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Rudolph Dunbar Papers

 Collection
Call Number: JWJ MSS 174

Scope and Contents

The Rudolph Dunbar Papers document the professional activities of clarinetist, conductor, music critic, teacher and journalist Rudolph Dunbar. Series in this collection include Correspondence, Professional Papers, Photographs and Other Papers. Among those represented in the correspondence series include Coretta Scott King, Eslanda Robeson, and British parliament member Robert Allan. Professional papers include press releases, German propaganda of African Americans during World War II, and music programs from Dunbar's performancesas a music conductor. Photographs of independence day celebrations of former British colonies in Africa and the Caribbean make up a large portion of the photographs alongside highlights of Dunbar's music career as a conductor and teacher. Photographs also include dignitaries and celebrities of the day such as Kwame Nkrumah, Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Phillip and Jesse Owens.

Dates

  • 1938–1986

Creator

Language of Materials

In English.

Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The Rudolph Dunbar Papers is the physical property of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. For further information, consult the appropriate curator.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Rudolph Dunbar, 1974-1986.

Arrangement

Organized into four series: I. Correspondence, 1938-1977 II. Professional Papers, 1944-1984 III. Photographs, 1940-1975 IV. Other Papers, 1963-1986.

Extent

2.50 Linear Feet (10 boxes)

Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL

http://hdl.handle.net/10079/fa/beinecke.dunbarr

Overview

The Rudolph Dunbar Papers document the professional activities of clarinetist, conductor, music critic, teacher and journalist Rudolph Dunbar. Series in this collection include Correspondence, Professional Papers, Photographs and Other Papers. Among those represented in the correspondence series include Coretta Scott King, Eslanda Robeson, and British parliament member Robert Allan. Professional papers include press releases, German propaganda of African Americans during World War II, and music programs from Dunbar's performancesas a music conductor. Photographs of independence day celebrations of former British colonies in Africa and the Caribbean make up a large portion of the photographs alongside highlights of Dunbar's music career as a conductor and teacher. Photographs also include dignitaries and celebrities of the day such as Kwame Nkrumah, Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Phillip and Jesse Owens.

Rudolph Dunbar (1899-1988)

The musician Rudolph Dunbar was born in Nabacalis, British Guiana (now known as Guyana). While Dunbar gave various dates throughout his career, records of the Danish Immigration Office file V. 76420 of March 1929, and various ship passenger lists show that his actual birthdate is April 5, 1899. Dunbar held many positions throughout his life including clarinetist, music critic, orchestra conductor, music teacher and journalist.

Dunbar began his musical career as a clarinetist in 1912 while in the British Guiana Militia band. He later moved to the United States in 1919 to study music composition, piano, and clarinet playing at the Institute of Musical Art (Now the Julliard School). After graduation, Dunbar continued his musical education in France, Germany, and Austria. He studied music composition with Paul Vidal, clarinet playing with Louis Cahuzac as well as conducting with Phillip Gaubert and Felix Weingartner. In 1931, Dunbar created the Rudolph Dunbar School of Clarinet Playing in London, England. In 1942, he became the first musician of African descent to conduct the London Philharmonic Orchestra at the noted Royal Albert Hall in London, England. Other noted orchestras Dunbar conducted include the Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Berliner Philharmoniker Orchestra. Dunbar was also the London correspondent for the Associated Negro Press and reported information of Great Britain during World War II. A journalist throughout his life, he also documented the independence of several African and Caribbean countries from British colonial rule. Dunbar continued his career as a musician and journalist until his death in London, England on June 10, 1988.

Processing Information

Former call numbers: JWJ MSS Small Collections, Uncat JWJ MSS Rudolph Dunbar, Uncat JWJ MS 13, JWJ Zan Dunbar, R., 1979 Folio 79, and 1984 Folio 26.
Title
Guide to the Rudolph Dunbar Papers
Status
Completed
Author
by Afua Ferdnance
Date
February 2017
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Repository

Contact:
P. O. Box 208330
New Haven CT 06520-8330 US
(203) 432-2977

Location

121 Wall Street
New Haven, CT 06511

Opening Hours

Access Information

The Beinecke Library is open to all Yale University students and faculty, and visiting researchers whose work requires use of its special collections. You will need to bring appropriate photo ID the first time you register. Beinecke is a non-circulating, closed stack library. Paging is done by library staff during business hours. You can request collection material online at least two business days in advance of your visit, using the request links in Archives at Yale. For more information, please see Planning Your Research Visit and consult the Reading Room Policies prior to visiting the library.