Archives Center, National Museum of American History

Guide to the Warshaw Collection of Business Americana Subject Categories: Music

Collection ID:
Warshaw, Isadore, 1900-1969
circa 1778-1968
Collection is in
; some materials in
. Other languages may be present.
Physical Description:
8.45 Cubic feet
consisting of 18 boxes, 5 folders, 8 oversize folders, 1 map case folder, 1 flat box (partial).
A New York bookseller, Warshaw assembled this collection over nearly fifty years. The Warshaw Collection of Business Americana: Music forms part of the Warshaw Collection of Business Americana, Subseries 1.1: Subject Categories. The Subject Categories subseries is divided into 470 subject categories based on those created by Mr. Warshaw. These subject categories include topical subjects, types or forms of material, people, organizations, historical events, and other categories. An overview to the entire Warshaw collection is available here: Warshaw Collection of Business Americana

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
This material consists of sheet music covers, concert programs, bills, receipts, printed advertisements, import/export documents, business cards, catalogues, songbooks, journals, newsletters, information on music schools and instructors, scattered correspondence on letterhead stationary, photographs, caricatures and lithographs of individual musicians, composers and lyricists of the late 19th and early 20th century. There is material pertaining to Gilbert & Sullivan; images, concert programs, and advertisements for their operettas, including Japanese images from the Mikado. There is biographical information on the Arthur Tams Music Library with catalogues from his collection, business correspondence with G. Schirmer and others and the James Madison Americana Collection. There are unique images of musical instruments, catalogues and advertisements for their manufacturers; mechanical musical instruments, music boxes, phonographs and even a few radio and Muzak programs. This material spans a century, beginning in the 1840's. Its images chronicle the inventions of the automobile and the airplane, and the rapid industrial and life-style changes of that time period.

The bulk of the material is arranged topically, the rest is organized by company name. Sheet music publishers and musical and mechanical music instrument manufacturers, dealers and importers are in Boxes 1- 7. Boxes 6-7 contain a large amount of information from one particular dealer, the Arthur W. Tams Music Library. Box 8 contains information on manufacturers and dealers of Phonographs and records. Boxes 1-8 are arranged by company name. In the remainder of Box 8 and in Boxes 9- 10, there are programs, concerts tickets and curriculum pertaining to music schools, private instructors of music and voice, music clubs, societies and unions. Boxes 10-13 contain concert programs of musical performances that are organized by their geographic location or type of performance. Under the topic heading solo performances in Boxes 12-13 are handbills , programs and ads for individual performances and music luminaries including Gilbert & Sullivan and Stephen Foster. Box 14 holds general works which consists of images of musical instruments and musicians, correspondence trade cards, patents, import/export documents and hand-written music notation. Related publications are in Boxes 15-17 and are organized by type of material. Songbooks and lyric sheets are in Box 15. Periodical publications including journals and catalogues are in Box 16. The remainder of the related publications are divided by size and grouped into books, notebooks, essays and pamphlets in Box 17.

Vanessa Broussard-Simmons and Nicole Blechynden
Funding for partial processing of the collection was supported by a grant from the Smithsonian Institution's Collections Care and Preservation Fund (CCPF).
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Music is a portion of the Business Ephemera Series of the Warshaw Collection of Business Americana, Accession AC0060 purchased from Isadore Warshaw in 1967. Warshaw continued to accumulate similar material until his death, which was donated in 1971 by his widow, Augusta. For a period after acquisition, related materials from other sources (of mixed provenance) were added to the collection so there may be content produced or published after Warshaw's death in 1969. This practice has since ceased.
Processing Information
In 2016, with funding provided by the Smithsonian Institution's Collections Care and Preservation Fund, the Archives Center at the National Museum of American History implemented the use of minimal level processing standards to increase information about and facilitate access to more of our collections. A large portion of stored material from the original acquisition received minimal level processing, which resulted in additions to this Subject category. This effort included basic arrangement and replacement of non-archival housing for long-term stability, but staples and other fasteners have not all been removed. Revisions to the encoded finding aid were made to reflect the added content in context to the previously processed material.
Minimal level processing and enhancement of the machine-readable finding aid completed by Nicole Blechynden, September 2017.

Digital Content
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Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
Collection is open for research. Some items may be restricted due to fragile condition.
Conditions Governing Use
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Preferred Citation
Warshaw Collection of Business Americana Subject Categories: Music, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution

Materials in the Archives Center
Materials in the Archives Center
Archives Center Collection of Business Americana (AC0404)

Forms Part Of

Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Ephemera Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Business ephemera Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
P.O. Box 37012
Suite 1100, MRC 601
Washington, D.C. 20013-7012