Scope and arrangement
The Bohemian's collection documents the club's activities between 1907 and 2008, and is made up of bylaws and membership lists, membership files, letters, financial records, meeting minutes, photographs, programs, and dinner menus. The collection also contains some material related to the Musicians Foundation, Inc., the group's nonprofit charity that supports professional musicians in need.
The The Bohemians collection is arranged in nine series:
- 1924-19854 boxes
The By-laws and Membership Lists series is comprised of copies and drafts of the club's by-laws, member lists, membership information, and dues records. Present are 22 printed by-laws and member list booklets that span 1924 to 1985. These volumes contain lists of active members, associate members, and death dates for past members. The membership dues records (1946-1984) are card files containing various membership details such as name, address, years of paid dues, and year of the member's death. Occasionally, newspaper obituaries accompany the cards. The files are organized by last name and grouped into member types including honorary life members, active members, non-residential active members, associate members, and non-residential associate members.
- 1947-19962 folders
The Clippings series contains miscellaneous newspaper clippings regarding press for the Bohemian's club and newspaper obituaries of Bohemians club members.
- 1907-19971 box
The Correspondence series contains letters relating to the operation of the club. The bulk of the letters are to and from Brent Williams, secretary of the Bohemians during the 1970s and 1980s. These concern meeting management, booking artists for concerts, and recommending new members. Williams' outgoing letters are retained photocopies, many of which are to prominent artists requesting attendance at club meetings. Other item types include letters from artist management companies and thank you notes from members and honorees. Notable contributors include Claudio Arrau, Avery Fisher, Joseph Fuchs, Jascha Heifetz, Ed Koch, Isaac Stern, and Virgil Thompson. The series also contains folders devoted to the following contributors or topics: Paul Doktor (1982), Hugo Grunwald (1956), Harvard Club of New York (1948-1958), Myra Hess regarding "Ladies' Night" (1955), Isidor Phillipp (undated), and Beryl Rubinstein (1948). Additionally, the series holds membership resignation letters from 1949 to 1960.
- 1971-20081 box
The Financial Records series collects the treasurer reports from 1971 to 2008. These reports document the club's account balance, itemized income receipts, itemized expenditures (disbursements), assets, and membership tallies. The treasurer produced these reports several times each year and some years have almost monthly reports.
- 1907-19803 boxes
The Meeting Minutes series consists of the Bohemians's minutes for their monthly meetings, annual meetings, and special meetings from 1907 through 1980. The minutes, kept by the club secretary, document the club's finances, membership and membership nominations, reports on the death of members, board of directors and officer elections and turnover, program planning, and other business activities. Of note is a bound volume of minutes documenting the first years of the club (1907-1923), which includes an early draft of the by-laws.
- 1947-19921 box and 2 folders
The Musicians Foundation Inc. series contains miscellaneous items relating to the Bohemian's non-profit charity, which "helps professional musicians by providing emergency financial assistance in meeting current living, medical and allied expenses." Items include letters, newspaper clippings, tax forms, meeting minutes, benefit concert programs, annual appeals, and financial reports for the years 1980 and 1983. Also present is a box of card files of assistance recipients. The files contain funding details, reasons for assistance, and, occasionally, letters from recipients describing their hardships and requesting aid.
- ca.1950-19832 folders
The Photographs series holds 12 photographs of Bohemians members and 7 publicity shots of performers who gave concerts for the club. Most of the member images were taken at the Bohemian's 75th anniversary celebration (1982). The publicity photographs depict Jorge Bolet, Nathan Milstein, and Bidú Sayão.
- 1910-20082.5 boxes
The Programs and Menus series consists of the programs for the Bohemians club's monthly, annual, and special meetings from1910 to 2008. Monthly programs contain lists of new membership candidates, concert performers, and pieces performed. The annual and special meeting programs additionally include menus for the night's meal, and lists the administration of the Bohemians and the Musicians Foundation Inc.
Many of the early programs contain prints or photographs of the night's honorees. These include: Engelbert Humperdinck (1910); Leopold Godowsky (1913); Ferruccio Busoni (1915); Kneisel Quartet (1917); Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge (1919); Alma Gluck-Zimbalist and Efram Zimbalist (1919); Sergei Rachmaninoff (1919); Harold Bauer (1920); Rubin Goldmark (1921); Moriz Rosenthal (1923); Willem Mengelberg (1925); Albert Spalding (1926, 1950); Flonzaley Quartet (1928); Serge Koussevitzky (1929); Arthur Bodanzky (1930); Edward Johnson (1936); Sam Franko (1937); Joseph Hofmann (1937); Kirsten Flagstad (1938); Theodore E. Steinway (1939); Fritz Kreisler (1940); Albert Spalding (1949); Philharmonic-Symphony Society of New York 1842-1942 (1942); and Walter W. Naumburg (1949) among others.
The Miscellaneous items and Ephemera series contains a metal plaque (1971), two undated programs, membership application cards, text of an address given by Paul Manship at Juliard School, and a score of Happy Birthday to You, duet for violin in the styles of Paganini, Ernst, and Wieniawski, for Nathan Milstein's 80th birthday.