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Arthur L. Williams papers


Arthur L. Williams papers
Williams, Arthur L
Collection number:
2.75 linear feet
Bulk dates:
Inclusive dates:
Collection Area:
Special Collections in Performing Arts
Special Collections in Performing Arts, Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library, Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742. Contact the curator:

Arthur L. Williams was an active researcher and musician. He was appointed to the faculty of the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music in 1928 and founded the Ohio Intercollegiate Band Festival and the Ohio School Orchestra Contests in 1929. In 1950, Williams was elected to the American Bandmaster's Association (ABA) and served as chairman of ABA Research Sub-Committee on Band Research Study Topics. The collection contains Williams' correspondence with ABA members regarding band research. Included are also programs from ABA conventions, music pamphlets, and his personal research on Percy Grainger.

Important Information for Users of the Collection


The collection is open for research use.

Preferred citation:

Arthur L. Williams papers, Special Collections, University of Maryland Libraries.

Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Publication rights:

Materials from this collection must be used in the Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library's Irving and Margery Morgan Lowens Special Collections Room, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday. Contact the curator for an appointment:


This collection is PROCESSED.

Historical Note

Arthur Lyman Williams was born on April 21, 1902 in Oberlin, Ohio. As a young man, Williams was a charter member of Jack Wainwright's Oberlin Boys Band. He earned a Bachelor of Arts from the Oberlin College of Arts and Sciences and a Bachelor of School Music from the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music in 1925. From 1932 until 1933, he was a student of Gordon Jacob at the Royal College of Music in London. In 1943, Williams also earned a Master of Arts from the Western Reserve University Graduate School (now Case Western Reserve University).

Williams was highly active in music education, especially in Ohio. After teaching high school in Michigan, Williams was appointed to the faculty of the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music in 1928. He founded the Ohio Intercollegiate Band Festival and the Ohio School Orchestra Contests in 1929. He served as President of the Ohio Music Education Association (1931-1932) and founded the state music education publication Triad. On June 23, 1932, Williams married Mary Eleanor Maltbie.

In 1950, Williams was elected to the American Bandmaster's Association (ABA) and served as chairman of ABA Research Sub-Committee on Band Research Study Topics. Williams worked closely with Paul Yoder, chairman of the ABA Research committee. In addition to his duties with ABA, Williams served as the official representative for History and Tradition of the band in Ohio. Williams died on February 19, 1973.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Arthur L. Williams papers cover the period from 1914-1972; the bulk dates of the materials date from 1935-1970. The papers consist of both personal and professional papers including correspondence, programs, pamphlets, ABA Convention materials, and articles relating to Williams' personal interest in Ohio band history, Percy Grainger, and the ABA Research Sub-Committee on Band Research Study Topics.

Custodial History and Acquisition Information


Processing Information

Processed by:

Processed by Caitlyn Callahan, March 2008.

Encoded by:

EAD markup created using EAD database in Microsoft Access. Markup completed by Mary Crauderueff, February 2009.

Detailed Description of the Collection

Series 1: Correspondence, 1962-1970 (21 folders)

This series contains correspondence with various ABA members arranged in alphabetical order. Much of the correspondence is regarding Williams' position as chairman of ABA Research Sub-Committee on Band Research Study Topics.

DescriptionSeriesBox / ReelFolder / Frame
ABA Bulletins, 1952-1965 series 1box 1folder 1
ABA Membership, 1955-1964 series 1box 1folder 2
ABA Memos from Williams, 1967-1969 series 1box 1folder 3
ABA/MENC Collections, 1969-1970 series 1box 1folder 4
ABA Officers, 1953-1964 series 1box 1folder 5
ABA Research Center, 1967-1969 series 1box 1folder 6
Band Research Study Topics, 1970 series 1box 1folder 7
Brandenburg, 1968-1970 series 1box 1folder 8
Council for Research in Music Education, 1965-1970 series 1box 1folder 9
Herbert W. Fred, 1968-1969 series 1box 1folder 10
Capt. Dale Harpham, 1969-1970 series 1box 1folder 11
Robert John- ABA, 1968-1969 series 1box 1folder 12
Paul Lehman- ABA Research Center, 1968-1970 series 1box 1folder 13
James Neilson- ABA, 1967-1970 series 1box 1folder 14
Ostwald Contest, 1957-1965 series 1box 1folder 15
John Phillip Sousa Memorial- Autographed Letters, 1970 series 1box 1folder 16
Gale Sperry- Journal of Band Research, 1969-1970 series 1box 1folder 17
Everett Timm, 1968-1969 series 1box 1folder 18
Various, 1957-1960 series 1box 1folder 19
Paul Yoder, 1964-1970 series 1box 1folder 20
Miscellaneous Correspondence, 1924-1971 series 1box 1folder 21

Series 2: ABA Convention Materials, 1931-1972 (31 folders)

This series of 31 folders contains souvenir programs, concert programs, and event schedules for ABA Conventions that occurred between 1931 and 1972. Included in the series are materials from the ABA sponsored Sousa Memorial.

DescriptionSeriesBox / ReelFolder / Frame
ABA 2nd Convention, 1931 series 2box 2folder 1
ABA 3rd Convention, 1932 series 2box 2folder 2
ABA 14th Convention, 1948 series 2box 2folder 3
ABA 16th Convention, 1950 series 2box 2folder 4
ABA 17th Convention, 1951 series 2box 2folder 5
ABA 18th Convention, 1952 series 2box 2folder 6
ABA 19th Convention, 1953 series 2box 2folder 7
ABA 20th Convention, 1954 series 2box 2folder 8
ABA 21st Convention, 1955 series 2box 2folder 9
ABA 22nd Convention, 1956 series 2box 2folder 10
ABA 23rd Convention, 1957 series 2box 2folder 11
ABA 24th Convention, 1958 series 2box 2folder 12
ABA 26th Convention, 1960 series 2box 2folder 13
ABA 27th Convention, 1961 series 2box 2folder 14
ABA 28th Convention, 1962 series 2box 2folder 15
ABA 29th Convention, 1963 series 2box 2folder 16
ABA 30th Convention, 1964 series 2box 2folder 17
ABA 31st Convention, 1965 series 2box 2folder 18
Washington DC Convention/Sousa Memorial, 1965 series 2box 2folder 19
Convention Materials- Sousa, 1965 series 2box 2folder 20
ABA 32nd Convention, 1966 series 2box 2folder 21
ABA 33rd Convention, 1967 series 2box 2folder 22
ABA 34th Convention, 1968 series 2box 2folder 23
ABA 35th Convention, 1969 series 2box 2folder 24
ABA 36th Convention, 1970 series 2box 2folder 25
Convention Materials, 1970 series 2box 3folder 1
ABA 37th Convention, 1971 series 2box 3folder 2
Convention Materials, 1971 series 2box 3folder 3
ABA 38th Convention, 1972 series 2box 3folder 4
Conventions 1950's- 1960's, 1950-1960 series 2box 3folder 5
Conventions 1950's- 1970's, 1950-1970 series 2box 3folder 6

Series 3: School Curriculum, 1935-1969 (8 folders)

This series of four folders contains teaching guides and programs relating to school curriculum. Included are lists of books about music, an instrumental music guide, and a Highlights magazine.

DescriptionSeriesBox / ReelFolder / Frame
Music Teaching Material Catalogs, 1935-1961 series 3box 4folder 1
Highlights Magazine, 1967 series 3box 4folder 2
Testing, 1927-1959 series 3box 4folder 3
General Catalogs, 1969 series 3box 4folder 4
Workshops/Education, 1950-1964 series 3box 4folder 5
Education Materials, 1968 series 3box 4folder 6
Teaching guides, 1940-1964 series 3box 4folder 7
Lecture Materials, 1945-1961 series 3box 4folder 8

Series 4: Research Materials, 1947-1971 (7 folders)

This seven folder series consists mainly of discussion and input to a list of band research doctoral dissertation topics. There are also music review journals, a serial journal, and a Catalogue of the Stearns Collection of Musical Instruments.

DescriptionSeriesBox / ReelFolder / Frame
ABA Research Center, 1947-1969 series 4box 4folder 9
ABA Topics, 1966-1970 series 4box 4folder 10
ABA Research Center Reports, 1963-1971 series 4box 4folder 11
Music Review Journals, 1954-1966 series 4box 4folder 12
Serial Journal, undated series 4box 5folder 1
Catalogue of the Stearns Collection of Musical Instruments by Albert A. Stanley (book 1920; given to Arthur L Williams 1936), 1920 series 4box 5folder 2
Other research, undated series 4box 5folder 3

Series 5: Percy Grainger Files, 1942-1972 (7 folders)

This series contains seven folders that include programs of Oberlin concerts with music by Percy Grainger, correspondence between Arthur L. Williams and Percy and Ella Grainger, photographs of Percy Grainger, and music by Percy Grainger. The series outlines interaction between Arthur L. Williams, Oberlin, and Percy Grainger.

DescriptionSeriesBox / ReelFolder / Frame
Biography and Music Notes, 1969 series 5box 5folder 4
Programs, 1942-1970 series 5box 5folder 5
Correspondence, 1944-1972 series 5box 5folder 6
Photographs, undated series 5box 6folder 1
Articles, 1944-1952 series 5box 6folder 2
Publications, 1938-1962 series 5box 6folder 3
Music, 1962-1965 series 5box 6folder 4

Series 6: Clippings, Brochures, and Newsletters, 1914-1971 (11 folders)

This series of eight folders contains newspaper, magazine, photo, and program clippings related to music. Also included are various pamphlets on subjects such as music education, music therapy, and music camps.

DescriptionSeriesBox / ReelFolder / Frame
Pamphlets and Brochures, 1945-1969 series 6box 6folder 5
Newspaper Clippings, 1963-1968 series 6box 6folder 6
Magazine Clippings, 1915-1967 series 6box 6folder 7
Articles, 1914-1967 series 6box 6folder 8
Music and Music Catalogues, undated series 6box 6folder 9
ASCAP, 1963-1964 series 6box 6folder 10
Programs, 1933-1970 series 6box 6folder 11
G. Schirmer Newsletter, 1964-1965 series 6box 6folder 12
Boosey and Hawkes Newsletter, 1965-1968 series 6box 6folder 13
Music Herald, 1931 series 6box 6folder 14
Young Audiences, 1960-1964 series 6box 6folder 15

Series 7: Oberlin College Band, 1928-1969 (6 folders)

This series of six folders contains information surrounding the Oberlin College Band. Included in the series are programs from Oberlin band concerts, photographs, and administrative documents. Also included is a script from a radio show featuring the Oberlin College Band and other ensembles.

DescriptionSeriesBox / ReelFolder / Frame
Programs and Paraphernalia, 1928-1941 series 7box 6folder 16
Photographs, 1930-1941 series 7box 6folder 17
Band Administration Documents, 1929-1938 series 7box 6folder 18
Clippings, 1935-1966 series 7box 6folder 19
Radio Script, 1930 series 7box 6folder 20
Professional Development, 1938-1955 series 7box 6folder 21

Related Material

The Arthur Williams Collection is part of the American Bandmasters Association (ABA) Research Center.

For other related archival and manuscript collections, please see the following subject guides.