Scope and arrangement
The Richard Rodgers music papers date from 1899 to 1975 (bulk: 1960-1975) and contain scrapbooks, published vocal scores, and drafts of Rodgers's autobiography, Musical Stages. Scrapbooks in the collection document three events celebrating Rodgers's work between 1949 and 1967-the New Haven Pops Orchestra's Rodgers and Hammerstein Night, the Connecticut Symphony's Music Man of the Year program, and a birthday luncheon hosted by the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. The scrapbooks are comprised of invitations, telegrams, photographs, clippings, press releases, and programs relating to the events, as well as autographs and inscriptions from attendees. Vocal scores in the collection primarily date from the late 19th and early 20th century, and include the work of composers Ivan Caryll, Arthur Sullivan, and Oscar Straus. Rodgers's own scores in the collection are limited to The Rodgers and Hart Song Book, the vocal score for Pal Joey, and a Japanese translation of No Strings.
The collection holds three drafts of Rodgers's autobiography, along with a typed transcript of interviews with Rodgers conducted by theatre historian Stanley Green. Each draft has handwritten annotations and edits to the text. The earliest autobiography draft, dating from 1971 to 1972, is both hand and typewritten with corrections and additions; typed transcripts are available for all handwritten pages. Housed with the first draft is a collation with the published text, which lists several passages not included in the published version.
The collection is arranged by document type: Autobiography Drafts, Scores, and Scrapbooks.