John Philip Sousa:
A Preliminary Inventory of His Collection at the Harry Ransom Center
Composer and bandmaster John Philip Sousa (1854-1932) was appointed director of the U.S. Marine Band on October 1, 1880. After twelve years with the Marine Band, Sousa retired to lead his own civilian concert band in 1892, which he conducted until his death in 1932.
Sousa, known as the "March King," composed over 120 marches as well as numerous operettas, suites, waltzes, instrumental solo pieces, and vocal works. While he first received acclaim in military band circles with his 1886 march "The Gladiator," he is perhaps best known for his 1896 march "The Stars and Stripes Forever," which was designated as the national march of the United States on December 10, 1987.
The John Philip Sousa Collection, ca. 1880-1969 (bulk 1910-1930), contains numerous photographs of Sousa, his bands, and other incarnations of the U.S. Marine Band, as well as bound volumes of Sousa band correspondence (1911-1931) and a band uniform worn by Sousa.
The collection was compiled by Joe E. Ward, a University of Texas graduate who also compiled the Ward Circus Collection and the Fred Waring Collection. It is arranged in the order found in the detailed typescript catalog of the Joe E. Ward Collection. The materials were divided into categories based on the format of the materials and, to some extent, the subject or purpose of the materials. This inventory acts as a key: it provides only an outline of the categories and items in the collection along with their box locations. Thus this inventory must be used in conjunction with the typescript catalog, available in the Ransom Center Reading Room, in order to identify and request specific items from the collection. Even though large items were separated to oversize storage, references to these items appear in their proper categories with a note indicating their oversize locations.
Open for research
Erin Lawrimore, 2002; Ancelyn Krivak, 2009
Note: This brief description is an accession record. The collection is not fully processed or cataloged; no biographical sketch, descriptions of series, or indexes are available.