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Marcella Craft papers
MS 071  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Processing History
  • Biographical Note
  • Collection Scope and Contents
  • Collection Arrangement
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Marcella Craft papers
    Date (inclusive): 1899-1990, undated
    Date (bulk): 1899-1915
    Collection Number: MS 071
    Creator: Craft, Marcella, 1874-1959
    Extent: 2.56 linear feet (3 boxes)
    Repository: Rivera Library. Special Collections Department.
    Riverside, CA 92517-5900
    Abstract: This collection contains photographs, correspondence, sheet music, and other material pertaining to Marcella Craft, an early twentieth century opera singer who spent portions of her career in Europe and Riverside, California. Includes photographs from her early childhood, materials from her teaching years at the Marcella Craft School of Opera, personal correspondence from various individuals, programs, newspaper clippings, and hand written reviews of her performances, and sheet music from composers such as Richard Strauss and Bellini.
    Languages: The collection is primarily in English and German, with additional materials in Italian.


    This collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright Unknown: Some materials in these collections may be protected by the U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.). In addition, the reproduction, and/or commercial use, of some materials may be restricted by gift or purchase agreements, donor restrictions, privacy and publicity rights, licensing agreement(s), and/or trademark rights. Distribution or reproduction of materials protected by copyright beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. To the extent other restrictions apply, permission for distribution or reproduction from the applicable rights holder is also required. Responsibility for obtaining permissions, and for any use rests exclusively with the user

    Preferred Citation

    [identification of item], [date if possible]. Marcella Craft papers (MS 071). Special Collections & University Archives, University of California, Riverside.

    Processing History

    Processed by Reajinae Jenkins and Alysia Thind, Student Processing Assistants, 2015.
    Processing of the Marcella Craft papers was completed by undergraduate students from the University of California, Riverside as part of the Special Collections & University Archives Backlog Processing Project started in 2015. This project was funded by the UCR Library and administered by Bergis Jules, University and Political Papers Archivist, and Eric Milenkiewicz, Manuscripts Curator.

    Biographical Note

    Marcella Craft was born in Indianapolis, Indiana in 1874. In 1887 she came to Riverside, California and became a soloist in the choir of Riverside's First Baptist Church. She later moved to Boston and studied voice under Charles R. Adams. Following these voice lessons she moved to Milan, Italy to further her musical training. In 1902 Craft made her operatic debut as Lenora in the opera "Il Travatore". A few years later Craft moved to Germany and began to sing in the cities of Mainz and Kiel. While in Germany Craft became the first American woman to ever be invited to perform for the imperial family. World War I put Craft's career on hold in Germany so she returned to the United States and began performing with the San Carlo Opera Company. Unable to obtain the same level of fame in the United States, she returned to Europe to perform until her retirement in the 1930's. She moved back to Riverside after retiring where she established the Riverside Opera Company and taught music until her death on December 12, 1959.

    Collection Scope and Contents

    This collection is compromised of photographs, reviews, correspondence, sheet music, and other material regarding the personal and professional life of Marcella Craft. Included in this collection are photographs from her early childhood, materials from her teaching years at the Marcella Craft School of Opera, and personal correspondence from various individuals, most of which is in German. Programs, newspaper clippings, and hand written reviews regarding Craft's performances as well as sheet music from composers such as Richard Strauss, Bellini, and several others are also included.

    Collection Arrangement

    This collection is arranged into four series as follows:
    • Series 1. Photographs, 1899-1948, undated
    • Series 2. Printed material, 1905-1990
    • Series 3. Correspondence and notes, 1910-1931, undated
    • Series 4. Sheet music, undated

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.


    Riverside (Calif.)
    Sopranos (Singers)

    Genres and Forms of Materials

    Sheet music