Marian Anderson: Artist on the World Stage

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Marian Anderson concert at the Lincoln Memorial

Marian Anderson: Artist on the World Stage

The Penn Libraries is pleased to announce that the Council of Library and Information Resources (CLIR) with funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation awarded the Penn Libaries a Hidden Collections Digitization Grant in 2017 to digitize portions of the Marian Anderson Archive during the period June 1, 2018 to May 31, 2019. We are grateful for CLIR's recognition of the value of this project. (Read more about the grant.)

About the project

Recognized as one of the 20th century's greatest musical performers, Marian Anderson (1897-1993), an African American, was born in Philadelphia, where she is revered and memorialized. The Marian Anderson Papers rank among the most important archival collections in the University of Pennsylvania Libraries. A very small percentage of this rich resource has been digitized. Although the archive is consulted regularly, patrons must travel to Philadelphia to view the physical contents of the vast majority of documents. For this project, the University of Pennsylvania will be digitizing five series, including her private sound recordings, audio interviews (and transcripts), recital programs, diaries, and scrapbooks. Once digitized, these materials will enable researchers to explore the geographical extent of her musical career, study her repertoire, gain a deeper understanding of the blind prejudice she endured, and marvel at her courage, reception, and fame as she emerged, despite her trials, as an artist on the world stage.

Eleanor Roosevelt's letter of resignation from the DAR, unsigned file copy

OPenn

The newly digitized items will be hosted on OPenn, the Penn Libraries’ platform for openly published and digitized cultural heritage materials. The collection to be digitized has 1,200 recital and performance programs, 146 notebooks and diaries, 34 scrapbooks, 34 interview transcriptions, and 277 hours of recordings.

Not the CLIR project team

Colenda

Explanation of the importance of holding preserving this material in the Libraries’ digital repository. A few words about the Colenda Repository for long term preservation and content review....A few words about the historical significance of the papers ...Anderson’s life as a world-renowned singer and social justice advocate.

screenshot showing a row of thumbnail images from the jstor forum site

Marian Anderson Collection of Photographs

More than 4,000 images from Penn Libraries' Marian Anderson Collection are available online. They document the Anderson and her milieu, including photographs taken at Marianna Farm, photographic scrapbooks, oversize photographs, and photographs of friends, colleagues, and admirers of the renowned singer and Philadelphia native.

A Symposium and Celebration in Honor of Marian Anderson, Musician and Citizen of the World Sound, Gender, and the Color Line

 

Friday October 26, 9AM-9PM

To honor the career of African American Philadelphia-born musician and cultural ambassador, Marian Anderson (1897-1993), the Kislak Center and the Departments of Music and Africana Studies have organized a one-day symposium to explore Anderson's musical career in the context of the intersection of sound studies and critical race theory.

Project team

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