Scope and arrangement
The papers of John Tasker Howard (1869-1995) document his professional life from the early 1920s until his death in 1964. The few items found within this collection that precede and follow the dates of his life are all connected to his professional career. For example, Howard most likely acquired the Great Peace Jubilee pamphlets (Box 22, Folder 3) for his research on American music.
A good amount of items dealing with Howard’s most notable literary work, Our American Music, can be found within Boxes 4 through 7. Also, there is a considerable amount of items relating to one of his prime subjects, Stephen Foster—e.g. lectures, articles, musical compositions and radio scripts.
However, no drafts for his manuscript Stephen Foster, America’s Troubadour are within this collection. John Tasker Howard’s papers contain few personal items; one of the few exceptions would be his correspondence with Josiah K. Lilly, another Foster expert (Box 2, Folder 19). His writings, musical compositions and scrapbooks (filled with clippings concerned with his professional life) make up the bulk of the collection.
The John Tasker Howard papers are arranged in six series:
- 1929-19741.5 linear feet (3 boxes
This series primarily contains the letters dealing with John Tasker Howard’s career as a writer, composer and American music expert. In Box 1, Folder 14, there are letters sent to his daughters (Mrs. Robert Cluther of Chatham, N.J. and Mrs. Louis F. Kitscher of Cleveland) after his death relating to John Tasker Howard’s estate (royalty and copyright issues).
- 1922-19954 linear feet (8 boxes
This series contains the articles, radio scripts, book drafts and plays written by John Tasker Howard. In Box 5, a Version I and Version II for Our American Music can be found. As these two drafts were not dated or labeled, each version was grouped as found—e.g. Version I (box 5, folders 2-11) was the first sequence found within the boxes. This same practice was employed for the two full versions of Stephen Foster: Juvenile Biography found within the collection (folders 24-25 in box 11). As such, these labels are not meant to establish a timeline within this series.
- 1916-19562.55 linear feet (8 boxes
This series primarily contains the piano, choral and orchestral arrangements written by Howard. In Box 16, Folders 19-24, there are typed lists of John Tasker Howard’s published musical compositions that reveal dates of composition and publishers. It is unclear if these lists were typed by Howard (George Kent Bellows did compile a list of Howard’s works, a copy of his article can be found in Box 4, Folder 2).
- 1922-1975.75 linear feet (1.5 boxes
This series primarily contains financial documents relating to royalty statements.
- 1869-1974.75 linear feet (1.5 boxes
This series contains pamphlets, leaflets, newspaper clippings, photographs (very few), Photostat negatives and booklets connected to Howard’s interest in music.
- 1917-19712.45 linear feet (7 boxes
This series contains the scrapbooks put together by John Tasker Howard covering his careers as writer, composer and American music expert.