The Jeffrey Chamberlain Music Collection

Patti Page, “Say Wonderful Things” single 1963. Jeffrey Chamberlain music collection, Collection #C0185, Special Collections and Archives, George Mason University.


Somethin' Smith and the Redheads, "I Don't Want To Set The World On Fire" single 1950s. Jeffrey Chamberlain music collection, Collection #C0185, Special Collections and Archives, George Mason University.


Carl Dobkins Jr., "My Heart is an Open Book" 1959. Jeffrey Chamberlain music collection, Collection #C0185, Special Collections and Archives, George Mason University.


Looking through old records can be a frustrating task, mainly because you want to be able to listen to what you are looking at. Of course looking at old records can be rewarding in that the artwork of the label, box, or sleeve it comes in is often engaging, but there is nothing like looking at and listening to classic vinyl.

Here are three examples of 45 rpm singles from the Jeffrey Chamberlain Music Collection. These singles with song titles like “I Don’t Want to Set the World on Fire” and the contrasting red label and black stripes on the sleeve of the Patti Page album made me very curious as to what these sounded like.

The Jeffrey Chamberlain Music Collection is a recently acquired collection of records. It includes 78s, long play records, and 45s that date from the 1910s to the 1980s.  Classical, jazz, and popular music genres are represented in the collection, as well as, show tunes and many French 45 rpm singles. Chamberlain was a George Mason associate professor of French in the Department of Modern and Classical languages.

For your listening pleasure here are links to Carl Dobkins Jr “My Heart is an Open Book”, Patti Page “Say Wonderful Things”, and Somethin’ Smith and the Redheads “I Don’t Want To Set The World On Fire”.

Archival Instruction

Over the past few years we have hosted an increasing number of classes each semester in our reading room, much to our delight. One of our goals as a department is to reach more undergraduate students and introduce them to the joys of archival research. This past week we had over 20 undergraduate students here to learn about primary sources and how to begin including primary sources into their research. The class was HIST 389: The Civil Rights Movement and in the instruction session we gave them hand-on experience with some of the materials in our collections that relate to the Civil Rights Movement. These collections include C. Harrison Mann papers, Ollie Atkins Photograph collection, and the Philp Levy Civil Rights collection.

The students had a great time and several are ready to get into the reading room to begin working on their next assignment.

Here is the presentation that we included: