Scope and arrangement
The Samuel Antek papers (1937-1964) primarily consist of photographs, programs and clippings. His papers hold manuscripts and drafts for articles, some correspondence, ephemera and conducting materials, such as music books and conductor's batons. A considerable amount of the collection relates to Antek's memoir of Arturo Toscanini; therefore these materials have been organized into a separate series.
The collection's photographs document a mix of Antek's professional and personal life as many colleagues were also considered close friends. The folder containing photos taken by Antek from the NBC Symphony Orchestra's National Tour feature many candid shots of Arturo Toscanini. The collection includes an autographed photograph from Toscanini. The photographs feature many notable musicians from the 1940s and 1950s, for example the conductors Pierre Monteux and Dimitri Mitropoulos and the actor/musician Canada Lee.
The programs and clippings files chronicle Antek's professional career and reflect his extensive work as a guest conductor and supporter of children's concerts. The Chicago Symphony Orchestra file includes program information given directly to Antek depicting his daily concert schedule. These files contain press releases and advertisements relating specific orchestral engagements.
In the correspondence there is a telegram from Toscanini dating December 25 (no year provided) to Antek thanking him for his well wishes and reciprocating his satisfaction over their professional relationship. There is a telegram from Monteux (1952) expressing his willingness to help Antek as an honorary sponsor as well as a letter of recommendation to the Buffalo Symphony Orchestra (1945). While the correspondence file is mostly professional in nature there is exception in a condolence letter to Alice Antek, a Christmas greeting card to the Anteks' daughter Lucy and postcards sent to Alice and Lucy in 1967.
The articles written by Antek in Series I relate to his interests in children's concerts and the orchestra's value within community. There is a folder with a draft copy including Antek's notes for his well known article, "Children's Concerts."
Series I is arranged alphabetically by document type.
Series II is largely made up of drafts for the memoir, This Was Toscanini and include the edits done by Antek's wife, Alice. There is a draft of "Playing with Toscanini," the original article written by Antek in 1950 which is the forerunner for the memoir. The reviews in the collection demonstrate the favorable reception of the memoir as does the correspondence, which features a mix of fan mail and praise from Antek's colleagues. Series II is arranged alphabetically by document type.
The Samuel Antek papers are arranged in two series: