Scope and arrangement
The Louis Gruenberg Papers consist of 20.6 linear feet of material dating from 1900 to 1988, with the bulk dating from ca. 1910 - 1963. Most of the Papers consist of published and unpublished scores, parts and sketches by Gruenberg (including The Emperor Jones, Op. 36 (1931), A Song of Faith, Op. 59 (1959 - 1962), and Pages from Rabelais, Op. 78 (1963)), and published scores by other composers. Many scores are also accompanied by written material such as lyrics, editing information and other notes, and articles or poetry that inspired the composition. Other materials in the Papers consist of a small amount of correspondence, teaching notes and lesson plans, a set of screenplay proposals, newspaper clippings, concert programs and books. Many of the published scores by other composers and books are autographed to Gruenberg by their composers or authors. Materials in the Papers that date from after Gruenberg’s death were collected by his widow, Irma Gruenberg.
The Louis Gruenberg papers are arranged in five series:
- 1900 - 1965 and undated11 boxes
This series is a combination of published and unpublished work by Gruenberg and other composers. Gruenberg’s scores and sketches span most of his career. The scores by others are mainly piano works Gruenberg performed as a soloist. Sometimes the sketches are associated with particular pieces, but there are also many that did not seem to result in any finished or published compositions.
- 1924 - 1967 and undated1.5 boxes
This series has two sub-series. The first contains written materials originally located with the scores in series I, and the folders bear titles identical to those scores. The second sub-series contains correspondence, screenplay proposals and teaching materials.
- 1909 - 1988 and undated5 folders
Both Gruenberg and his widow, Irma Gruenberg, collected the materials in this series.
- 1907 - 19531 box
All the books in this series were either signed and dated by Gruenberg or autographed by their authors. Gruenberg set the sermons in the James Weldon Johnson book God’s Trombones (autographed by Johnson) to music in The Creation, Op. 23 (1926).
- 1929 - 1946 and undated2 boxes 5 folders
This series contains clippings and scores. The clippings are reviews of the film The Fight for Life, which Gruenberg scored. The scores include a copy of Schoenberg’s Prelude, Op. 44 (1945), signed by the composer, and edits of The Emperor Jones recorded by the United States Information Agency, presumably for overseas broadcast, as well as a bound copy of the complete score in two volumes, with markings throughout.