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Inventory of the Derrick Norman Lehmer musical compositions, 1926-1937
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Collection Details
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  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Obituary
  • Scope and Content

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Derrick Norman Lehmer Musical Compositions,
    Date (inclusive): 1926-1937
    Collection number: ARCHIVES LEHMER 1
    Creator: Lehmer, Derrick Norman, 1868-1938
    Extent: Number of container: 1 box
    Repository: The Music Library
    Berkeley, California 94720-6000
    Shelf location: For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information


    Mrs. Helen H. Berryhill, Berkeley


    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of the Music Library.

    Preferred Citation

    [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 Library's archives:
    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 Mesas (1932)
    • 2. Songs from the Tundras (1932).
    • 3. The Ballad of San Francisco Bay (1937).
    • 4. Five Little songs (1937).