Guide to the Sam DeVincent Collection of Illustrated American Sheet Music, Series 28: Opera

Collection ID:
DeVincent, Sam, 1918-1997
Physical Description:
10 Boxes
Sam DeVincent loved music and art and began collecting sheet music with lithographs at an early age. Series 28 contains materials documenting opera in the United States. An overview to the entire DeVincent collection is available here: Sam DeVincent Collection of Illustrated American Sheet Music.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
Includes material documenting the cultural values and popular attitudes toward opera in the United States. The bulk of the material dates from 1843 to 1915. The material is arranged alphabetically by title in ten boxes and is mostly composed of arrangements for piano and piano/vocal, with some pieces created for other instruments such as the tuba. Most of the material includes excerpts from operas focusing on themes such as love, purity, romance, hope, and fantasy. These songs include mythical tales such as Beauty and the Beast and Cinderella, fairy songs, and lullabies. Some of the compositions are overtures, waltzes, marches, and two-steps. While many of the songs do not have lyrics, a few are written in Italian and German. A portion of the songs focuses on women's role as a maid or aristocratic woman, while men are portrayed as minstrels. The illustrations in the series are mostly of women with men serenading them.

Justine Thomas
Immediate Source of Acquisition note
This collection was purchased by the Smithsonian Institution in 1988 from Sam and Nancy Lee DeVincent.
Processing Information
Collection processed by Eva Buchanan, Katie DeFonzo, and Stephanie Haeg, interns, summer 2017; Amanda Scott; Monisha Bernard; supervised by Vanessa Broussard Simmons, archivist.

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
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