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Inventory of the Christopher A. Reynolds Collection of Women's Song
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Collection Details
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  • Biography
  • Scope and Content
  • Indexing Terms
  • Access
  • Processing Information
  • Acquisition Information
  • Preferred Citation
  • Publication Rights

  • Collector: Reynolds, Christopher A.
    Title: Christopher A. Reynolds Collection of Women's Song
    Date (inclusive): circa 1800-1985
    Extent: 15.3 linear feet
    Abstract: Christopher A. Reynolds, Professor of Music at the University of California, Davis, has identified and collected sheet music written by women composers active in North America and England. This collection contains over 3000 songs and song publications mostly published between 1850 and 1950. The collection is primarily made up of songs, but there are also many works for solo piano as well as anthems and part songs. In addition there are books written by the women song composers, a letter written by Virginia Gabriel in the 1860s, and four letters by Mrs. H.H.A. Beach to James Francis Cooke from the 1920s.
    Physical location: Researchers should contact Special Collections to request collections, as many are stored offsite.
    Repository: University of California, Davis. General Library. Dept. of Special Collections.
    Davis, California 95616-5292
    Collection number: D-435
    Language of Material: Collection materials in English


    Christoper A. Reynolds received his PhD from Princeton University. He is Professor of Music at the University of Californa, Davis and author of Papal Patronage and the Music of St. Peter's, 1380-1513 (1995) and Motives for Allusion: Context and Content in Nineteenth-Century Music (2003). He avidly began to research and collect women's songs in 1993.

    Scope and Content

    Professor Reynolds' description of his collection:
    This collection of songs composed by women includes classical, light classical, and popular compositions. It is housed in Shields Library, Special Collections, at the Univer-sity of California, Davis. It currently contains over 3000 songs and song publications that were published or hand copied between the late 1790s and ca. 1960. The collection is primarily of songs, but there are also some works for solo piano as well as anthems and part songs. There are books written by the composers, and several letters: one written by Virginia Gabriel in the 1860s, one by Kate Vannah to a Mr. Burbank (1894), and four by Mrs. H. H. A. Beach to James Francis Cooke from the 1920s.
    The collection also includes volumes from the 19th century of songs that were bound for women. These include Mary George's music book, copied between 1824-30, and Maria Sanford's music book. This volume contains seventeen songs, the earliest dating from ca. 1819, most from 1825-31. Four covers have lithographs by John Pendleton; five were engraved by Thomas Birch. There is also a deluxe volume of songs and artistic prints from about 1832 composed and painted by Hortense, the wife of Louis Napoleon, King of Holland and brother of Napoleon.
    The best represented composers in the collection are: Carrie Jacobs Bond (with 119 songs and song publications), Liza Lehmann (103), Amy Woodforde-Finden (63), Lily Strickland (63), Jessie L. Gaynor (58), Elinor Remick Warren (52), May Brahe (51), Teresa Del Riego (51), Clare Kummer (51), Cecile Chaminade (48), Vee Lawnhurst (40), Clara Edwards (36), Maude Valerie White (36), Margaret Ruthven Lang (35), Emma Louis Ashford (33), Guy d'Hardelot (33), Blanche M. Tice (30), Alice Nadine Morrison (29), Vaughn De Leath (26), Mana Zucca (24), Ann Ronell (24), and Harriet Ware (24). These totals count multiple editions of some songs.
    This collection includes fifty songs that were owned by Eleanor Lee Kingman, the grandmother of Christopher Reynolds. A native Californian, she was born in Pomona in 1893 and died there in 1990, having lived much of her adult life in Palos Verdes Estates. Before she married Alan Kingman in 1923, she had studied voice in Los Angeles and then in New York City with Frank La Forge. There she lived for two years as the com-panion of the Californian pianist and composer, Elinor Remick Warren. She then taught voice at Pomona College and for a year at the University of Oregon in Eugene. Addition-ally, the collection has songs that were owned by her husband Alan Kingman (7), his sister, Edith Kingman (5), and her aunt Elizabeth Lee (1). Eleanor Lee Kingman also owned many songs by her friend Elinor Remick Warren, including four autograph manuscript copies. There are also two songs in the hand of Amy Worth, one of her own songs and one by Elinor Remick Warren.
    Many songs were signed by the composers, among these are Florence Newell Barbour, Caroline Adelaide Dance, Augusta Holmes, Alice Nadine Morrison, Annie W. Patterson, Kate Vannah, Elinor Remick Warren, and Mana Zucca.
    Professor Reynolds' project, "Women Song Composers: A Listing of Songs Published in the United States and the British Commonwealth, ca. 1890-1930" and a searchable database containing references to 15,400 songs by 1580 composers may be found on Merritt, a repository of the California Digital Library. 

    Arrangement of the Collection

    The collection is arranged in four series: 1. Sheet Music, 2. Letters and Manuscripts, 3. Books and Pamphlets, 4. Recording.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    Reynolds, Christopher A.
    Beach, H. H. A., Mrs., 1867-1944--Correspondence
    Music by women composers--United States--19th century
    Music by women composers--United States--20th century
    Music by women composers--England--19th century
    Music by women composers--England--20th century


    Collection is open for research.

    Processing Information

    Metadata Services Unit Head Jared Campbell transformed the MARC records for the sheet music into EAD and Sara Gunasekara organized the records into series and added the front matter to the finding aid. The front matter text was provided by Professor Reynolds.

    Acquisition Information

    Donated by Christopher Reynolds. Additional donations are expected.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Christopher A. Reynolds Collection of Women's Song, D-435, Department of Special Collections, General Library, University of California, Davis.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright is protected by the copyright law, chapter 17, of the U.S. Code. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Special Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Department of Special Collections, University of California, Library, Davis as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher.