Due to renovations the Curtis Archives will be closed during the summer. We have only limited access to our materials and may not be able to answer your questions. Our apologies for the inconvenience.
The Curtis Institute of Music Archives documents and preserves the history of the Institute and makes its records and materials available to the greater Curtis community and researchers. In addition to collecting and preserving historical materials and providing access to its holdings, the Archives shares Curtis's rich heritage through internal and online exhibitions and presentations.
The Archives holds the collections listed below. Recordings of Curtis performances and other Curtis-related audio-visual materials are held in the John de Lancie library at the Curtis Institute of Music, which also houses Curtis's special collections. The Archives is in the process of putting finding aids to its holdings online. For more information please contact the archivist.
- Administrative Records of the Curtis Institute of Music
The administrative records are divided into 25 record groups. Some of the records go back to the school's founding, including the records of the director, the dean, the registrar, and the board of directors.
- Curtis Archives Photograph Collection
The Curtis Archives photograph collection, which dates back to the late 1880s, features faculty, alumni, recitals, and events. For information about obtaining digital copies and possible copyright restrictions consult our policies and procedures. A selection of photographs in the public domain is available online.
- Personal Papers (MSS) Collection
The personal papers collection consists of papers, photographs, artifacts, audio-visual materials, and memorabilia, kept by or relating to former faculty members, administrators, and Curtis alumni. A list of the personal collections in the Archives is available here. For content lists of individual collections please consult the archivist.
- Artifact Collection
The artifact collection comprises a variety of materials that were used or kept at the Curtis Institute of Music, as well as Curtis-related or other materials donated by faculty and alumni.
- Faculty and Alumni Vertical Files
The Archives holds a collection of vertical files, which include press clippings, publicity materials, and other documents concerning Curtis faculty and alumni. The early clippings include copies from annual scrapbooks that were kept during the first decades after Curtis’s founding.
- Online resources
Three Curtis publications are digitized through 1974 and may be browsed online: the annual catalogue (information about Curtis, its faculty, programs, and audition requirements), recital programs of students and faculty, and the maqazine Overtones. The digitization was made possible by a grant from the Lyrasis and the Sloane Foundation in 2009. The collection includes a history of Curtis Institute on the occasion of its 50th anniversary in 1974. For additional historical overviews see the Curtis historical timeline and The Philadelphia Inquirer's The Curtis Factor.
The Archives is in the process of updating its website and making its exhibits available online. If a link to a certain exhibit is not yet provided please check back later.
- Mary Louise Curtis Bok: Portrait of Curtis's founder (Spring 2013)
- Life at Curtis before the War. Photographs of Fritz Henle, 1938 (Fall 2012)
- Composition at Curtis (Summer 2012)
- The Legacy of "The Hall" (Winter 2011)
The Curtis Archives actively seeks materials that document life of the Curtis community, including student activities, alumni organizations, and other Curtis-related groups. Examples include, but are not limited to: minutes, publicity materials, scrapbooks, photographs, audio-visual materials, and artifacts. In addition, the Archives may acquire the papers of Curtis officers, alumni, faculty, and benefactors to supplement its personal papers (MSS) collection at the discretion of the archivist and the archives advisory committee.
For music manuscripts and scores please contact Michelle Oswell, director of music library information resources.
- Rules regarding access
The collections of the Archives are open for research to all members of the Curtis community and visiting researchers. Use of some materials, however, may be restricted by limitations imposed by law, donor stipulations, Curtis policies, or preservation concerns. Access to educational records of current or former students is subject to the permission of the individual or his/her immediate heirs. Unprocessed collections are not available for research. For more information, please contact the archivist.
- Reproduction policy
Visiting and remote researchers may order photocopies or scans of documents and photographs according to our photocopy and digital reproduction fees schedule. Orders will be fulfilled once payment by check is received, accompanied by a form, signed by the researcher, in which he/she agrees to the conditions of the Curtis Institute’s document and image reproduction policy and assumes all responsibility for clearing reproduction rights and for infringement of United States copyright law. The use of a digital camera is allowed under the conditions stipulated in the reproduction policy.
- Rules for the use of the Curtis Archives collections
Researchers visiting the Curtis Archives will have to bring photo identification and sign a user registration form, in which they agree to observe the conditions governing the use of the collections.
Helene van Rossum, Archivist
Curtis Institute of Music
1726 Locust Street Philadelphia, PA 19103
Standard 8 1/2" x 11" photocopy: $0.35 per sheet
Standard 11" x 17" photocopy: $0.70 per sheet
Minimum Order for Remote Users: $15
Remote researchers may order photocopies in PDF format, in which case shipping fees will be waved. The maximum number of photocopies per patron is 200 annually.
- Digital copies (flatbed scanner)
Photographs in 300 dpi: $20
Photographs in larger format and other images: $35
The Archives uses the file sharing program WeTransfer to transfer images that are too large to send by email.
2. Registrar's Office
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14. Curtis Instruments and Arts
18. Student Services Office
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20. Board of Directors
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22. Mary Louise Curtis Bok Foundation
25. Community Engagements and Career Development Services
Barber, Samuel (MS 1)
Bok, A Margaret (MS 24)
Bok, Curtis and Nellie (MS 25)
Bok, Mary Louise Curtis: Scrapbook (MS 47)
Bok, Mary Louise Curtis: Letter Collection (Carolyn Stanford Adams) (MS 43)
Bok, Mary Louise Zimbalist: Scrapbook Memorial Concert (I. Wolff) (MS 45)
Braun, Edith (MS 28)
Chasins, Abram: Conversations with Joshua Livingston (Oral History) (MS 9)
Cherkassky, Shura (MS 18)
De Blasiis, Virgina: Autographs (MS 6)
Farnam, Lynnwood (MS 20)
Frank, Philip (MS 42)
Frantz, Florence (MS 33)
Geer, Ella: Correspondence (MS 49)
Gennusa, Ignatius (MS 46)
Gruen, John: Gian Carlo Menotti interviews and notes (MS 23)
Gruen, John: Leonard Bernstein interviews and notes (MS 54)
Hofmann, Jozef (MS 17)
Horne, William (MS 3)
Korn, Michael Program (MS 51)
Leich, Roland (MS 52)
Levin, Sylvan (MS 40)
Lifschey, Samuel (MS 19)
Lipkin, Arthur (MS 34)
Luboshutz, Leah: Yearbook (MS 11)
Metropolitan Opera Program Collection (MS 48)
Meyer, Jane Hill (MS 5)
Muller, Remy: Scrapbook Bok Singing Tower 1931 (MS 45)
Oonk, Mildred (MS 10)
Reynolds, Veda (MS 4)
Richardson, John (MS 36)
Rota, Nino (MS 16)
Sauer, Emil von (MS 29)
Salzedo, Carlos: Curtis Studio Collection (MS 14)
Salzedo, Carlos: Memorabilia (MS 26)
Schoenbach, Sol: Philadelphia Woodwind Quintet Collection (MS 27)
Settlement Music School (MS 39)
Shill, Richard (MS 21)
Shomate, James (MS 15)
Siegl, Henry (MS 7)
Skibinsky, Myra Reed: Scrapbook (MS 31)
Sokoloff, Vladimir (MS 22)
Spoleto Program Collection (MS 53)
Steiner, Diana (MS 38)
Strasser, William (MS 35)
Swenson, Elizabeth: Scrapbook (MS 37)
Tabuteau, Marcel (MS 12)
Vassar, Henry (MS 8)
Vengerova, Isabel (MS 2)
Zimbalist, Efrem: Scrapbook (MS 32)