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Raymond Hamrick papers, 1950-2002

Emory University

Pitts Theology Library

1531 Dickey Drive, Suite 560

Atlanta, GA 30322


Permanent link: http://pid.emory.edu/ark:/25593/gsd09

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Hamrick, Raymond.
Title: Raymond Hamrick papers, 1950-2002
Call Number:Manuscript Collection No. 323
Extent: 3.7 cubic feet (9 boxes)
Abstract:Contains correspondence, writings, subject files, and newsletters reflecting Hamrick's long-standing involvement with the Sacred Harp tradition in north Georgia.
Language:Materials entirely in English.

Administrative Information

Restrictions on Access

Unrestricted access.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

All requests subject to limitations noted in departmental policies on reproduction.


[after identification of item(s)], Raymond Hamrick Papers, Archives and Manuscript Dept., Pitts Theology Library, Emory University.


Processed by Aimee Morgan, 2005.

Collection Description

Biographical Note

Raymond Hamrick, a resident of Macon, Georgia, is a prominent figure in the Sacred Harp singing tradition. Sacred Harp is a participant-centered style of sacred music in which a four-part chorus sings without accompaniment. It takes its name from the hymnal around which it is based.

Hamrick first became involved with Sacred Harp following his return from military service in World War II. He is the composer of several tunes in the 1991 edition of The Sacred Harp. He has written for numerous Sacred Harp newsletters and for The Quarterly Journal of Music Teaching and Learning. His personal library of shape-note hymnals was added to the special collections of Pitts Theology Library in 2005.

Scope and Content Note

Raymond Hamrick’s papers reflect his long-standing involvement with the Sacred Harp tradition in north Georgia as singer, scholar, and composer. Of particular interest is Hamrick’s correspondence with other prominent Sacred Harp personalities, including A. Marcus Cagle and Hugh McGraw. These letters provide insight into musical aspects of the Sacred Harp tradition as well as the strong sense of community among Sacred Harp singers. The Cagle correspondence folders include some manuscript copies of original music by Cagle. Several folders of correspondence document the development of Hamrick’s hymnal collection. Hamrick also corresponded often with scholars who were interested in the Sacred Harp tradition, and frequently loaned rare hymnals from his collection to scholars for research use. The bulk of the correspondence in Hamrick’s papers is incoming, but there are some drafts and copies of letters he sent to others.

There are also copies of articles on Sacred Harp by Hamrick and others, as well as a copy of Charles Ellington’s 1969 dissertation on Sacred Harp. Hamrick collected newsletters produced by Sacred Harp singing groups, most notably the National Sacred Harp newsletter and the newsletter of the Chicago Sacred Harp Singers. Extensive clippings of news articles on Sacred Harp are found in Hamrick’s subject files. The subject files also include information on early Sacred Harp composers William Billings, Jesse Mercer, and B.F. Hamilton, as well as an undated list of hymnals in Hamrick’s personal library.

Also included with the papers is a reproduction of a chart compiled by Raymond Hamrick, which traces the development of white spirituals in the United States.

Container List

Correspondence, 1950-2002
Box Folder Content
1 1 Bean, Shirley Ann, 1968-1993
1 2 Bradley, C. Lee, 1977-2001
1 3 Brittain, Dan, 1972-1997
1 4 Britton, Allen J., 1960
1 5-11 Cagle, A. Marcus, 1958-1969
1 12 Cobb, Buell, 1973-1993
2 1 Davidson, Donald, 1956-1957
2 2 Edwards, Ruth Denison, 1972-1974
2 3 Ellington, Charles Linwood, 1964-1968
2 4 Eskew, Harry, 1986-2002
2 5-6 Garst, John, 1965-1991
2 7 Hartzler, J.W., 1961-1963
2 8 Horn, Dorothy, 1961-1963
2 9-10 Hymnal Collection, Sources, 1958-1968
3 1-2 Hymnal Collection, Sources, 1958-1968
3 3 Jackson, George Pullen, 1950-1956
3 4 Jensen, David, 1983-1985
3 5 John, Robert, 1969-1987
3 6 Johnson, Mark, 1994-1995
3 7 Library of Congress, 1963-1998
3 8 Maracco, J. Thomas, 1962
3 9-13 McGraw, Hugh, 1960-1999
4 1 McKenzie, Wallace, 1986
4 2 Miller, Priestly, 1965
4 3 Miscellaneous, 1957-2002
4 4-5 Patterson, Dan, 1977-1988
4 6 Ralston, Jack L., 1962-1967
4 7 Steel, Warren, 1986-1990
4 8 Taylor, Vernon H., 1958-1968
4 9 Vaughn, Robert, 1994
4 10 Wolfe, Irving, 1959-1961
Writings, 1953-2002
5 1 Articles by Hamrick, 1962-1996
5 2-4 Articles by Others, 1953-2002
5 5-6 Ellington, Charles Linwood, Dissertation, The Sacred Harp Tradition of the South, 1969
5 7 Michael, Daniel N., “Alphabetical Listing of Sacred Harp Composers and Authors...,” 1993
5 8 Spencer, Leonard, “The Sacred Harp and Shape-Note Tradition, 1966
Newsletters, 1985-1998
6 1-4 National Sacred Harp Newsletter, 1985-1993
6 5-7 Newsletter, Chicago Sacred Harp Singers, 1987-1998
7 1-2 Newsletter, Chicago Sacred Harp Singers, 1987-1998
7 3 Newsletters, Miscellaneous, 1986-1999
Subject Files, 1960s-2001
7 4 Billings, William, undated
7 5 Festival of American Folklife, Smithsonian Institution, 1970, 1973
7 6 Hamilton, Ga. B. F. White Historical Marker Dedication Ceremony, 1984
7 7 Hymnal Collection, List of Contents, undated
7 8 Mercer, Jesse, Material Used for Ray Brewster Book, undated
8 1 Music Collections, 1969-1976, undated
8 2-3 News Clippings, circa 1960s-2001
8 4 Sacred Harp Music Resource Lists, 1992-1994
8 5 Van Camp, Leonard, Music, undated
9 (OS) “A Chart Depicting the Basic Elements, the Birth, and the Growth of the Early American White Spirituals,” undated