Go to Content
Columbia College Chicago
Dominique-Rene De Lerma papers

Dominique-Rene De Lerma papers

De Lerma, Dominique-René

Papers, circa 1960 to 1993 and undated, including correspondence and research files, records from his employment at Indiana University, Morgan State University, and Columbia College Chicago and materials from his consulting work with the Afro-American Music Opportunities Association (AAMOA). There are also photographs and sound recordings in the collection. De Lerma's sizable donation of books is incorporated into the general library holdings.

33 boxes, plus 2 boxes magnetic media, 1 binder, 622 volumes, 786 analog sound discs (primarily LPs, some 78s)

Donated by Dominique-René de Lerma, 1990–1992.

Biographical note:

Dominique-René de Lerma (1928– ) is a prominent, pioneering scholar in black music research. After a career as a performing oboist, de Lerma received a PhD in musicology from Indiana University in 1958. Subsequently he taught at Indiana University (1963–1976), at Morgan State University (1976–1990), and at Peabody Conservatory (1983–1990). He served as Director of the Center for Black Music Research at Columbia College Chicago from 1990 to 1993. Currently, he teaches at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin. De Lerma is the author of several books, including the four-volume Bibliography of Black Music (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1981).

Scope note:

The de Lerma papers reflect the interests, research, and activities he pursued in his career as musicologist, educator and administrator in higher education and nonprofit musical organizations. Excluding the large book collection, which is cataloged and shelved with the regular library holdings, the materials are divided into seven series, as follows.

I. Vertical files (by subjects, names)
II. Institutional files (by place of work)
III. Miscellaneous files, photographs
IV. Scores by black composers
V. Afro-American Music Opportunities Association (AAMOA)
VI. Sound recordings
VII. Annotated books, single issue publications

Dominique-René de Lerma corresponded with composers, performers, and other scholars and kept subject files about them as well. His original filing system, combining correspondence and subject files, has been retained. In addition, de Lerma kept newspaper and magazine clippings, concert programs, promotional materials, and other ephemera. These “vertical files” are Series I, which forms the bulk of the collection.

Correspondence, records, and other materials from his employment at three institutions make up Series II, filed chronologically and by subject. Series III consists of miscellaneous materials, including grant proposals and photographs.

De Lerma's files on the Afro-American Music Opportunities Association (AAMOA) comprise Series V, and include correspondence and other papers dated 1970–1978.

The de Lerma files are very broad in their scope, covering classical music, a topic of most of the correspondence with scholars, composers, and performers, but also encompassing popular and traditional music forms and jazz. With the papers were received a substantial collection of scores by black composers, which are arranged as Series IV.

The sound recordings received with the collection are shelved separately as Series VI, and organized according to De Lerma's own filing system, which has been retained to facilitate access and retrieval. Books received with the collection are incorporated into the general library holdings with the exception of one box of annotated volumes and presentation copies arranged as Series VII. There is also a box of single issues and newsletters in this series.