Guide to the Lillian Birmingham Collection, 1889-1973

Processed by The California State Library staff; machine-readable finding aid created by Xiuzhi Zhou
California History Room
California State Library
Library and Courts Building II
900 N. Street, Room 200
P.O. Box 942837
Sacramento, California 94237-0001
Phone: (916) 654-0176
Fax: (916) 654-8777
© 1999
California State Library. All rights reserved.

Guide to the Lillian Birmingham Collection, 1889-1973

California State Library

Sacramento, California

Contact Information:

  • California History Room
  • California State Library
  • Library and Courts Building II
  • 900 N. Street, Room 200
  • P.O. Box 942837
  • Sacramento, California 94237-0001
  • Phone: (916) 654-0176
  • Fax: (916) 654-8777
  • Email:
  • URL:
Processed by:
The California State Library staff
Encoded by:
Xiuzhi Zhou
© 1999 California State Library. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: Lillian Birmingham Collection,
Date (inclusive): 1889-1973
Box Number: 934-942
Collector: Birmingham, Alma
Extent: 9 boxes
Repository: California State Library
Sacramento, California
Language: English.

Administrative Information



Conditions of Use

Please credit California State Library.

Publication Rights

Copyright has not been assigned to California State Library. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing. Permission for publication is given on behalf of California State Library 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 reader.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Lillian Birmingham Collection, California State Library.

Access Points

Music--Instruction and study--California
Singing--Instruction and study--California
Birmingham, Lillian, 1871-1942


Clippings, correspondence, photos, programs, publicity, scrapbooks, posters, postcards and posters concerning the career of Lillian Birmingham and her daughter Alma Birmingham.
The Lillian Birmingham Collection is arranged in chronological order of the events in the lives of Lillian Birmingham and her daughter, Alma Birmingham. The collection was arranged originally in that manner by Alma Birmingham, the donor. The California State Library staff has endeavored to keep that arrangement intact with other minor changes to correct obvious mistakes, to include data present, but unlisted, and to clarify wordings which appeared confusing. The original inventory lists prepared by Ms. Birmingham to complement the arrangement have been augmented by a detailed description of the actual items in each listing. (For the original inventories see Box No. 942.)
Alma Birmingham also prepared an index, year by year, of various persons and events in her mothers life. This index includes listings of performers, composers, music teachers, conductors, agents, recitals, concerts, conventions, and the like. The index lists these people and events by the year in which material related to them is dated and in which they are grouped within the collection. The index is located on the original collection folders prepared by Alma Birmingham which are grouped in Box No. 942.


Lillian Birmingham, nee Kraft, was born in 1871 at Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. She possessed a deep, rich contralto voice and began singing during her teens . In 1889 she moved to San Francisco and was married there in 1890 to J.E. Birmingham, a jeweler. During her long singing career, she studied in London and Paris, and performed in San Francisco, other California cities, London, New York, and Hamilton, Canada. Her last public performance was in San Francisco in 1932, but she remained active and influential in California music, both as a member and leader of numerous musical organizations and events, and as a teacher of voice. In March, 1942, she suffered a severe stroke and died a few days later. That same year, the Lillian Birmingham Scholarship fund was established by her family in memorial of her.


Major Correspondents

  • Birmingham, Lillian, 1871-1942.
  • Jacobs-Bond, Carrie, 1862-1946.
  • Stewart, H.J. (Humphrey John), 1856-1932.

Other Correspondents

  • Adams, J. P.
  • Allen, Frank Gates, Mrs.
  • Allen, Warren Dwight, 1885-
  • Armsby, Leonora Wood
  • Baen, C. E.
  • Bangert, Bess
  • Barker, J. W.
  • Barnabee, Henry Clay, 1833-
  • Behymer, L. E.
  • Belden, J. G.
  • Bell, Lois Bonnie
  • Bisphan, David
  • Bishop, Rowena
  • Black, D. G.
  • Bouhy, Jacob
  • Breslin, April
  • Cadman, Charles Wakefield, 1881-1946.
  • Campbell, Louise Marriner
  • Cimini, Lina
  • Claire-Dux
  • Coats, Daisy Bannerman
  • Corkrum, Winina R.
  • Cowell, Henry, 1897-1965.
  • Davis, George Gibson
  • Davis, R. S.
  • Dawson, Ken B.
  • Dill, Marshall
  • Duane, C. D. L.
  • Du Luert, Lynn
  • Easton, Wendell
  • Elkus, Albert
  • Evans, Lawrence
  • Fay, Maud
  • Girton, Tom
  • Gow, George C.
  • Green, Clay
  • Gresham, James Wilmer, 1871-
  • Griswold, Grace
  • Hale, Marshall
  • Heink, Schumann
  • Henley, Homer
  • Henschel, George, Sir, 1850-1934.
  • Hinz, Claudia
  • Huntington, Carlos
  • Husband, Robert
  • Irish, Leiland Atherton, Mrs.
  • Jardine, Agnes Bishop
  • Johnson, Mabel T.
  • Kahn, Florence P.
  • Kelly, Edgar Stillman, Mrs.
  • Kinney, Mabel Ford
  • Leibling, George
  • Lyssac, Paul
  • McKee
  • Maloney, Thomas A.
  • Meralu, Gaetano
  • Millholland, H. I.
  • Mills, Helen H.
  • Mirovitch, Alfred
  • Monteux, Doris G. (Doris Gerald), 1895-1984.
  • Moore, Earl V.
  • Morrison, George A., Jr.
  • Munro, Charles L.
  • Myers, Roy S., Mrs.
  • Nunan, Carl T.
  • Ober, Julia
  • O'Coinnell, W. J.
  • Pasmore, Henry B.
  • Payne, Clair
  • Piastro, Mishel
  • Randegger, Alberto
  • Redding, Joseph Deighn, 1859-1932.
  • Ribeyron, John
  • Ritchie, Delbert C.
  • Rolph, James, Jr.
  • Rosenkrans, Chester W.
  • Rossi, Angelo
  • Rothwell, Walter Henry
  • Sanford, W. E.
  • Sand, Frederick N.
  • Schoenberg, Arnold, 1874-1951.
  • Scott, Gustav A.
  • Search, Frederic Preston
  • Shea, John F.
  • Sloss, M. C., Mrs.
  • Smale, Lola Gwin
  • Smyth, James G.
  • Stanwood, Cornelia
  • Stauffer, Paul Clarke.
  • Stillman Kelly, Mrs. Edgar: see Kelly, Edgar Stillman, Mrs. Stratford, Gerry
  • Swanson, W. G.
  • Sweeney, Mary J.
  • Symington, Powers, Mrs.
  • Tandy, Richard
  • Tevis, Gordon
  • Weinholz, Paul, Dr.
  • White, H. E.
  • Williamson, Raymond D.
  • Wilson, Alvina Heur
  • Wunder, Clinton

Material Transferred from the Collection


  • Photo of J. W. Taber's London photographic studio.
  • Photo of Jack London at his place in the Valley of the Moon, Ca.
  • Photo postcard of Maude Fay to LB.
  • Photo of Mr. and Mrs. Walter Campbell.
  • Photo postcard of LB in "Legends of Yosemite" in New York City.
  • Autographed photo postcard of H. J. Stewart.
  • Autographed photo of Carrie Jacobs-Bond.
  • Photo of LB and San Francisco Junior Musical Club.
  • Photo of the "Woode Picnic" at Atherton, California.
  • Photo of production of "School for Scandal," sponsored by San Francisco Sorosis Club, directed by LB.
  • Photo of Royal Belgian Bank on San Francisco City Hall steps.
  • Photo of Mrs. A. M. Jamieson, L. E. Behymer, Mrs. Armsby, and LB at Mrs. Armsby's house.
  • Poem by Clay Green on a photo postcard of himself.
  • Photo of Mrs. Edgar Stillman-Kelley and LB with unidentified others.
  • Photo of Mrs. Edgar Stillman-Kelley and LB with unidentified man.
  • Photo of Mrs. E.J. Ottaway, Mrs. J. A. Jardine, and LB.
  • Photo, taken by conductor Eugene Ormandy, of Sunday guests at the Birmingham home at Belvedere, CA.
  • Photo of San Francisco Symphony Board. -Photo of LB.
  • Photo (autographed) of Mrs. And Mrs. Edgar Stillman-Kelley.
  • 2 photos of cast of San Francisco Musical Club "Jinks" production of "P. T. Barnum."
  • Photo of LB at National Council of Jewish Women program.
  • Photo of LB and B. W. S. Buckely at Cliff House.
  • Photo note and autographed photo of Carrie Jacobs-Bond.


  • Poster advertising recital at Knox Church, Hamilton, Ontario.
  • Poster photo of Berkeley Greek Theatre from April issue of San Francisco Musical Review.


  • Issue of the Wasp, Vol. XLI, autographed photo of LB removed from the issue.
  • November issue of Pacific Coast Musical Review, vol. LVIII.

Related Collections

Title: Margaret Blake Alverson Collection,
Date: 1880-1920.

Container List

Box 934-941

Arranged chronologically.

Box 942

Index to collection prepared by Alma Birmingham.