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Inventory of the Research materials pertaining to Marion Kappes' unpublished Index of folk tunes, [ca. 1930]-1941
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  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography
  • Remarks

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Research materials pertaining to Marion Kappes' unpublished Index of folk tunes,
    Date (inclusive): [ca. 1930]-1941
    Collection number: ARCHIVES KAPPES 1
    Creator: Kappes, Marion, d. ca. 1943
    Extent: Number of containers: 5 boxes
    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


      Anne L. Kappes, sister of Marion. Address: 2237 Glenview Road, Glenview, Illinois.
      April, 1956.


    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    [Identification of item], Research materials pertaining to Marion Kappes' unpublished Index of, ARCHIVES KAPPES 1, The Music Library, University of California, Berkeley.


    Marion Kappes, probably d. in Evanston, Illinois about 1943.


    This collection of research materials represents the final stages of preparation before the Index of Folk Tunes went to the publisher, H. W. Wilson Company, New York. Evidently 114 published collections of folk tunes were to have been included in the publication (see the Correspondence for May 28, 1937 and the bound yellow chart mentioned in item 8 of this inventory). The Index was begun well before the year 1930 and continued actively until June, 1941. The project terminated due to the death of the compiler. It is evident that Miss Kappes was a passionate dilettante, who doggedly pursued a dream of publishing an index of world folk tunes. Her Indexwas intended to go beyond the catalogs of Minnie Sears, and actually contain the tunes.
    It can be determined from the Correspondence (item 3 in this inventory) that Miss Kappes grappled with two fundamental problems: (a) For whom was the Index intended--the grade school teacher, the public librarian or for members of the American Folklore Society, like Prof George Herzog of Yale?, and (b) How were textual and melodic variants to be treated?
    Marion Kappes used scrap paper for the "sheets" (her primary index cards). Much of the information on the verso sides of this paper pertained to her personally, and to her family. A cursory examination of these thousands of pieces of paper reveals the following:
    • (a) Miss Marion Kappes was the librarian for The Children's Memorial Hospital, 707 Fullerton Avenue, Chicago, Illinois.
    • (b) Her residences were

      --March, 1930: 1936 East 85th Street, Cleveland, Ohio.

      --July, 1930: 2459 Prairie Street, Evanston Illinois.

      --February, 1934: 323 Hamilton Street, Evanston.

      --After September, 1935: 1115 Seward Street, Evanston.
    • (c) Her relatives were

      --Charles R. Kappes, father; owned a real estate company in Chicago.

      --Mary W. Kappes (?mother).

      --Anne L. Kappes, sister; donor of this collection.

      --Dr. Louise O. Kappes (?sister).

      --J. Henry Kappes (?brother).
    In the summer of 1950, Anne L. Kappes requested the H. W. Wilson Company to reconsider publishing the Index, but this was turned down (see Correspondencefile).
    The reason why this collection was deposited with the Music Library at U. C. Berkeley by the Kappes family, and not with some mid-western institution, is unknown.
    An explanation of the indexing system (from a hand-copied note by Marion Kappes, no date):
    • "For convenience these papers are called ' Sheets,' 'Tickets,' and 'Music Cards'.
    • Sheets have been classified by countries and each tune given a number and filed systematically.
    • The same tune appears in many collections often under different titles. Sheets have been made for all such and clipped together under one number. About 5490 tunes have been thus numbered.
    • Perhaps 1500 to 2000 additional sheetsare made but not filed. A ticket has been made for each title and each first line of the song. These tickets[index cards] are filed in alphabetical order. An estimated 15,000 to 16,000 have been thus made and filed.
    • Sheets and tickets are all written by hand.
    • About 1500 music cards have been made. These music cards are supposed to be ready for the publisher."