Collection Stored Off-Site

All or portions of this collection are housed off-site. Materials can still be requested but researchers should expect a delay of up to two business days for retrieval.

Series 1
Correspondence, 1921-1990
Boxes 1 - 9

Scope and Content Note

The series consists of the correspondence of William Levi Dawson from 1921 to 1990. The correspondence series contains the majority of Dawson's correspondence, including his letters from family, friends, admirers, and professional contacts. Although letters and telegrams make up the majority of the series, some correspondence may also include newspaper clippings, travel itineraries, photographs and copies of sheet music. Occasionally, Dawson's replies are clipped to the original letter.

General and family correspondence form the two subseries within the Correspondence series. The general correspondence subseries contains the bulk of the material and documents Dawson's professional activities, including the premiere of the Negro Folk Symphony in 1934 and various guest conducting engagements. Letters from friends and other individuals are scattered throughout the subseries; prominent correspondents include Ralph Ellison, James Spady, and Leopold Stokowski. The general correspondence has some significant gaps, particularly from 1937-1960, during the years Dawson was most active professionally, and from 1970-1980. There is also very little correspondence related to Dawson's activities at Tuskegee or Fisk University. The family correspondence subseries mostly includes letters between Dawson and his wife Cecile during Dawson's travels to Spain, Africa, and New York.

A major grouping of correspondence not in the correspondence series is located in the music publishing series and contains all correspondence concerning Dawson's music publishing ventures, including royalty payments, music publishing houses, and copyright litigation.

Arrangement Note

The series is divided into two subseries: (1.1) General correspondence and (1.2) Family correspondence.

Scope and Content Note The series consists of the correspondence of William Levi Dawson from 1921 to 1990. The correspondence series contains the majority of Dawson's correspondence, including his letters from family, friends, admirers, and professional contacts. Although letters and telegrams make up the majority of the series, some correspondence may also include newspaper clippings, travel itineraries, photographs and copies of sheet music. Occasionally, Dawson's replies are clipped to the original letter. General and family correspondence form the two subseries within the Correspondence series. The general correspondence subseries contains the bulk of the material and documents Dawson's professional activities, including the premiere of the Negro Folk Symphony in 1934 and various guest conducting engagements. Letters from friends and other individuals are scattered throughout the subseries; prominent correspondents include Ralph Ellison, James Spady, and Leopold Stokowski. The general correspondence has some significant gaps, particularly from 1937-1960, during the years Dawson was most active professionally, and from 1970-1980. There is also very little correspondence related to Dawson's activities at Tuskegee or Fisk University. The family correspondence subseries mostly includes letters between Dawson and his wife Cecile during Dawson's travels to Spain, Africa, and New York. A major grouping of correspondence not in the correspondence series is located in the music publishing series and contains all correspondence concerning Dawson's music publishing ventures, including royalty payments, music publishing houses, and copyright litigation.

Description of Subseries

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