New and Updated Finding Aids – Part Six

All of these collections are available for use in the Special Collections Research Center.

“My Maryland” operetta stage guide and score manuscripts

Collection processed by Amanda Brent.

Piano/vocal score and stage guide to the operetta “My Maryland” by Dorothy Donnelly and Sigmund Romberg, both created circa 1929. Both volumes originated from Century Library, Inc. of New York, NY. The piano/vocal score contains music and lyrics for all musical numbers in the operetta. The stage guide contains drawing of sets, blocking guides, lighting plots, and the full script. Each volume is spiral bound with printed pages and handwritten additions and notes…”My Maryland” was an American operetta from 1927 with book and lyrics by Dorothy Donnelly and music by Sigmund Romberg. It was based off of the 1899 play “Barbara Frietchie” by Clyde Fitch. “My Maryland” is set during the American Civil War in Frederick, Maryland and is based on the historical figure Barbara Fritchie (last name spelling varies). Fritichie is a folk hero of the Civil War, whose legend is described by the Barbara Fritchie House website as follows: “A Unionist during the Civil War, [Fritchie] is best known for her folkloric defiance in the face of Confederate troops. As the occupying rebel forces were marching out of Frederick in September 1862, Dame Fritchie, then 95, was said to have waved a Union flag from her upstairs window…[which] was immortalized in an 1863 poem by John Greenleaf Whittier.” “My Maryland” opened in New York City to moderate success, but quickly fell out of the zeitgeist.

Photograph of young German girls playing recorders walking down hillside

Collection processed by Amanda Brent.

Black and white photograph of eleven German girls and a presumably woman adult playing recorders while walking down a hillside by an unknown photographer. The young girls in the photograph are all outfitted in the same dress. The photograph was originally owned and lent out by Culver Pictures, Inc. of New York, New York. The verso features stamps and stickers from the company, as well as a handwritten note that says “Hitler Youth – 1933”

This photograph was likely taken circa 1933 in Germany but there is no way to officially verify this. The group in this photograph could also be associated with the Bund Deutscher Madel (BDM). During the early 1930s, girls as young as ten were indoctrinated into the BDM with little to no choice in the matter, and considering the time period it is likely these girls would do the same. However, there are no visual clues in this photograph to completely support this theory, such as the distinctive black and white uniform worn by all BDM girls and women…The Bund Deutscher Madel, or the League of German Girls, was the female equivalent to the Hitler Youth. According to the National Holocaust Centre and Museum website: The BDM’s “role was to indoctrinate girls into the beliefs and ideals of the Nazi regime. The BDM focused on developing girls into women who were dedicated to Nazism, dutiful housewives, and whose role within society was to become a mother. Girls were to grow up with an unquestioning understanding of the intended role of women in the Third Reich. BDM members were required to have German parents, be in good health, and conform to Nazi racial ideals.” Music was a core focus of the BDM, in addition to domestic and agricultural activities.

Serge Lifar ballet performance program clipping from “Les Creatures de Promethee”

Collection processed by Amanda Brent.

Clipping from a performance program of Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Les Creatures de Promethee” or “The Creatures of Prometheus” from December 20, 1929, choreographed by Serge Lifar and performed at the Paris Opera Ballet. The clipping features a photo of Lifar in costume on the front and text in French on the back, which lists the name of the performance, and the dancers who performed it, including Lifar, Suzanne Lorcia, Serge Peretti, Yvette Chauvire, and others. It also includes information on the music and conductor. The front top portion of the clipping is signed by Lifar. The back top portion is also signed but is illegible…

Serge Lifar was a Ukrainian-French ballet dancer and choreographer, who is considered one of the greatest ballet dancers of the 20th century. Born in 1905 in Ukraine. Lifar’s dance career started in 1923 in France with the original Ballets Russes. Eventually Lifar made his way to the Paris Opera Ballet as lead dancer and ballet master, and was responsible for instituting ballet performances independent of operas. During this time he also created and choreographed new ballets, including “Les Creatures de Promethee” and “Icare.”

Lifar was later accused of and put on trial for being a Nazi collaborator during World War II. This resulted in him losing his position at the Paris Opera Ballet, with George Balanchine serving as his replacement. Though Lifar did eventually return, his position with Paris Opera Ballet continued to strain over the years and he was eventually forced to permanently resign in 1958. Lifar died in 1986 in Lausanne, Switzerland.

“A View of the Public Fire-Works to be exhibited on Occasion of the General Peace” architectural and instructional engraving

Collection processed by Amanda Brent.

“A View of the Public Fire-Works to be exhibited on Occasion of the General Peace” architectural and instructional engraving, created circa 1749. The engraving shows a drawing of the pavilion to be built for the celebratory fireworks performance and its written specifications. According to the specifications, the celebration would be performed as such: “At the Top of the Building, from behind the two Stars, five hundred Rockets will go off from each Place: The whole Front of the Building will display Fire Wheels, and many other Devices in various Forms and Colours, which will continue for three Hours; at the Conclusion of which, from behind the King’s Arms, at Top, six thousand Rockets will go off at once. After which the whole Building will be illuminated, and continue so five Hours more.”

“Music for the Royal Fireworks” is an orchestral suite composed by George Frideric Handel in 1749 and commissioned by King George II of England to celebrate the ending of the War of the Austrian Succession, which lasted from 1740 – 1748. The music was composed to accompany a fireworks display at a grand pavilion built specifically for the occasion in London. Unfortunately, the dress rehearsal for the performance was a greater success than the actual performance. Handel would eventually rework his music for a full orchestra, which is the version that is still performed today.

Adolph Bolm performance program clipping

Collection processed by Amanda Brent.

Performance program clipping featuring a black and white headshot photo and brief biography of Adolph Bolm, which was also signed by the dancer-choreographer. On the reverse is a photo and brief biography of another ballet dancer, Andre Eglevsky. Due to the description of Bolm as “regisseur-general of the Ballet Theatre” and creator of the 1940 ABT ballet “Peter and the Wolf,” in addition to the fact that Eglevsky performed with American Ballet Theatre in the early 1940s, this clipping likely originated from an ABT performance program. However, there is no way to completely verify this…

Adolph Bolm was a Russian-American ballet dancer and choreographer. Born in St. Petersburg, Russia in 1884, Bolm studied ballet from a young age, eventually creating his own dance troupe, as well as finding success with Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes in 1909. Bolm retired from the Ballets Russes in 1917 and went on to serve in many different capacities for a number of American ballet companies. In 1940, he assisted with opening the first season of American Ballet Theatre (ABT), then known as Ballet Theatre, in New York City, NY. Bolm served as regisseur-general (stage director) of Ballet Theatre, in addition to choreographing their January 1940 performances of Prokofiev’s “Peter and the Wolf” and another piece titled “Mechanical Ballet.” Bolm died in 1951.

George Washington letter to the officer commanding the militia in the county of Monmouth, C0381, Special Collections Research Center, George Mason University Libraries.

George Washington letter to the officer commanding the militia in the county of Monmouth

Collection processed by Liz Beckman.

One page letter written by a member of George Washington’s staff and signed by Washington requesting the assistance of the militia of Monmouth County, New Jersey in transmitting intelligence…Monmouth County, New Jersey was the site of the Battle of Monmouth in June, 1778, in which the Continental Army attacked British forces retreating across New Jersey (Stockwell, “Battle of Monmouth”). Two years after the battle, in June 1780, Colonel Tye (an escaped formerly enslaved man) and the Black Brigade, a guerilla force fighting for the British against their former enslavers, captured Barnes Smock, a leader of the Monmouth County Militia, and several of his men (“Colonel Tye,” Africans in America).

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