Scope and arrangement
The Mildred Wellerson Papers primarily consist of clippings, fliers, photographs, programs, and scrapbooks that document the early career of the cellist, both as a child prodigy and as a young woman. The three scrapbooks are in different formats, but each covers roughly the same time period (1916-1923); these scrapbooks contain most of the biographical information on Wellerson that is to be found in the collection. Some loose materials, dating from the 1930s, which had been inserted between the leaves of the largest scrapbook have been removed and filed in separate folders by material type. While most of this material is in English, there are a few clippings and other items in Czech, Dutch, French, German, Russian, or Yiddish. Manuscript and printed scores partially document her repertory and include Wellerson’s only known composition, Lullaby (The Cranky Baby), as well as some cello arrangements she made of the works of other composers. Some of the printed scores are inscribed to Wellerson and include hard to find pieces by Jewish and women composers, such as Boris Levenson and Eda Rapoport. The collection, though limited in scope, contains material of interest on the phenomenon of child prodigies, opportunities for women musicians, and the development of the cello repertoire in the first half of the twentieth century.
The Mildred Wellerson papers are arranged in three series:
- undated2 boxes
The Personal Papers series contains material mainly relating to Wellerson's career as a child prodigy. The correspondence consists only of one postcard and two letters sent by Wellerson from Holland to her friends, the Schwalbs. Of special interest are the two scrapbooks, each of which contains clippings and press notices. Another larger format scrapbook is found in the Oversized Material series; it is the only scrapbook that also contains some programs and fliers.
- undated4 boxes
The Scores series includes manuscript and printed music scores and parts, some of which are inscribed by the composer or another individual. A few of the items originally belonged to Wellerson's mother, Mera Schkolnik. Of note is the manuscript score of Wellerson's only documented composition, Lullaby.
- undated1 box
The Oversized Material series contains one scrapbook and a poster for a March 10, 1922 concert in Paris. This large scrapbook lacks a cover and is probably missing several leaves.