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Charles Ives Rare and Non-Commercial Sound Recordings

Call Number: MSS 14 HSR

Scope and Contents

This is an artificial collection of rare and unpublished recordings featuring music by Charles Ives, created as part of a project funded by the Grammy Museum in 2017 to digitize and preserve these recordings.

The majority of the recordings were unprocessed materials within Historical Sound Recordings (HSR) that had been acquired over time through various donations. These recordings were pulled from their storage locations (predominantly ML 102M, HSR Studio and B20B Basement) into this artificial collection. However, a number of recordings were also pulled from boxes 74, 75, 76, 80, 82, and 83 of The Howard and Helen Boatwright papers (MSS 93), a collection that was only minimally processed at the time this artificial collection was created. Notes have been added to the aforementioned boxes from the Boatwright Collection, in addition to the relevant item records in this finding aid, detailing this decision and ensuring the original provenance of these items is well documented.

Finally, a small number of items included in this finding aid, that were also part of the digitization project funded by the Grammy Museum in 2017, are in fact part of different collections, namely the Richard C. Burns Archive of Overtone Records (MSS 104) and Yale School of Music Tapes (HSR 4). The Richard C. Burns Archive of Overtone Records collection is fully processed. However, the finding aid for the collection currently only exists in paper form. It was decided that these materials should be included in this artificial collection in order to improve access, but that if and when the finding aid for the Richard C. Burns Archive of Overtone Records collection was added to ArchivesSpace, these items would be removed from this artificial collection. The Yale School of Music Tapes are technically on deposit with the Gilmore Music Library. The Yale School of Music maintains documentation on the location of each recording in the collection. However, no finding aid exists for the collection. It was decided that these materials should therefore remain in their existing collection but again be included in this finding aid to improve access.


  • 1924 - 2006
  • Majority of material found within 1937 - 1956





The majority of the materials in this collection have been digitized and are available to stream online. However, with the exception of recordings of John Kirkpatrick performing Ives' Concord Sonata highlighted below, for which Yale University Library has obtained the necessary permissions to stream without restriction, all other materials are only available when connected to the Yale network, either onsite at Yale or via the Yale VPN.

The following recordings of Ives's Piano Sonata No.2, "Concord, Mass, 1840-1860," performed by John Kirkpatrick, are available to stream to the public, regardless of access location. As the various parts of these performances are spread across multiple items in the collection, the following playlists are available for each performance:

1939-01-20: World Premiere, New York Town Hall. Complete performance. Includes encore of last movement.

1939-03-24: CBS Music Hour, Keyboard Concerts, WABC. Emerson and Alcotts only.

1939-03-31: CBS Music Hour, Keyboard Concerts, WABC. Hawthorne and Thoreau only.

1939-09-28: First complete radio broadcast. Composers Forum, WNYC.

1959-10-19: Emerson only.

1969-02-07: Complete recording. Sprague Memorial Hall, Yale University.

Related Collection


15 Linear Feet (30 boxes; 440 sound recordings)

Catalog Record

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

Persistent URL

Box numbering

The core set of boxes in this collection are numbered 103 through 118. The boxes were originally added to MSS 14, Charles Ives Papers, and assigned these numbers which were the next in the box sequence for that collection. However, it was subsequently decided that MSS 14 HSR should be its own collection, seperate from MSS 14. The assigned box numbers however had already been included in various metadata files for the materials during the digitization process of those items. It was decided therefore that the box numbering should be retained.
Jonathan Manton
Language of description
Funded (in part) by a grant from the GRAMMY Museum.

Repository Details

Part of the Yale University Music Library Repository

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