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The Leroy Anderson Papers

Call Number: MSS 61

Scope and Contents

The Leroy Anderson Papers document Anderson's life and career as a composer chiefly through his music, both published and in manuscript. The Papers also contain scrapbooks and other items.


  • 1933-1988 (inclusive)


Language of Materials

Materials chiefly in English.

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. Some of the materials may be stored at the Library's off-campus shelving facility, so researchers should allow at least two business days to have the appropriate boxes paged.

Conditions Governing Use

The Leroy Anderson Papers are the physical property of the Irving S. Gilmore Music Library of Yale University. Certain materials, currently on deposit, remain the physical property of Eleanor Anderson. Copyrights belong to the composers and authors, or their legal heirs and assigns.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The Leroy Anderson Papers were established in the Music Library of Yale University by Eleanor Anderson in 1987.


In 2 series as follows: I. Music. II. Miscellaneous.


16 Linear Feet (33 boxes)

Catalog Record

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

Persistent URL


Music, scrapbooks, and additional materials by and about the American composer Leroy Anderson (1908-1975)

Biographical / Historical

Leroy Anderson was born on June 29, 1908 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. His family was musical, and as a boy he studied double bass, organ, and trombone. He continued his musical education at Harvard, where his teachers included Walter Piston and Georges Enesco; he graduated from college in 1929, and earned the M.A. in 1930. In the early 1930s he did additional graduate work in Scandinavian languages at Harvard; he also directed the Harvard Band and held numerous other musical jobs.

In 1936 Anderson arranged a medley of Harvard songs for Harvard Night at the Boston Pops. In the ensuing decades, he would become famous largely for the many pieces he composed or arranged for Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops, including Jazz Pizzicato (1938), The Syncopated Clock (1945), Sleigh Ride (1948), The Typewriter (1950), and Blue Tango (1951). By the early 1950s, Anderson's music had become extraordinarily popular; his recordings sold in the millions, and American orchestras performed his works more frequently than those of any other American composer.

Anderson later turned several of his most popular orchestral works into songs, with lyrics by Mitchell Parish; of these, Sleigh Ride has had the most lasting success. Anderson also composed a piano concerto (1953), as well as Goldilocks (1958), a Broadway musical with words by Walter and Jean Kerr and Joan Ford.

In 1942 Anderson married Eleanor Jane Firke; they had a daughter and three sons. In 1949 the family settled in Woodbury, Connecticut. Leroy Anderson died in Woodbury on May 18, 1975.
Register to The Leroy Anderson Papers
Edited Full Draft
Based on the accession inventory compiled by David Gier
Description rules
Finding Aid Prepared According To Local Music Library Descriptive Practices
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Gilmore Music Library Repository

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