Scope and arrangement
The Irving Kolodin Papers contain correspondence, diaries and daybooks, scores, drafts and galley proofs, research notes, clippings, press kits and press releases, photographs, scrapbooks, lecture notes and other teaching material, financial papers, original artwork and oversized material, documenting the career of Irving Kolodin, music critic, author and teacher at the Juilliard School. The collection dates from 1844 to 1986. Although Kolodin was born in 1908 and his own material dates from 1915 to 1986, the collection includes a substantial amount of earlier papers related to his mentor, W. J. Henderson, and his close friend, Alfred Knopf, as well as research material that predates Kolodin’s lifetime.
Kolodin’s correspondence consists of personal and professional correspondence with personalities in the music, as well as the publishing world. It includes contracts, negotiations and scholarly collaboration related to a wide range of subjects on which Kolodin wrote. There are also letters from the various artists Kolodin reviewed in his articles, and letters by readers. This series also includes correspondence of Alfred Knopf with various individuals other than Kolodin.
The largest series in this collection is Kolodin’s writings, which include drafts, galley proofs or copies of his articles and several but not all of his books, both published and unpublished. This series also includes a substantial number of research notes kept by Kolodin, as well as interview transcripts, programs, clippings, press kits and other publicity material, scholarly periodicals and article imprints. Among the books represented here are The Continuity of Music: A History of Influence (1969), The Interior Beethoven: A Biography of the Music (1975), In Quest of Music: A Journey in Time (1980), and ample material for the various editions of his history of the Metropolitan Opera, including the nearly complete The Metropolitan Opera: Centennial Edition, 1966-1984. There is also material for some of the books Kolodin never completed or published.
The collection contains a small number of annotated published and manuscript scores. The majority of these scores were used for musical examples in Kolodin’s books, or for teaching. There is also a small number of personal papers, noteworthy among which are Kolodin’s diary entries, documenting his trips to Europe, Japan and Australia, as well as his personal insights on his encounters with various personalities in the music world.
Teaching material includes lecture notes, course syllabi, reading materials, song lyrics and scores for musical examples, tests, quizzes, and examination booklets for the two courses that Kolodin taught at the Juilliard School, The Music of Mahler, and Criticism of Music.
The photographs found in this collection include personal and publicity photographs of the wide range of individuals featured in Kolodin’s writings. Several are inscribed to Kolodin. There are also photographs of Kolodin, alone or with colleagues and personalities with whom he maintained personal relations.
The scrapbooks found in this collection were created by W. J. Henderson and Kolodin. Fashioned in the same way, the scrapbooks contain clippings of the two men’s reviews, as well as of their colleagues at The New York Sun and other publications.
Oversized materials include artwork, such as sketches, caricatures and lithographs, as well as photographs, galley proofs, programs, record jackets and research materials used in Kolodin’s various writings.
The Irving Kolodin Papers are arranged in eight series:
- 1912 - 1986,9 boxes
This series contains correspondence with Irving Kolodin’s colleagues and friends, documenting his personal and professional life as music critic, author and teacher.
The letters reflect Kolodin’s professional activities, and the relations and friendships that he formed during his career as music critic with opera singers, musicians and composers. In addition, Kolodin’s research brought him into contact with music scholars, publishers, and decision-makers in the world of opera. There are also letters from the various artists Kolodin reviewed in his articles and by readers with praise or opposing views on his opinions.
Noteworthy among the correspondents for their close ties with Kolodin are opera singers Maria Callas and Mary Costa. This series also includes a considerable number of Alfred Knopf’s correspondence with Kolodin and several other individuals, such as Joseph Hergesheimer, H. L. Mencken, and Willa Cather.
- 1915 - 1986,2 boxes
This series contains biographical material, diaries, daybooks and address books, financial records and ephemera. Of special interest are Kolodin’s diaries, which document his trips to Europe, Japan and Australia, as well as his personal insights on his encounters with various personalities in the music world.
- 1885 - 1987,62 boxes
This series is divided in three sub-series: Books, containing drafts and research materials related to his books; General research, containing research materials on broad subjects, as well as notepads with notes on more than one subject; and Subject files, containing material related to Kolodin’s articles and specific subjects on which he wrote.
- 1914 - 1985,6 boxes
This series contains lecture notes, course syllabi, reading materials, song lyrics and scores for musical examples, tests, quizzes, and examination booklets for the two courses that Kolodin taught at the Juilliard School, The Music of Mahler, and Criticism of Music. In particular his lecture notes are very detailed, with long texts for each class meeting written in full prose that recreates the contents of each class in a lively manner. There is also a course proposal for Criticism of Music, with comments and amendments for the future after the first year the course was taught.
- 1924 - 1980,2 boxes
This series contains a small number of annotated scores intended for musical examples in Kolodin’s books, or for teaching. They include published scores or copies of manuscript scores. Of interest may be a copy of few pages from Mahler’s manuscript drafts for his 10th Symphony, including verbal comments believed to be addressed to his wife, Alma. There is also the score of a song for which Kolodin wrote the music.
- 1900 - 1986,9 boxes
This series contains mostly black and white, personal and promotional photographs of composers, conductors, musicians, opera singers, and music scholars, as well as performance photographs from productions at the Metropolitan Opera and other institutions. Several are inscribed to Kolodin, while some have been mounted on frames next to personal notes or letters.
There are also personal and publicity photographs of Kolodin, alone as well as with colleagues and personalities with whom he maintained personal relations. Many of the photographs in this collection appear to have been intended for use in support of Kolodin’s various articles and books. Some of the photographs from the collection had been removed before processing and integrated into the Music Division's general Iconography files.
- 1875 - 1949,58 boxes
This series contains scrapbooks created by W. J. Henderson and Kolodin. Fashioned in the same way, the scrapbooks contain clippings of the two men’s reviews, as well as of their colleagues at The New York Sun and other publications. Several scrapbooks include handwritten indexes at the end. Additional indexes of contents and other related research notes for W. J. Henderson’s scrapbooks can be found in the General research sub-series of the Writings series.
- 1844 - 1986,9 boxes
This series contains artwork, such as sketches, caricatures and lithographs, as well as photographs, galley proofs, programs, record jackets and research materials used in Kolodin’s various writings.