCB Music
Opera The Necklace of the Sun: (A Mayan Drama). Premiere: Scottish
Rite Auditorium, Oakland, February 28, 1935. Produced by the Chamber Opera Company Under
the direction of Dr. Ian Alexander.
The Music Library also lacks the following compositions:
- 1. Songs from the
- 2. Songs from the Tundras (1932).
- 3. The Ballad of
San Francisco Bay (1937).
- 4. Five Little songs (1937).