Eugene Ormandy served as conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra (1937-1980) and was the beloved architect of the "Philadelphia sound." The Ormandy Collection includes music scores; papers and correspondence; programs; photographs; recordings; oral histories; and audiovisual material.
The collection, documenting Ormandy's extraordinary 64-year career, was donated to the University Library in 1987 by Mrs. Margaret Ormandy and may be consulted by researchers through the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts. The Eugene Ormandy Music and Media Center, part of the Otto E. Albrecht Music Library, was named in honor of this gift.
In January 2020, the Penn Libraries and The Philadelphia Orchestra partnered to celebrate the rediscovery and release (Marston Records) of the only known recording of composer and pianist Sergei Rachmaninoff playing his last major orchestral work, Symphonic Dances, which was found in the Ormandy Collection of Test Pressings.
Information for Researchers
Researchers should be aware that materials by and related to Eugene Ormandy are cataloged in a number of different collections, corresponding either to the physical format of the materials or to their source. Following is a list of Ormandy-related collections, with links provided to online finding aids or to search results in the online catalog, Franklin.
The Penn Libraries also hold the Leopold Stokowski Collection, Ormandy's predecessor at the Philadelphia Orchestra.
Primary collections for Ormandy research
- Eugene Ormandy papers (Ms. Coll. 91): 78 boxes.
- Eugene Ormandy collection of scores (Ms. Coll. 60): 501 boxes, approximately 1400 items. Personal conducting scores of Ormandy, many containing markings in his own hand. Note: the approximately 1400 scores in this collection are individually cataloged in the Franklin online catalog and display here in alphabetical order by composer.
- Eugene Ormandy photographs (Ms. Coll. 330): 76 volumes.
- Eugene Ormandy oral history collection (Ms. Coll. 59): 9 boxes.
Note: Because of format, materials in these collections may have access restrictions or require special permission for use.
- Eugene Ormandy commercial sound recordings (Ms. Coll. 410): 39 boxes.
- Eugene Ormandy collection of test pressings and private recordings (Ms. Coll. 440): 22 boxes.
- Eugene Ormandy family home movies (Ms. Coll. 1051): 3 boxes. All movies in this collection are available as streaming media at this link.
Other related collections
Allen J. Winigrad photographs of performing artists (Ms. Coll. 110): 562 items. Photographs of over 100 musical and dance artists taken by Winigrad between 1973 and 1989 during rehearsals in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, at the Mann Music Center or the Academy of Music, and in Saratoga Springs, New York, at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center.
Stephanie Goldner collection on Eugene Ormandy, 1911-1982 (Ms. Coll. 912): 2 boxes. Letters, miscellaneous items (programs, concert tickets), and photographs documenting Eugene Ormandy and Stephanie Goldner.