Scope and arrangement
The music, papers, iconography, and books in the Frank Wigglesworth Papers represent the activities and interests of their namesake. The collection accumulated naturally as Wigglesworth pursued his career as a composer and educator, and is augmented by documents related to the many organizations that he served as a board member or officer. The bulk of the collection falls between 1940 and 1996, the period from Wigglesworth's college graduation to his death.
The Wigglesworth Papers have been organized largely according to Wigglesworth's original plan. Musical scores and parts have been separated from biographical and archival materials. The musical materials, identified as Series A in the finding aid, are divided into four subseries, based on composer (Wigglesworth's scores or those of other composers) and format (printed or manuscript). Supplementary papers concerning Wigglesworth's ideas for compositions constitute a fifth subseries.
Series B of the Wigglesworth Papers consists of biographical materials. Personal correspondence with such well-known figures as Henry Cowell, Lou Harrison, Otto Luening, Maurice Sendak, Adlai Stevenson, Virgil Thomson, and Edgard Varèse can be found in the first subseries; Harrison's letter of February 12, 1952, contains the autograph score of his Serenade for Guitar, spontaneously composed for Wigglesworth. The second subseries is a biographical subject file that covers such topics as Wigglesworth's education, hobbies, and personal documentation.
Over the course of his lifetime, Frank Wigglesworth worked closely with numerous organizations devoted to the arts, and to new music in particular, such as the American Composers Alliance, the American Music Center, Composers' Forum, Composers' Recordings, Inc., the New York Youth Symphony, and the Virgil Thomson Foundation. As a result, he accumulated a vast collection of paperwork documenting the inner workings of these groups. These materials constitute Series C of the Wigglesworth Papers, which is divided into subseries by organization.
Series D is an artificially created performance file of Wigglesworth's compositions. Programs and other supplementary material documenting performances of his works have been brought together and organized by title. Series E consists of teaching materials (those not clearly identified with the organizations in Series C) and Wigglesworth's writings, including concert reviews that he prepared for music festivals near his summer home in Ipswich, Massachusetts. Miscellaneous materials, including appointment calendars and a small collection of iconography, have been gathered into Series F of the Wigglesworth Papers, while Series G is comprised of books with annotations by Wigglesworth and others.
The Frank Wigglesworth Papers document the life's work of a composer who was as devoted to the music of his colleagues as he was to his own. For this reason, the collection should interest anyone studying the American new music scene in the second half of the 20th century.
The Frank Wigglesworth papers are arranged in seven series: