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Wagner-Jenkins Correspondence

Call Number: Misc. Ms. 345

Scope and Contents

The collection consists chiefly of correspondence between the families of the composer Richard Wagner and Dr. Newell Sill Jenkins. The Wagner family is represented by letters from Richard Wagner, his wife Cosima, and their children Siegfried and Eva, as well as Daniela von Bülow (Cosima's daughter by her previous marriage to Hans von Bülow). Only two of the letters are by Richard Wagner, but they are of particular interest; both dated 1880, they discuss his interest in visiting the United States or even moving there permanently, explaining that he would require a million dollars to do so. Jenkins tried to support Wagner's schemes, but they never came to fruition.

The original letters are accompanied by typed transcriptions, as well as English translations of the German-language letters. The collection also includes two Bayreuth performance schedules and two 20th-century articles.


  • 1874 - 1891


Language of Materials

In English and German.

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open to researchers by appointment. There are no restricted materials in the collection. Please contact the Special Collections staff to schedule an appointment.

Conditions Governing Use

The Wagner-Jenkins Correspondence is the physical property of the Irving S. Gilmore Music Library of Yale University. Copyrights belong to the composers and authors, or their legal heirs and assigns.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Newell Jenkins (grandson of Newell Sill Jenkins) in 1986.


Arranged in two series: I. Correspondence. II. Miscellaneous printed material.


0.5 Linear Feet (1 box)

Catalog Record

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

Persistent URL


Correspondence between the families of Richard Wagner and Newell Sill Jenkins.

Biographical / Historical

Dr. Newell Sill Jenkins (1840-1919) was an American dentist who spent most of his career in Europe, practicing chiefly in Dresden. He had many notable patients, including the composer Richard Wagner and his family. The Wagner family and the Jenkins family became friends, and they exchanged many letters. For more information about Dr. Jenkins, see John M. Hyson, Jr., "Dr. Newell Sill Jenkins: Progenitor of Cosmetic Dentistry," Journal of the California Dental Association,Vol. 31, No. 8, August, 2003, pp. 626-629. Dr. Jenkins was the grandfather of the American conductor Newell Jenkins (1915-1996).

Register to the Wagner-Jenkins Correspondence
Compiled by Richard Boursy
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Gilmore Music Library Repository

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