Columbia College Chicago

Organizational Records

Chicago Music Association
National Association of Negro Musicians (NANM)

See National Association of Negro Musicians (U.S.)

Collection of materials dated 1919–2004 concerning the National Association of Negro Musicians and its history and activities, particularly documents included in A Documentary History of the National Association of Negro Musicians, edited by Doris Evans McGinty (Chicago: Center for Black Music Research, 2004) plus correspondence concerning the compilation of the book, other NANM administrative correspondence and records, meeting programs, concert programs, photographs, and other materials.

9 boxes, including 15 audio cassette tapes and 8 floppy discs (5.7 linear feet).

Institutional History

The National Association of Negro Musicians (NANM) was founded in Chicago in 1919 by a group of African-American professional musicians and composers to advance the education and careers of African-American musicians. Among the founders of the organization were Nora Douglas Holt, Henry Lee Grant, Gregoria Fraser Goins, R. Nathaniel Dett, Clarence Cameron White, Carl Diton, and Kemper Harreld, among others. During its history, the NANM has sponsored a scholarship contest for performers since 1919, and administered the Wanamaker Prize for composition (offered between 1927 and 1932). There are local branches of NANM in many large cities, as well as student chapters and regional organizations. Annual conferences are held each summer in a major city.

Further history of NANM can be found in A Documentary History of the National Association of Negro Musicians, edited by Doris Evans McGinty (Chicago: Center for Black Music Research, 2004) and in Willis Patterson’s dissertation “A history of the National Association of Negro Musicians (NANM): The first quarter century” (Wayne State University, 1993).

Scope Note

The present collection is the result of a ten year effort to create a documentary history of the National Association of Negro Musicians, begun by Eileen Southern and completed after her death by Doris Evans McGinty. The collection falls into four series, the first of which contains many of the documents used in the book, including newspaper and magazine articles, letters, reports, minutes and speeches. Each folder in this section contains the original document or closest extant example of the original, and at least one typescript transcript of the material. The materials are organized according to their order in the book with a section of unused materials at the end. There is also a typescript of the book at the end of the collection.

The second series contains papers relating to the production and publication of the book. Included in this section are: correspondence, grant proposals, receipts, interviews and questionnaires.

The third series contains other documents from NANM. These documents include programs from concerts, national convention programs, board reports, correspondence, outside articles on NANM functions, biographies and obituaries of NANM members, and assorted administrative materials.

The fourth series is dedicated to general research materials which include photographs, obituaries and memorial programs, newsletters, clippings, audio tapes of interviews, and assorted articles on NANM members and related topics.

R. Nathaniel Dett Club

R. Nathaniel Dett Club of Music and Allied Arts
See also: Dett, R. Nathaniel, 1882–1943, and National Association of Negro Musicians (U.S.)

Organizational records, dated 1927–2001, with the bulk of the materials dated 1950–2001, including constitution and bylaws, minutes, financial records, correspondence, programs, and other materials from the R. Nathaniel Dett Club of Music and Allied Arts, a Chicago branch of the National Association of Negro Musicians (NANM). The collection also includes supplemental administrative materials relating to NANM, dated 1973–2003.

5 boxes (3.8 linear feet)

Received from the R. Nathaniel Dett Club through Charles E. Cannon, 2002.

Historical note:

Founded in 1922, Chicago's R. Nathaniel Dett Club of Music and Allied Arts is one of the oldest active branches of the National Association of Negro Musicians (NANM). The Dett Club has had a number of NANM luminaries in its roster, including John E. Webb, Sydonia M. Brooks, Ruth Allen Fouche, and Ona B. Campbell. The Dett Club maintains an active concert and event schedule during the year, hosting a Black History Program, a summertime Garden Party, and an annual Scholarship Contest. A narrative history of the club by John E. Webb, Whispers of Love, published in 1987, is based on the records in the collection.

Scope note:

The present collection has been arranged in two series, a series of records originating with the Dett Club and a series of records documenting interactions with the parent organization, NANM. The papers in both series include constitutions and bylaws, minutes and agendas from meetings, correspondence, programs from concerts, newsletters, and photographs. The NANM series includes materials relating to the national conventions and also to the NANM Central Region conferences.

Also of note in the Dett Club series is a subseries of biographies of composers and performers used in the programs of various concerts. A few music scores received and shelved with the collection are cataloged in the CBMR Collections database, searchable from the Library and Archives page.

Society of Black Composers Collection

Papers, 1968-73 and 1978, including membership lists, minutes, financial records and documents, concert programs, correspondence and other materials.

1 Box

Received from Carman Moore, 1995.

Scope Note:

The Society of Black Composers was founded in 1968 by a group of composers in the New York City area. The aim of the Society was to promote the works of contemporary black composers in order to educate the community at large. The Society held several concerts and residencies before financial problems forced it to become inactive around 1973. The papers in this collection were compiled by composer Carman Moore, who served the Society as Secretary-Treasurer through most of its short existence. They include not only financial materials and formal documents, concert programs, etc., but also Moore's notes on meetings, financial planning, concerts, and fundraising, most of which are undated.
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