Guide to the Sam DeVincent Collection of Illustrated American Sheet Music, Series 8: Geography
Portions of this collection are digitized

Collection ID:
DeVincent, Sam, 1918-1997
Physical Description:
100 Boxes
Sam DeVincent loved music and art and began collecting sheet music with lithographs at an early age. Series 8: Geography is divided into three sections: the United States, Foreign Countries, and Natural Features. 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 Geography Series is divided into three sections: the United States, Foreign Countries, and Natural Features. The more than 13,000 sheets date from 1830-1987 and include undated sheets that are probably earlier. The series comprises 33 cu. ft.
Song sheets about individual states of the United States are arranged alphabetically by State and the District of Columbia, and also by Area and are located in Subseries 8.1-8.52. North and South Carolina are listed together under "The Carolinas;" North and South Dakota are together under "The Dakotas." The Subseries 8.50-8.52 includes the Geographical Areas: New England, The South, and The West.
All songs about the Mississippi and Suwannee (Swanee) Rivers are in 8.51: The South. Songs about the Missouri River, the Pacific Ocean, and the Rocky Mountains are in 8.52: The West. Songs about other rivers that cross political boundaries (both US and foreign) are in 8.128: Water Features.
Foreign Countries listed alphabetically by country are covered in Subseries 8.53-8.126 which also includes several Geographical Areas such as Latin America, Scandinavia, and South Pacific. Because boundaries and names have changed over the course of time, some countries and regions are under their earlier political names. Examples: Bohemia (not the Czech Republic), Burma (not Myanmar), and Macedonia (not Albania, Greece, or old Yugoslavia).
In some cases, it was difficult to place the song. Our understanding of other cultures led to some very mixed images, both visual and verbal. Thus the Area category "Araby/Orient/Desert." Music with Spanish lyrics may be found under a country name or under the Area, "Latin America."
The final section Natural Features includes Subseries 8.127: Land Features and Subseries 8.128: Water Features. Note that "desert" songs have been place in subseries 8.121: Araby/Orient/Desert. Rivers that are primarily in one state or country are located in that specific state's Subseries. For example, the Hudson River is in Subseries 8.35: New York.. Mississipi and Swanee (Swanee) River songs are located in Subseries 8.51: The South. Other U.S. and foreign rivers, such as the Ohio and The Danube, that cross several boundaries are located in Subseries 8.128: Water Features.
The Ephemera file, arranged in the same subseries as the music, is described following the Container List. The Geography Ephemera file constitutes six (6) document boxes (2 cu. ft.).

Arrangement note
Arrangement note
Arranged in 6 subseries.
  • 8.1: United States
  • 8.2: United States (U. S. Regions)
  • 8.3: Foreign Countries(Afghanistan - Italy)
  • 8.4: Foreign Countries (Japan - Vietnam) & (Foreign Regions)
  • 8.5: Natural Features
  • 8.6: Ephemera

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

Digital Content
More …
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 8: Geography 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.

More Information

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