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Salem Oratorio Society Records

Salem Oratorio Society Records

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Open Finding Aid

SALEM ORATORIO SOCIETY RECORDS, 1868-1943





Collection Summary

Repository:The Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum 132 Essex Street Salem, MA 01970 Phone: 978-745-9500 Fax: 978-531-1516
Creator:Salem Oratorio Society (Salem, Mass.)
Title:Salem Oratorio Society Records
Dates:1868/1943
Quantity:2 linear feet (4 boxes, 1 volume)
Abstract:The Salem Oratorio Society Records include minutes, bylaws, treasurer's reports, membership lists, announcements, programs, tickets, and photographs.
Collection Number:MSS 250

Series List


SERIES I. Administrative Records
SERIES II. Financial Records
SERIES III. Membership Records
SERIES IV. Publicity and Programs
SERIES V. Miscellaneous

Scope and Content Note

The Salem Oratorio Society Records include minutes, bylaws, treasurer's reports, membership lists, announcements, programs, tickets, and photographs. The collection has been divided into five series.


Series I. Administrative Records includes two record books containing minutes of meetings from 1870 to 1909; the President's report for the year 1893, the 20th anniversary of the Society's incorporation; and bylaws from 1872 to 1929.


Series II. Financial Records consists of treasurer's reports from 1878 through 1907; an account book, and a book of checkbook stubs.


Series III. Membership Records includes lists of members for the years 1868 through 1909.


Series IV. Publicity and Programs includes a scrapbook containing newspaper clippings, reports, programs, tickets, etc.; announcements and programs; and one envelope containing tickets.


Series V. Miscellaneous contains correspondence; testimonials to Carl Zerrahn; two programs for the 70th anniversary in 1938; miscellaneous related material such as publicity on guest artists; music for an Old Folks Concert; programs for other Essex County Choral Societies such as the Newton Musical Association, the Handel and Haydn Society, the Boston Symphony Players, the Newburyport Choral Union, the Gloucester Choral Association, the Lynn Oratorio Society, and the Marblehead Vocal Society; two rolled photos of the 70th anniversary celebration on March 24, 1938 and a list of people appearing in the photo. It also includes a leather book cover stamped "Salem Oratorio Society."


Historical Sketch

The Salem Oratorio Society was formed on November 17, 1868 and was incorporated on July 7, 1873. Francis H. Lee was the most active in organizing the society and Professor D. B. Hagar was the first president. The purpose of the organization was to promote education in the higher departments of the science and practice of music. It had about 300 members at its inception.


The first concert, a performance of Haydn's Creation, was given on February 11, 1869, and the second was a repetition of this same work on March 17, 1869. The first season closed with a miscellaneous concert on April 23rd.


Most concerts were presented at Mechanic Hall at the corner of Essex and Crombie Streets in Salem, until it was destroyed by fire in 1905. Concerts were given under the auspices of the Society in Salem by the Boston Symphony Orchestra during the seasons of 1883-1884, 1884-1885, and 1892-1893; by the Cecelia Society of Boston, season of 1892-1893; and by the Walter Damrosch Orchestra, season of 1892-1893.


The most recent item in the collection is a program dated 1943, the 75th Diamond Jubilee season. It is not known when the society disbanded.


Index Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in Philcat. Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons, or places should search the catalog using these headings.

Zerrahn, Carl, 1826-1909
Choral societies
Concerts
Music
Societies
Salem (Mass.)

Restrictions

Restrictions on Access

This collection is open for research use.


Administrative Information

Copyright

Requests for permission to publish material from the collection must be submitted in writing to the Manuscript Librarian in the Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum.

Preferred Citation

Salem Oratorio Society Records, MSS 250, Phillips Library, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Mass.

Provenance

The provenance of this collection is unknown. The 70th Anniversary programs (B4 F4) were a 1938 gift of Willis H. Ropes. A Joshua Phippen concert program was removed to MSS 242.

Processing Information

Collection processed by Marion Clark, July 1990. Updated by Tamara Gaydos, November 2015.


Related Material

Osgood, Charles S., and H. M. Batchelder. Historical Sketch of Salem 1626-1879. Salem: Essex Institute, 1879.


Whipple, George M. "A Sketch of the Musical Societies of Salem." Essex Institute Historical Collections. Salem: Essex Institute, Vol. 23, 1886.


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