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The Henry Gilbert Papers

Call Number: MSS 35
Scope and Contents
The Henry Gilbert Papers contain manuscript and published music by Gilbert and others, correspondence, clippings, programs, scrapbooks, financial and legal items, musical games, writings by Gilbert and others, biographical material, photographs, and miscellaneous items. Their dates range from 1821 to 1980; most were created between the late nineteenth century and Gilbert's death in 1928.

The largest series in the Papers is music. There are manuscript and published musical works by Gilbert covering several genres: opera and incidental, orchestra, band, chamber and instrumental, songs, voice and instrumental ensemble, choral, and keyboard. The subseries Music by Others contains Gilbert's arrangements and transcriptions of music by others; manuscript and published works by his father, Benjamin Franklin Gilbert (1828-1894), and uncle, James L. Gilbert; and miscellaneous music by others.

The bulk of the correspondence is from others to Gilbert, spanning from 1885 to 1928. It includes letters from many of Gilbert's contemporaries in music and literature, such as Percy Atherton, Joseph Breil, Clarence Birchard, Charles Wakefield Cadman, John Alden Carpenter, George Whitefield Chadwick, Robert W. Chanler, Frederick W. Converse, Oscar Coon, Edward S. Curtis, Arthur Farwell, Lawrence Gilman, Henry Hadley, Maud Cuney Hare, Edward Burlingame Hill, Otto Kahn, Edgar Stillman Kelley, Serge Koussevitzky, Charles Martin Loeffler, Edward and Marian MacDowell, Frederick Manley, Ivan Narodny, George Turner Phelps, Edwin Carty Ranck, Edward Arlington Robinson, Thomas P. Robinson, Carl Ruggles, César Saerchinger, Bertram Shapleigh, Cecil Sharp, Arthur Shepherd, Alexander Smallens, Walter F. Spalding, Carl Stoeckel, the Wa-Wan Press, and Arthur Whiting. The correspondence from Gilbert to others consists of about 400 copies of typed letters and drafts from 1891 to 1928. There are also about 250 letters between Gilbert and his family dating from 1881 to 1927. Two subseries concern Gilbert's collaboration with Edward S. Curtis (1911-1920) and his association with the New Music Society of America (1906). The remainder of the correspondence is mostly between Gilbert's wife, Helen Kalischer Gilbert, and one of his daughters, Tessie Gilbert Horton, and others.

Henry Gilbert invented several musical games, which he had patented. The games, their instructions, and patents are included among the Papers.

There are about fifty lectures and articles by Gilbert, mostly in manuscript, pertaining to music as well as other subjects. Also included are twenty-nine of Gilbert's diaries and address books from 1882 until 1928. Gilbert's notebooks bridge his childhood to adulthood (1875-1927). There are thirty-five notebooks which include notes for music as well as school, thoughts and ideas, natural history, minerals, and butterflies.

Five photograph albums contain photographs of Gilbert, his family, and friends. The album dating from 1904-1925 contains photographs from the MacDowell Colony of people such as Aaron Copland, Mabel Daniels, Edward Burlingame Hill, Edgar Stillman Kelley, Marian MacDowell, Edwin Carty Ranck, and Edward Arlington Robinson. There are also over three hundred loose photographs of Gilbert and others.

Among the miscellaneous items are two oil portraits by Robert W. Chanler and Frank Waldo Murray and a plaster death mask of Gilbert.

The bulk of the Henry F. Gilbert Papers consists of five gifts from Mr. and Mrs. Philip C. Horton (Gilbert's daughter and her husband): December 27, 1968 (3 boxes); July 3, 1969 (20 boxes); December 18, 1976 (6 boxes, including the papers of Benjamin Franklin Gilbert and James L. Gilbert); December 18, 1978 (2 boxes); and May 27, 1981 (17 boxes, a suitcase, and a violin case). Mr. Philip Horton gave the Yale University Music Library for deposit, 21 boxes and loose items, including two portraits, on November 9, 1982.
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 Henry Gilbert Papers are 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
The Henry Gilbert Papers were established in the Music Library of Yale University by Mr. and Mrs. Philip C. Horton in 1968.
In 14 series as follows: I. Music. II. Music by Others. III. Correspondence. IV. Clippings. V. Programs. VI. Scrapbooks. VII. Financial and Legal Items. VIII. Musical Games. IX. Writings. X. Biographical Material. XI. Photographs. XII. Engraver's Plates. XIII. Sound Recordings. XIV. Miscellaneous Items.
1821-1980 (inclusive)
37.2 Linear Feet (93 boxes)
Related Names
Gilbert, Henry F. B. (Henry Franklin Belknap), 1868-1928
Language of Materials
Language of Materials