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Clifford Vaughan Papers: Finding Aid
mssVaughan papers  
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Collection Details
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  • Overview of the Collection
  • Access
  • Administrative Information
  • Biographical Note
  • Scope and Content
  • Related Materials in the Huntington Library
  • Indexing Terms

  • Overview of the Collection

    Title: Clifford Vaughan Papers
    Dates (inclusive): 1909-2003
    Bulk dates: 1925-1926
    Collection Number: mssVaughan papers
    Creator: Vaughan, Clifford, 1893-1987.
    Extent: 324 items.
    Repository: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Manuscripts Department
    1151 Oxford Road
    San Marino, California 91108
    Phone: (626) 405-2191
    Email: reference@huntington.org
    URL: http://www.huntington.org
    Abstract: The majority of the collection deals with the trip of American composer Clifford Vaughan (1893-1987) to Asia (chiefly Japan, India and Indonesia) with Ruth St. Denis, Ted Shawn and the Denishawn Dancers in 1925.
    Language: English.


    Open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information, contact Reader Services.

    Administrative Information

    Publication Rights

    The Huntington Library does not require that researchers request permission to quote from or publish images of this material, nor does it charge fees for such activities. The responsibility for identifying the copyright holder, if there is one, and obtaining necessary permissions rests with the researcher.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item]. Clifford Vaughan Papers, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.


    The collection is made up of several gifts from Margaret Vaughan Meyer, 1998 to 2003.

    Biographical Note

    Clifford Vaughan was born in Bridgeton, New Jersey, in 1893. He started studying piano at the age of seven and made his debut at the age of twelve, playing with the Philadelphia Orchestra. At the age of fifteen, he began advanced study at the Philadelphia Conservatory of Music. In 1925 Vaughan accepted Ruth St. Denis’ offer to accompany the Denishawn Dancers as Musical Director on their tour of Asia, Canada, and the United States. After the trip, he returned to New York and was commissioned by Doris Humphrey to write the score for her ballet “Color Harmony.” He also worked at the Criterion and Capitol Theaters at NBC.
    During the Great Depression, he moved to Hollywood and free-lanced as a composer and orchestrator at the major studios. In 1943, Vaughan turned his attention back to the organ and composed over two hundred works for that instrument. He served as the organist for seventeen years at Mt. Hollywood Congregational Church. He died in 1987 at the age of ninety-four.

    Scope and Content

    The majority of the collection deals with Vaughan’s trip to Asia with Ruth St. Denis, Ted Shawn and the Denishawn Dancers in 1925. Boxes 1 and 2 contain the following kind of material: Clifford Vaughan’s music notebooks, photographs, postcards, booklets, maps, programs and ephemera all regarding the trip. Also included is some ephemera about Clifford Vaughan (a biography of Vaughan, written after his death, and order forms for his music on CDs) and the Denishawn Dancers, mostly clippings, several publications owned by Vaughan, probably purchased during the trip, as well as programs for the Denishawn Dancers and a Tribute to Ruth St. Denis and Ted Shawn by “H. H.”
    Box 1 also contains a folder of modern letters regarding the Denishawn Dancers and their history; these are between Jane Sherman Lehac, Margaret Vaughan Meyer, and Michelle Mathesius.
    Box 3 contains copies of CDs of Clifford Vaughan music as well as three record Albums, “Oriental Translations I-VI.”
    Box 4 contains 31 pieces of sheet music, arranged alphabetically by title. The majority of these are also from the trip to the Asia (1926); some of these are photocopies. It also contains the 10 oversize programs from Box 2.

    Related Materials in the Huntington Library

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the Huntington Library's Online Catalog.  


    Shawn, Ted, 1891-1972.
    St. Denis, Ruth, 1880-1968.
    Vaughan, Clifford, 1893-1987 -- Archives.
    Denishawn Dancers.
    Denishawn Repertory Dancers.
    Composers -- United States -- Archives.
    Dancers -- United States.
    Music -- United States -- 20th century.
    India -- Description and travel.
    Japan -- Description and travel.
    Java (Indonesia) -- Description and travel.


    Clippings -- 20th century.
    Compact discs -- United States.
    Ephemera -- 20th century.
    Ephemera 21st century.
    Letters (correspondence) -- United States -- 20th century.
    Letters (correspondence) -- United States 21st century.
    Offprints India -- 20th century.
    Phonograph records -- United States -- 20th century.
    Photographs -- 20th century.
    Picture postcards -- 20th century.
    Programs (documents) -- 20th century.
    Sheet music -- United States -- 20th century.

    Additional Contributors

    Mathesius, Michelle.
    Sherman, Jane, 1908-2010.