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Guide to the Ted Fagan Collection
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Biography / Administrative History
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Arrangement
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Ted Fagan Collection
    Dates: 1920-1990
    Collection number: ARS-0008
    Creator: Fagan, Ted
    Collection Size: 72 linear ft.
    Repository: Stanford Archive of Recorded Sound
    Stanford University Libraries
    Stanford, California 94305-3076
    Abstract: Fagan's collection consists primarily of reel to reel tapes (1033). The rest of the materials are music memorabilia, Fagan's own writings and documents concerning the United Nations.
    Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English


    Collection is open for research. Listening appointments may require 24 hours notice. Contact the Archive Operations Manager.

    Publication Rights

    Property rights reside with repository. Publication and reproduction rights reside with the creators or their heirs. To obtain permission to publish or reproduce, please contact the Head Librarian of the Archive of Recorded Sound.

    Preferred Citation

    Ted Fagan Collection, ARS-0008. Courtesy of the Stanford Archive of Recorded Sound, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, Calif.

    Biography / Administrative History

    Theodore Fagan, of Jewish-English background was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina on Feb. 21, 1921. His early education included five years at a boarding school in England. Back in Argentina he completed a degree in Civil Engineering (1943). Two years later he came to New York, and within months was hired as a United Nations Spanish, French and English interpreter. One of his earlier assignments included the Nuremberg War Trials (1946), and through his thirty-year long involvement with the UN he interpreted speeches from leaders such as Prime Minister Fidel Castro and President L?opold S. Senghor of Senegal. Fagan was an indefatigable writer, his many writings include two historical novels --on Evita Per?n, and on the famous 19th century Parisian lawsuit of La Ronci?re-- a historical drama, Elizabeth Rex, produced in Los Angeles (1963), and his memoirs on his long association with the United Nations. Fagan had a life-long passion for music and collected music memorabilia and recordings. After retiring form his work at the UN, at age 55, he collaborated with William R. Moran on The encyclopedic discography of Victor recordings. Matrix series 1 through 4999: the Victor Talking Machine Company, 24 April 1903 to 7 January 1908, published by Greenwood Press in 1986. Fagan died in New York in 1987.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    Throughout his life and multiple travels associated with his UN work, Ted Fagan collected music memorabilia, and over a thousand reel to reel recordings, which are primarily operatic. Fagan recorded several compilations of selected opera singers, often organized by voice range. Among the reel to reels are the annual UN Human Rights Day concerts and some intriguing tapes such as the contested recordings of Richard Wagner conducting a passage of Act II of Tristan und Isolde, presumably from 1880, and possibly of soprano Jenny Lind singing Ah! non giunge, from Bellini?s Sonnambula, from 1883. Among the music memorabilia are two Medieval manuscripts, a notated missal leaf with musical notation, from about the late 10th and early 11th century and a leaf from the church canon from the 12th or 13th century; a British engraved vocal piece from the 18th century; a letter by Gaspare Spontini from 1847 and a program autographed by Aaron Copland. Among the art works are two engravings depicting Fryderyk Chopin and Marie Falcon, a lithograph of Jenny Lind, and about a dozen etchings by the Spanish artist Vicente Gand?a. The collection also includes over fifty photographs, most of which are autographed, Fagan?s multiple writings, and a large body of documents relating to the United Nations and interpreting.


    Series Description: 1. Photographs; 2. Art work; 3. Music memorabilia; 4. Programs; 5. Opera notes; 6. Reel to reel tapes; 7. Discs; 8. Cassettes; 9. Video tapes' 10. Fagan's writings.

    Indexing Terms

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