Scope and arrangement
The papers of William Newmeyer and Isabele Taliaferro Spiller have been divided into four series: Personal Papers, the Musical Spillers, the Spiller School of Music, and Isabele Taliaferro Spiller. Although the papers encompass the years 1906 to 1958, it is a small collection. The Spiller photograph collection should be used in conjunction with the papers as the information written on the backs of the photographs adequately documents the activities of the Musical Spillers act, as well as Mrs. Spiller's work with bands and orchestras and her public school work.
The William N. and Isabele T. Spiller papers are arranged in four series:
The series contains William Spiller's passports and visas, and the Negro Actors Guild memorial program, as well as the Julliard Reviewannouncing Isabele's retirement.
The series contains programs of their European and United States tours from 1912 to 1942, and clippings and reviews of their act. One of William Spiller's compositions, the New York Tango Blues has been removed from the collection and placed in the Schomburg Center's Sheet Music Collection.
The series consists of programs and clippings concerning the school's activities.
The final and largest series contains material pertaining to her work as a music supervisor and orchestra conductor in the New York City public schools. Of particular interest is her work as head of the Federal Music Project in New York. A scrapbook containing Mrs. Spiller's published articles gives one a good perspective of her philosophy about, and methods of, teaching music, particularly to children. She was an avid proponent of orchestral participation.