Guide to the Sam DeVincent Collection of Illustrated American Sheet Music, Series 2: Armed Forces
Digitized Content

Summary
Collection ID:
NMAH.AC.0300.S02
Creators:
DeVincent, Sam, 1918-1997
Dates:
circa 1810-1980
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
62 Boxes
Repository:
Sam DeVincent loved music and art and began collecting sheet music with lithographs at an early age. Series 2: Armed Forces contains circa 3,400 pieces of sheet music and song folios documenting the military history of the United States; there are only a handful of foreign imprints. An overview to the entire DeVincent collection is available here: Sam DeVincent Collection of Illustrated American Sheet Music.

Scope and Contents note
Scope and Contents note
The Armed Forces series contains circa 3,400 pieces of sheet music and song folios documenting the military history of the United States; there are only a handful of foreign imprints. The World War I subseries (2.4) is particularly impressive with circa 1,150 items. The Post-World War II subseries (2.6) is very small. Some additional military items can be found in the DeVincent file for Presidents of the United States.
The illustrated covers offer the military historian fine portraits of well-known officers, visual evidence about uniforms and other military regalia, and dramatic portrayals of battle scenes. The series also contains material of interest to the social and cultural historian as well as the musicologist. The changing character of the songs indicates something about the accepted public face of different eras--from the Civil War's anguished songs of youthful death to the World War II songs of near denial of the possibility of death; from the Civil War's primary relationship of the soldier boy to his mother to a World War II emphasis upon the relationship of the young service man to his girlfriend.
The material dates from circa 1810 to 1983. Many early imprints are in the armed forces series, subseries 2.1--Pre-Civil War. Most pre-1840 imprints are not dated. Estimates have been made for the dates of many early imprints by checking publisher and address of the publisher in the "Index of Publishers, Engravers and Printers" in volume III of Richard Wolfe's Secular Music in America 1801-1825: A Bibliography and in Oscar Sonneck's A Bibliography of Early Secular American Music. Several sheets that appear to be very old could not be dated by this method.
The Ephemera file, arranged in the same subseries as the sheet music, is described after the subseries. The armed forces ephemera file is placed in two document boxes numbered with the same series and subseries numbers as the sheet music.
The seven subseries in the armed forces series are arranged chronologically except for the last subseries, Naval History. These subseries includes: 2.1 Pre-Civil War; 2.2 Civil War; 2.3 Pre-World War I; 2.4 World War I; 2.5 World War II; 2.6 Post-World War II; 2.7 Naval History; 2.8 Marine Corps.

Arrangement
Arrangement
Arranged in 9 subseries.
  • 2.1: Pre-Civil War
  • 2.2: Civil War
  • 2.3: Pre-World War I
  • 2.4: World War I
  • 2.5: World War II
  • 2.6: Post -World War
  • 2.7: Naval History
  • 2.8: Marine Corps
  • 2.9: Ephemera

Administration
Immediate Source of Acquisition note
This collection was purchased by the Smithsonian Institution in 1988 from Sam and Nancy Lee DeVincent.

Digital Content
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Using the Collection
Preferred Citation note
The Sam DeVincent Collection of Illustrated American Sheet Music, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
Conditions Governing Access note
Collection is open for research.
Conditions Governing Use note
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.

Materials in Other Organizations
Materials in Other Organizations
Sam DeVincent Collection of American Sheet Music, Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana
This collection contains duplicates of materials in the Smithsonian collection, as well as materials acquired by Mr. DeVincent after the donation to the Smithsonian. The phonograph records described above were transferred to the University of Missouri at Kansas City.

Materials in the Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Materials in the Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Donald J. Stubblebine Collection of Musical Theater and Motion Picture Sheet Music and Reference Material, 1843-2010 (AC1211)

Forms Part Of
Forms Part Of
Series 2: Armed Forces forms part of the Sam DeVincent Collection of Illustrated American Sheet Music .
An ongoing, updated list of DeVincent topical series is available via the Smithsonian finding aid portal.
Series 2: Armed Forces forms part of the Sam DeVincent Collection of Illustrated American Sheet Music .

Repository Contact
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
P.O. Box 37012
Suite 1100, MRC 601
Washington, D.C. 20013-7012
archivescenter@si.edu
http://americanhistory.si.edu/archives