Eva Jessye Collection: 1927-1992 (bulk 1935-1980)
Summary Information
Title: Eva Jessye Collection
Creator: Jessye, Eva.
Inclusive dates: 1927-1992
Bulk dates: 1935-1980
Extent: 14 linear feet
Abstract:
The Eva Jessye collection contains the personal papers and collected material of Eva Jessye, a prominent choral director, composer, arranger, writer, poet, actress and African American Music historian. Born in Coffeyville, Kansas in 1895, Jessye gained prominence as the conductor for Original Dixie Jubilee Singers, and as choral director for Gertrude Stein and Virgil Thomson's opera Four Saint in Three Acts. Jessye was the choral director for the original production (and many subsequent productions) of Porgy and Bess. The collection includes both materials from Jessye's personal and professional life as well as collected material which documents prominent African Americans.
Call number: 2009184 Aa 2
Language: The material is in English
Repository: Bentley Historical Library
1150 Beal Ave.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2113
Phone: 734-764-3482
Fax: 734-936-1333
e-mail: bentley.ref@umich.edu
Home Page: http://www.bentley.umich.edu/
Finding aid created by Philip Heslip, April, 2009

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

The collection was received in September 2008 through the Center for Afroamerican and African Studies, subsequently renamed Department of Afroamerican and African Studies (donor no. 10110).

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open without restriction.

To protect fragile audiovisual recordings (such as audio cassettes, film reels, and VHS tapes), the Bentley Historical Library has a policy of converting them to digital formats by a professional vendor whenever a researcher requests access. For more information, please see: http://bentley.umich.edu/research/duplication/.

Copyright:

Copyright is held by the Regents of the University of Michigan but the collection may contain third-party materials for which copyright is not held. Patrons are responsible for determining the appropriate use or reuse of materials.

Preferred Citation:

[item], folder, box, Eva Jessye Collection, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan


Biography

Eva Jessye was born in Coffeyville, Kansas on January 20, 1895. She attended Western University and Langston University, receiving her BA in 1919. After a number of teaching positions in Baltimore (Morgan College, 1919) and Tulahassee (1920-1925), Oklahoma, Jessye worked for the Baltimore newspaper The Afro-American.

Moving to New York, she formed a small singing group that came to the attention of African American composer Will Marion Cook. Cook became her mentor, tutoring her in music theory and music management. In 1926 Jessye organized the Original Dixie Jubilee Singers, which performed regularly on radio shows such as "The Major Bowes Family Radio Hour" and "The General Motors Hour." In 1929 Jessye and the Original Dixie Jubilee Singers went to Hollywood and appeared in King Vidor's all-black film Hallelujah. Because the name "Dixie Jubilee Singers" was being appropriated by many other choirs, her choir's name was changed to the Eva Jessye Choir.

In 1934 Jessye became the choir director of Gertrude Stein and Virgil Thomson's work Four Saint in Three Acts. In 1935, Jessye became the choral director for the premiere production of George Gershwin's opera Porgy and Bess. Jessye toured the United States, Europe, the Soviet Union and New Zealand performing Porgy and Bess and was associated with countless other productions worldwide. Jessye acted as an adviser for the BBC's For the Children: Huckleberry Finn and Down in the Valley (1952) and performed in the 1959 Hallmark Hall of Fame production of Kiss Me Kate. In 1963, her choir was designated the official chorus of the civil rights march on Washington, DC, organized by Martin Luther King, Jr.

Throughout Jessye's career she appeared in several motion pictures including Hallelujah (1929) (where she was also the Musical Director), Black Like Me (1964) and Slaves (1969) with Stephen Boyd and Ossie Davis.

Jessye came to the University of Michigan in 1974. With the encouragement of Dean Willis Paterson, she established the Eva Jessye Afro-American Music Collection which is the basis for the present collection. From 1977 to 1981 she was an Artist in-Residence at Pittsburg State University in Kansas where she created a similar Eva Jessye Collection (see: http://library.pittstate.edu/spcool/ndxjessye.html). Jessye was honored by many universities, states and cities for her life achievements and received honorary doctorates from the University of Michigan School of Music, Eastern Michigan University and Glassboro State College.

Dr. Eva Jessye died on February 21, 1992, at the age of 97 in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

__________________________________

Sources Consulted:

http://www.umich.edu/~afroammu/jessye.html (as of April 21, 2009)

The Eva Jessye Collection, AXE-Special Collections. (n.d.) Retrieved April 21, 2005, from: http://library.pittstate.edu/spcool/ndxjessye.html/. Leonard H. Axe Library, Pittsburg State University, Pittsburg, Kansas


Collection Scope and Content Note

The Eva Jessye Collection contains both personal papers of Jessye, as well as material collected by Jessye. The Eva Jessye collection is made up of twelve series: Biographical; Correspondence; Eva Jessye Choir; Writings (Performances, Poetry and Speeches); Music; Productions; Eva Jessye Programs; Collected Programs; Eva Jessye Clippings; Black History Clippings; Photographs; and Awards and Certificates.

Subject Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in the finding aid database and catalog of The Bentley Historical Library/University of Michigan. Researchers desiring additional information about related topics should search the catalog using these headings.


  • African American composers.
  • African American theater.
  • African American women musicians.
  • African Americans -- Music.
  • Conductors (Music) -- United States.
  • Spirituals (Songs)
  • Women musicians.
  • Actors.
  • Actresses.
  • African American actors.
  • African American actresses.
  • African American theater.
  • African American women musicians.
  • African Americans -- Composers.
  • African Americans -- Music.
  • African Americans -- Music.
  • African Americans -- Women.
  • Composers.
  • Musicians -- United States.
  • Theatrical productions -- United States.
  • Photographs.
  • Gershwin, George, 1898-1937 -- Porgy and Bess.
  • Jessye, Eva, 1895-1992.
  • Gershwin, George, 1898-1937 -- Porgy and Bess.
  • Jessye, Eva, 1895-1992.
Contents List
Request materials for use in the Bentley Library
Container / Location Title
 
Biographical [series]

The Biographical series (0.25 linear feet) consists of personal documents, such as Jessye's Equity contract, a sparsely notated travel diary, as well as personal reflections and notes on a range of topics including her experiences performing Porgy and Bess and memories of touring and traveling the world.

Box   1  
Celebration of the Life of Eva Jessye
Box   1  
Equity Contract
Box   1  
Inoculation and Vaccination documents
Box   1  
Local Detroit Contact Book
Box   1  
Miscellaneous
Box   1  
"My Trip" Book
Box   1  
Stocks
Box   1  
Personal Reflections and Information
 
Notes
Box   1  
Backstage Chatter
Box   1  
Balancing the Books
Box   1  
Discrimination
Box   1  
Drama that is Harlem Still Survives (Fragments)
Box   1  
Early Years
Box   1  
Eva Jessye
Box   1  
"Fill Up the Saucer"
Box   1  
Meeting Lucky Roberts: Willie the Lion Smith description
Box   1  
Notes and Sayings
Box   1  
Personal Reflections
Box   1  
Productions
 
Porgy and Bess
Box   1  
Addresses for New York production
Box   1  
Career and Personages in Porgy and Bess
Box   1  
Names of Principals from on 1930
Box   1  
Reviews and Rehearsals (Dallas, Chicago, DC) 1952
Box   1  
Roles and Material
Box   1  
Tours and Happenings
Box   1  
Tours in Israel
Box   1  
Red Man in OK
Box   1  
Sigmund Spaeth
Box   1  
Slave Composers who, what, how and when sayings
Box   1  
Spivy, Contempt of Eva Jessye
Box   1  
Travel: South America and Rome
 
Correspondence [series]

The Correspondence series (0.75 linear feet) contains personal and professional correspondence from 1927 to 1992. The first subseries organizes correspondence alphabetically by author, while the second subseries is organized by year. Undated and unknown sender items as well as thank-you notes and postcards are collected at the end of the series. Of special interest are letters from Jessye to friends and colleagues around the country. In these letters Jessye discusses putting on productions of Paradise Lost, of the creations and dedications of her collections and her experiences at Michigan and Pittsburg State. While most of the letters are originals, there are some reproductions of correspondence from Ira Gershwin, Langston Hughes and others.

 
By Individual
Box   1  
Bailey, Pearl
Box   1  
Dawson, William
Box   1  
Duncan, Todd
Box   1  
Easton, Harriet with a draft of her Autobiography
Box   1  
"Fill Up the Saucer"
Box   1  
Flusser, Beth
Box   1  
Gershwin, Ira (copies)
Box   1  
Goreau, Laurraine (3 folders)
Box   1  
Hairston, Jester (3 folders)
Box   1  
Huntley, Jobe
Box   1  
Jessye, Eva (4 folders)
Box   1  
King, Coretta Scott
Box   1  
Mitchell, Lofton
Box   1  
Nord, Paul
Box   1  
Parks, Gordon
Box   1  
Smith, Kay
Box   1  
Southern, Eileen
Box   1  
Vidor, King
Box   1  
Williams, Clyde
Box   1  
Williams, Ora (2 folders)
 
Chronological
Box   1  
1927-1948
Box   1  
1953-1959
Box   1  
1962-1969
Box   1  
1970-1971
Box   1  
1972
Box   1  
1973
Box   1  
1974
Box   1  
1975
Box   1  
1976
Box   1  
1977
Box   1  
1978
Box   1  
1979
Box   1  
1981
Box   1  
1982
Box   1  
1983
Box   1  
1984
Box   1  
1985
Box   1  
1986
Box   1  
1987
Box   1  
1988
Box   1  
1989
Box   1  
1990
Box   1  
1992
Box   1  
Undated (2 folders)
Box   1  
Unknown Sender
Box   1  
Appreciation Notes
Box   1  
Thank you notes, holiday cards, postcards
Box   1  
Incomplete letters
 
Eva Jessye Choir [series]

The Eva Jessye Choir series (0.2 linear feet) contains articles and reviews of the choir as well as advertisements, programs, and personnel lists of the group. Though it is a small series, it spans the life of the group from the 1920s to the 1960s. For photographs of the choir, see the Photographs series.

Box   2  
History and Recording Information
Box   2  
Advertisements
Box   2  
African Freedom Day 1960
Box   2  
Baltimore Afro-American article 1934
Box   2  
College Tour Material 1967
Box   2  
Personnel List 1920s
Box   2  
Personnel List 1938
Box   2  
Programs (2 folders)
Box   2  
Picture (1930)
Box   2  
Reviews
 
Writings (Performances, Poetry and Speeches) [series]

The Writings (Performances, Poetry and Speeches) series (0.5 linear feet) collects Jessye's production, poetry and speech output. All subseries are organized alphabetically by title. The production subseries includes performances for which she wrote or arranged the lyrics/script for the production. Jessye composed poetry for a number of occasions including odes to friends and colleagues and public celebrations and performances. Several of these poems are collected in the small pamphlet titled "Selected Poems." The Speeches subseries consists of copies and drafts of speeches from the 1970s and 1980s.

 
Performances
Box   2  
Christmas Program
 
Chronicle of Job
Box   2  
Program
Box   2  
Script
 
Gifts from the Altar
Box   2  
Script Drafts
Box   2  
Readings
Box   2  
The Star
Box   2  
This is Your Life
Box   2  
Wade in the Water
Box   2  
Western Star
 
Poetry
Box   2  
An "If" for Directors
Box   2  
As For the Afro-American (or Black Man)
Box   2  
As For the Presidency
Box   2  
Aunt Mae and Uncle A.K.
Box   2  
A Bag of Peanuts
Box   2  
The Builders
Box   2  
Caddy and the Coal Truck
Box   2  
Centennial Ode to African Methodism
Box   2  
Commentary Update
Box   2  
Curiosity
Box   2  
Epic of the Dolly Pearl
Box   2  
Epitaph for an Elderly Actress
Box   2  
Family Tree
Box   2  
A Fast Food Rap
Box   2  
Findings
Box   2  
For Teachers
Box   2  
Frederick Douglass
Box   2  
Gifts the Whole Year Long
Box   2  
The Girl Friday
Box   2  
Good Company
Box   2  
Goodies at the Gilberts
Box   2  
The Highway
Box   2  
Holdout to the End
Box   2  
Kansas Youth
Box   2  
Keep Me at It
Box   2  
Let it Alone
Box   2  
Lucky Friendship Seven
Box   2  
The Maestro
Box   2  
Make the Goal
Box   2  
Makers of the Spirituals
Box   2  
Miscellaneous (2 folders)
Box   2  
My Favorite Dish
Box   2  
My Past 50 Years
Box   2  
The Nurse
Box   2  
Old, Not so Gifted, and Black
Box   2  
Paean
Box   2  
Paen to San Diego
Box   2  
Pertinent Topics
Box   2  
Rap Dialogue
Box   2  
Ratings
Box   2  
Raves for the Slaves
Box   2  
Realization
Box   2  
Remembrance
Box   2  
A Salute
Box   2  
The Singer
Box   2  
Song of Freedom
Box   2  
The Source
Box   2  
Sparrow in Winter
Box   2  
Sunny Kansas
Box   2  
Thanksgiving to My Favorite Two
Box   2  
This Man
Box   2  
The Theatre
Box   2  
To a Preacher's Wife
Box   2  
To a Rosebud
Box   2  
To Romare Bearden
Box   2  
Values
Box   2  
Various Fragments (2 folders)
Box   2  
Week Before Christmas
Box   2  
Selected Poems
Box   2  
Never Dies the Dream
Box   2  
Today is Ours
 
Speeches
Box   2  
From Vantage Point Ninety-One
Box   2  
Hortense Love Introduction 1978
Box   2  
Introducing Leontyne Price
Box   2  
It's a Matter of Pride
Box   2  
Langston Hughes, His Works Do Follow Him 1981
Box   2  
Never Dies the Dream
Box   2  
Olympiad of the Arts 1984
Box   2  
Pittsburg State University 1979
Box   2  
Salute to Duke Ellington
Box   2  
Various Fragments
 
Music [series]

The Music series (0.2 linear feet) holds both published and manuscript sheet music that was composed, adapted, arranged and or edited by Jessye. Many of the pieces are arrangements of spirituals for small chorus groups. This series is arranged alphabetically by song title.

Box   2  
Black Joe, arr. Jessye
Box   2  
Bles' My Soul and' Gone, arr. Jessye
Box   2  
Goin' Back South, composed by Jessye
Box   2  
Got a Home At Las', arr. Jessye
Box   2  
Hand Car Blues, composed by Jessye
Box   2  
He's Carried the Key and Gone Home, arr. Jessye
Box   2  
I Belong to that Band, arr. Jessye
Box   2  
I Can't Stay Away, arr. Jessye
Box   2  
I'm a Po' Lil' Orphan, arr. Jessye
Box   2  
I'se Mighty Tired, arr. Jessye
Box   2  
John Saw de Holy Numbah, arr. Jessye
Box   2  
March Down to Jordon, arr. Jessye
Box   2  
Move! Let me Shine, arr. Jessye
Box   2  
My Spirituals, compiled by Jessye
Box   2  
Pittsburg State University Alma Mater, Composed by Jessye
Box   2  
Rock Mt Sinai!, arr. Jessye
Box   2  
Sol' Away to Georgia, Composed by Jessye
Box   2  
Song of Freedom, Composed by Jessye
Box   2  
Spirit o' the Lord Done Fell on Me, arr. Jessye
Box   2  
Swing Low, Sweet Chariot, arr. Jessye
Box   2  
When Moses Smote the Water, arr. Jessye
Box   2  
When the Saints Go Matching In, arr. Jessye
 
Productions [series]

The Productions series (1.1 linear feet) documents various dramatic and musical productions that Jessye worked on as a conductor, organizer, and choral director. The material is grouped by production title and holds various genres including scripts, vocal scores, programs, stage readings and instructions, and character/cast lists. Items of particular note include: Jessye's vocal score for the Four Saints opera; background and research material that went into creating The Old Flag Never Touched the Ground, a production composed by Jessye and based on the memoirs of William Carney, who fought in the Battle for Fort Sumter; extensive score, libretto and direction material for Jessye's adaptation of Milton's Paradise Lost and Regained; cast materials and scripts for the 1969 movie Slaves; and production material for Langston Hughes' musical Tambourines to Glory.

Box   2  
Ballad of Catfish Grimes, Libretto
Box   2  
Black Titan
Box   2  
Christmas Program, Script
 
The Clergy
Box   2  
Program
Box   2  
Reading Assignments
Box   2  
Dance Little David, Libretto
Box   2  
Digging the Ring, Libretto
Box   2  
Follow the Star, Script
Box   2  
Four Saints, Vocal Score
Box   2  
Give Away Jordon, Script
Box   2  
Hephestos and Force, Script
Box   2  
Hidden Faces, Script
 
Home to Harlem
Box   2  
Script
Box   2  
Characters
Box   2  
How Long Till Summer
Box   2  
In Memoriam to W.E.B. DuBois, Script
Box   2  
Kwamina, Script
Box   2  
Let the Chorus say Amen, Rehearsal Copy
Box   2  
Life of Christ, Narrator Script and Program
Box   2  
Lily of the Valley, Script
Box   2  
Lost in the Stars, Vocal Score
Box   3  
Miscellaneous (5 folders)
Box   3  
The Negro Soldier (Research and Script)
Box   3  
Oklahoma, Outlines
 
The Old Flag Never Touched the Ground
Box   3  
Background (2 folders)
Box   3  
Music
Box   3  
NARA Letter
Box   3  
Review
 
Paradise Lost and Regained
Box   3  
Administrative Material
Box   3  
Score, Draft Notebook
Box   3  
Score, Choral
Box   3  
Score, Vocal
Box   3  
Score, Vocal Fragments 1978
Box   3  
Libretto, Draft and Final Versions
Box   3  
Libretto, Notated (3 folders)
Box   3  
Libretto Fragments (2 folders)
Box   3  
Press Materials
Box   3  
Press Releases and Photo References
Box   3  
Programs
Box   3  
Scenes and Events
Box   3  
Scene List 1972
 
Porgy and Bess
Box   3  
Vocal Score Copy
Box   3  
Vocal Score Fragments
Box   3  
Prophecy Nativity, Music
Box   3  
Projugal Son, Script
Box   3  
Prometheus Bound
Box   3  
Rebekkah, Script
Box   3  
River Gambler, Script
Box   3  
Roman Court-martial, Script
 
Slaves
Box   3  
Cast and Crew Schedules
Box   3  
Cast and Review
Box   3  
Programs and Clippings
Box   3  
Script (2 folders)
Box   3  
Script Revisions
Box   3  
Simon the Fisherman, Music and Script
 
Tambourines to Glory
Box   3  
Cast Lists
Box   3  
Chorus Audition Lists
Box   3  
Folkways, Notes and Lyrics
Box   3  
Lyrics (Jessye Personal Copy)
Box   3  
Lyrics (Huntley Copy)
Box   3  
Lyrics, Duplicates
Box   3  
Music (2 folders)
Box   3  
Musical Bridges List
Box   3  
Playbills
Box   3  
Reviews
Box   3  
Script
Box   3  
Script, Duplicate
Box   3  
Script, Excerpts
Box   3  
Songs by Character
Box   3  
Various Fragments (2 folders)
 
Eva Jessye Programs [series]

The Eva Jessye Programs series (1.0 linear feet) collects programs for productions that Jessye was involved with. The bulk of the collection is programs for Porgy and Bess between 1935 and 1992 including tours of American Cities, universities and international productions. These programs are organized by data of performance with undated and unknown venue productions grouped at the end. The Other Programs subseries collects non- Porgy and Bess performances including musical concerts and dramatic productions. Included as outsized materials are a number of concert posters for events that Jessye was a part of or that were organized as fundraisers.

Box   4  
Porgy and Bess
Box   4  
Colonial Theatre 1935
Box   4  
Majestic Theatre 1942
Box   4  
Maplewood Theatre 1941
Box   4  
Shubert Theatre 1941
Box   4  
Cass Theatre 1943
Box   4  
Tabor Theatre 1944
Box   4  
War Memorial Opera House 1944
Box   4  
Civic Opera House 1952
Box   4  
Volksoper, Austria 1952
Box   4  
Empire Theatre, Paris 1953
Box   4  
Stoll Theatre, London 1953
Box   4  
Ziegfeld Theatre 1953
Box   4  
Ahmanson Theatre 1954
Box   4  
Cass Theatre 1954
Box   4  
Her Majesty's Theatre 1954
Box   4  
Philharmonic Auditorium 1954
Box   4  
Columbia 1955
Box   4  
Santiago 1995
Box   4  
Italy 1955
Box   4  
Camden Country Music Fair 1958
Box   4  
Niagara 1958
Box   4  
Thistledown Race Track 1958
Box   4  
Toronto 1958
Box   4  
Valley Forge 1958
Box   4  
Wostbury Music Fair 1958
Box   4  
WPAT 1959
Box   4  
New York City Center 1964
Box   4  
Swope Park 1964
Box   4  
Camden Country Music Fair 1965
Box   4  
Carousel Theatre 1965
Box   4  
Civic Arena 1965
Box   4  
Civic Theatre 1965
Box   4  
Coconut Grove 1965
Box   4  
Oakdale 1965
Box   4  
New Zea 1965
Box   4  
Painters Mill 1965
Box   4  
Royal Aleyandra Theatre 1965
Box   4  
Shady Grove 1965
Box   4  
Storrowton 1965
Box   4  
Westbury 1965
Box   4  
Clowes Memorial Hall 1966
Box   4  
Habima Theatre 1966
Box   4  
Tel Aviv 1966
Box   4  
Akron Civic Theatre 1967
Box   4  
Atlanta Municipal Auditorium 1967
Box   4  
Bushnell 1967
Box   4  
Eastman Theatre 1967
Box   4  
George Hall 1967
Box   4  
Grove City 1967
Box   4  
Hill Auditorium 1967
Box   4  
Jesse H. Jones Hall 1967
Box   4  
Indiana University 1967
Box   4  
Kiel Opera House 1967
Box   4  
Knoxville Civic Auditorium 1967
Box   4  
Mason Auditorium 1967
Box   4  
Michigan State University 1967
Box   4  
Montreal Canada 1967
Box   4  
Northern Illinois University 1967
Box   4  
Ohio University 1967
Box   4  
Palace Theatre 1967
Box   4  
Saint Mary's College 1967
Box   4  
Shyrock Auditorium 1967
Box   4  
Stanley Theatre 1967
Box   4  
Syracuse University 1967
Box   4  
University of Connecticut 1967
Box   4  
University of Florida 1967
Box   4  
University of Illinois, Champaign 1967
Box   4  
University of Vermont 1967
Box   4  
Virginia State College 1967
Box   4  
Wise State University 1967
Box   4  
Turkey 1968
Box   4  
South Carolina 1970
Box   4  
Komische Opera House 1971
Box   4  
Fort Worth 1972
Box   4  
Memphis State University 1972
Box   4  
Operetten Haus, Hamburg 1972
Box   4  
Teatro Comunade 1972
Box   4  
Teatro Grande Brescia 1972
Box   4  
Teatro Verdi 1972
Box   4  
University of Michigan 1972
Box   4  
Teatro Nacional, Lisbon 1973
Box   4  
Teatro Nacional De S. Carlos 1973
Box   4  
Detroit Opera House 1975
Box   4  
Bengamine Franklin Jr. High, NJ 1976
Box   4  
Houston Grand Opera 1976
Box   4  
Krannert, IL 1976
Box   4  
Louisiana State University 1976
Box   4  
Arie Crown Theatre 1977
Box   4  
Municipal Opera 1977
Box   4  
Bryan City, 197-
Box   4  
Kingsbury Hall 1981
Box   4  
Radio City Music Hall 1983
Box   4  
Majestic Theatre 1985
Box   4  
Kennedy Center DC 1987
Box   4  
Royal Opera 1992
Box   4  
Auditorio Nacional De Mexico undated
Box   4  
Royal Opera House undated
Box   4  
Various undated (2 folders)
Box   4  
Various, Date and Venue Unknown (3 folders)
Box   4  
An American Voice Overview
Box   4  
A Candid Expose
Box   4  
Legacy of Porgy and Bess
 
Other Programs
Box   4  
Black Music Lecture 1978
Box   4  
Black Titan
Box   4  
Black Woman Artists 1981
Box   4  
Dallas, Yours and Mine
Box   4  
Eva Jessye's American Concert Ensemble 1957
Box   4  
Eva Jessye University of Michigan Collection Exhibition 1973
Box   4  
Facing the Rising Sun 1975
Box   4  
History of Nicodemus 1980
Box   4  
Incredible Diversity of Afro-American Music 1979
Box   4  
Kansas, Yours and Mine
Box   4  
Le Moyne Owen Music Department Festival 1983
Box   4  
Merit Awards Ceremony
Box   4  
Miscellaneous Concerts
Box   4  
Paradise Lost 1974
Box   4  
Pittsburg State University Master Class 1979
Box   4  
Spiritual 1978
Box   4  
Taft Bicentennial Committee 1975
Box   4  
To The Teacher, With Love 1979
Box   4  
Western Star 1981
Box   4  
Oversized Posters (located in Box 14)
 
Collected Programs [series]

The Collected Programs Series (1.0 linear feet) includes theatrical programs, concert programs, and lectures and memorials that Jessye attended but did not actively participate in. These items are alphabetically organized by production title.

 
Theatrical Programs
Box   5  
70 Girls 70 1971
Box   5  
All God's Chillun Got Wings Lenox Hill
Box   5  
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, Anta Theatre 1971
Box   5  
Amen Corner, Ethel Barrymore Theatre
Box   5  
Andersonville Trial, Henry Miller's Theatre
Box   5  
Arsenic and Old Lace, Bronx
Box   5  
Arturo Ui, Lunt Fontanne 1963
Box   5  
Avon Long
Box   5  
The Balcony, Columbia
Box   5  
Ballad for Bimshire, Mayfair Theatre
Box   5  
Bicycle Ride to Nevada
Box   5  
Black Birds
Box   5  
Blues for Mr. Charlie
Box   5  
Cabin in the Sky
Box   5  
Caviar to the General
Box   5  
Chalked Out
Box   5  
Charleston 1822
Box   5  
The Cold Wind and the Warm
Box   5  
Come for a Song!
Box   5  
Critics' Choice
Box   5  
Cry the Beloved Country
Box   5  
Dance with your Gods
Box   5  
Dark Eyes
Box   5  
Death of Bessie Smith
Box   5  
Death of the Well-Loved Boy
Box   5  
Doin' It!
Box   5  
Don't Play Us Heap
Box   5  
Duel of Angels
Box   5  
Dybbuk
Box   5  
Farmers Hotel
Box   5  
Faust
Box   5  
Fiorello!
Box   5  
Flower Drum Song
Box   5  
Flying Colors
Box   5  
Free and Equal
Box   5  
The Great White Hope
Box   5  
Green Willow
Box   5  
Gypsy
Box   5  
Hallelujah, Baby
Box   5  
Head of the Family
Box   5  
Hello Dolly
Box   5  
A Hole in the Head
Box   5  
The Hooch
Box   5  
House of Flowers
Box   5  
How I Wonder
Box   5  
I'll Take My Stand
Box   5  
In Abraham's Bosom
Box   5  
Interlock
Box   5  
Janie
Box   5  
Kiss Me Kate
Box   5  
Lady Day
Box   5  
Lonesome Train
Box   5  
Look to the Lilies
Box   5  
Little Foxes
Box   5  
Locust
Box   5  
Loss of Roses
Box   5  
Lost in the Stars
Box   5  
Maggie Flynn
Box   5  
Martha
Box   5  
Members of the Wedding
Box   5  
More Stately Mansions
Box   5  
Mrs. Patterson
Box   5  
Much Ado About Nothing
Box   5  
Mutatto
Box   5  
Native Son
Box   5  
No Place to be Somebody
Box   5  
No Way Out
Box   5  
Of Mice and Men
Box   5  
Olney Theatre
Box   5  
On Cobweb Twine
Box   5  
Only in America
Box   5  
Orpheus Descending
Box   5  
Ouanga
Box   5  
Period of Adjustment
Box   5  
Plaster Bambino
Box   5  
Ponder Heart
Box   5  
The Price
Box   5  
Purlle
Box   5  
The Respectful Prostitute
Box   5  
Rhinoceros
Box   5  
Shakespeare in Harlem
Box   5  
Showboat
Box   5  
Small Hours
Box   5  
Smiles of the World
Box   5  
Sound of Music
Box   5  
Stevedore
Box   5  
Sweet Bird of Youth
Box   5  
Sweet River
Box   5  
Swing It
Box   5  
Take Me Along
Box   5  
Tambourines to Glory
Box   5  
Tenderloin
Box   5  
They Shall Not Die
Box   5  
Thread of Scarlet
Box   5  
Three Men on a Horse
Box   5  
Too Many Boats
Box   5  
Torch Bearers
Box   5  
Toys in the Attic
Box   5  
Tropical Carnival
Box   5  
Un Ballo in Maschera
Box   5  
Walk Together Children
Box   5  
Warm Peninsula
Box   5  
Weekend
Box   5  
White Cargo
Box   5  
Who's Who, Baby?
Box   5  
World of My America
Box   5  
You Can't Take It With You
Box   5  
Oversized Posters (located in Box 14)
 
Concert Programs
Box   5  
Aldrich Adkins, Provenience of the Black Man
Box   5  
African-American Women Composers
Box   5  
Afro/American Total Theatre, Makin' It
Box   5  
Association for the Study of Negro Life and History, Annual Luncheon 1970
Box   5  
Kenneth Brown Billups, Alpha to Omega 1962
Box   5  
Bronze 5th Annual Jubilee 1982
Box   5  
Charles Samuel Brown 1974
Box   5  
Wayne S. Brown
Box   5  
Buffalo Arts and Music Youth Choral 1985
Box   5  
Catskill Choral Society 1983
Box   5  
Charles Sumner High School, Christmas Concert 1969-1970
Box   5  
Christ Presbyterian Church, Nashville TN
Box   5  
Clarion University Black Arts Festival 1987
Box   5  
Composers Concepts, Detroit 1978
Box   5  
Celia Watts Cox Luncheon 1986
Box   5  
Dance Genesis, Black Alliance Theatre 1975
Box   5  
Detroit Music Settlement School 1964
Box   5  
Detroit Music Ed Club, Annual Spring Luncheon
Box   5  
Detroit Public Schools Choral Festival 1970
Box   5  
R. Nathaniel Dett, Triad Choral 1982
Box   5  
Ella and Ellington, Your Heritage Concert 1976
Box   5  
Duke Ellington, Sacred Concert 1968
Box   5  
First Unitarian Church 1972
Box   5  
Gardner C. Taylor Glee Club 1955
Box   5  
Grosse Point Community Chorus 1962
Box   5  
Grosse Pointe Summer Chorus 1964
Box   5  
Henry Hadley Birthday Concert 1964
Box   5  
Harlem Homecoming
Box   5  
Harlem Is Heaven 1986
Box   5  
Harlem Philharmonic
Box   5  
James Tatum Trio Plus 1979
Box   5  
Juneteenth 1994
Box   5  
Joplin, MO 1981
Box   5  
Langston University Concert Choir 1971
Box   5  
Gloria Davis McCully Recital
Box   5  
Methodism for 2 Centuries 1984
Box   5  
Michigan Men's Glee Club 1972
Box   5  
Morgan State University Choir 1986
Box   5  
Mother A.M.E Zion Church, Christmas
Box   5  
Musi-Carnival, Opus'69
Box   5  
Opera Ebony 1986
Box   5  
Our Lady St. Rose, KS 1979
Box   5  
Willis Patterson
Box   5  
Philharmonic-Symphony Society of NY 1945
Box   5  
Renaissance Concert Series 1986
Box   5  
Earl Robinson, Town Hall, NYC 1963
Box   5  
St. Martin Episcopal Church, NY 1971
Box   5  
Music of Howard Swanson 1974
Box   5  
Take Care
Box   5  
Tuskegee Choir
Box   5  
University of Michigan, Music of Black Americans 1971
Box   5  
Voices Inc. Beauty of Blackness 1970
Box   5  
Wayne State, Afro-American Music 1972
Box   5  
Wayne State, Choral Union 1975
Box   5  
Ora Williams, Songs
Box   5  
Oversized Posters (located in Box 14)
 
Lectures/Memorials
Box   5  
W.E.B. Dubois (2 folders)
Box   5  
Program in Black American Culture, Smithsonian 1980
Box   5  
Rhythm of America, Sissle and Eubie Blake 1967
Box   5  
Republic of Upper Volta
Box   5  
Bill "Bojangles" Robinson 1949
Box   5  
Tribute to Fatherhood
Box   5  
Washington Cathedral Summerfest
Box   5  
Women of Courage, Cuyahoga Community College
Box   5  
Oversized Posters (located in Box 14)
 
Eva Jessye Clippings [series]

The Eva Jessye Clippings (.75 linear feet) series contains newspaper and magazine clipping and reviews about Jessye and her professional activities. These files remain unorganized, and consist of many duplicate items, fragile materials, and un-cited newspaper fragments.

Box   6  
Various newspaper and magazine clippings
 
Black History Clippings [series]

The Black History Clippings Series (2.0 linear feet) consists of collected newspaper and magazine clippings concerning black history and biographical and promotional information on black artists and historical figures. The folders are grouped into four subseries: Concert Singers and Instrumentalists, Composers and Arrangers, Chorus and Ensembles, and Writers, Poets, Dancers, Actors. Each subseries is ordered alphabetically. Clipping subjects include opera stars Jessye Norman and Leontyne Price, actor Paul Robeson, pianist Andre Watts, composer Wm. Grant Still, the ensemble Fisk Jubilee Singers, gospel singer Mahalia Jackson, blues and pop music artist such as Bessie Smith, Chuck Berry, W C Handy, The Mills Brothers., The Supremes, Billie Holiday plus many other actors/actresses, bandleaders, night club entertainers, dance ensembles, and cultural leaders.

Box   7  
Concert Singers and Instrumentalists
Box   7  
Allen, Betty
Box   7  
Anderson, Marian
Box   7  
Ashley, Bryan
Box   7  
Armstrong, Louis
Box   7  
Arroyo, Martina
Box   7  
Baits, Leon
Box   7  
Baker, Josephine
Box   7  
Belle, Gwendolya
Box   7  
Bibb, Leon
Box   7  
Billups, Kenneth
Box   7  
Black, Donald
Box   7  
Boatwright, McHenry
Box   7  
Bonds, Margaret
Box   7  
Brown, James
Box   7  
Brown, Thelma Waide
Box   7  
Brown, William
Box   7  
Cole, Francis
Box   7  
Combo, Marian
Box   7  
Cox, Bettie
Box   7  
Cunningham, Arthur
Box   7  
Davis, Miles
Box   7  
Davy, Gloria
Box   7  
Depaur, Leonard
Box   7  
Dillard, James
Box   7  
Dixon, Lucille
Box   7  
Dixon, Willie
Box   7  
Dobbs, Matiwilda
Box   7  
Driver, Alberta
Box   7  
Evanti, Lillian
Box   7  
Foster, Aleesa
Box   7  
Foster, William
Box   7  
Fraizel, James
Box   7  
Franklin, Aretha
Box   7  
Freeman, Paul
Box   7  
Frierson, Andrew
Box   7  
Grist, Reri
Box   7  
Hall, James
Box   7  
Hampton, Lionel
Box   7  
Hancock, Eugene
Box   7  
Harris, Hilda
Box   7  
Hampton, Lionel
Box   7  
Hayes, Roland
Box   7  
Haywood, Billie
Box   7  
Hinderas, Natalie
Box   7  
Holmes, Eugene
Box   7  
Hopkins, Sam (Lightning')
Box   7  
Horne, Lina
Box   7  
Hunter, Alberta
Box   7  
Jackson, Mahalia
Box   7  
Johnson, Hall
Box   7  
Jones, Betty
Box   7  
King, Coretta
Box   7  
King, Juanita
Box   7  
Lutcher, Nellile
Box   7  
Martin, Roberta
Box   7  
Mitchell, Leona
Box   7  
Miller, Olivette
Box   7  
Moore, Kermit
Box   7  
Moore, Melba
Box   7  
Nolan, Robert
Box   7  
Norman, Jessye
Box   7  
Patton, Anne
Box   7  
Perry, Richard
Box   7  
Phillips, Arthur
Box   7  
Porter, Karl Hampton
Box   7  
Price, Leontyne
Box   7  
Rhea, Julia
Box   7  
Sheppard, Lemuel
Box   7  
Shakensnider, Wilma
Box   7  
Shirley, George
Box   7  
Simpson, Eugene
Box   7  
Smith, Bessie
Box   7  
Smith, William C.
Box   7  
Speights, Dorothy
Box   7  
Spivey, Victoria
Box   7  
Stevenson, Delcina
Box   7  
Townsend, Larry
Box   7  
Tyler, Veronica
Box   7  
Verrett, Shirley
Box   7  
Walker, Frances
Box   7  
Ward, Clara
Box   7  
Waters, Jeanette
Box   7  
Watts, Andre
Box   7  
Weathers, Felicia
Box   7  
Williams, Clyde
Box   7  
Williams, Peral
Box   7  
Wolf, Howlin'
 
Composers and Arrangers
Box   7  
Boatman, Edward
Box   7  
Bolcom, William
Box   7  
Burgie, Irving
Box   7  
Coleridge, Taylor
Box   7  
De Priest, James
Box   7  
Ellington, Duke
Box   7  
Grant, Micki
Box   7  
Joplin, Scott
Box   7  
Kay, Ullysses
Box   7  
King, Betty J.
Box   7  
Lee, Everett
Box   7  
Moore, Dorothy
Box   7  
Ramos, Ethel
Box   7  
Saint-George, Chevalier
Box   7  
Schuyler, Philippa
Box   7  
Still, William Grant
Box   7  
Swanson, Howard
Box   7  
White, Clarence
Box   8  
Chorus and Orchestras
Box   8  
Afro-Americans of the Philadelphia Orchestra 1976
Box   8  
Decormel Folk Singers
Box   8  
Convent Avenue Baptist Church Choir
Box   8  
Davis Family Choir
Box   8  
Fisk Jubilee Singers
Box   8  
Harlem Philharmonic
Box   8  
Metropolitan Chorus
Box   8  
Martin Luther King Male Glee Club of NYC
Box   8  
Oberlin Black Ensemble
Box   8  
Symphony of the New World
 
Actors, Dancers, Educators, Entertainers, Historic Figures, Poets, Writers
Box   8  
Aldrige, Ira
Box   8  
Anderson, Thomas
Box   8  
Angelou, Maya
Box   8  
Arvey, Verna
Box   8  
Baldwin, James
Box   8  
Bethune, Mary McLeod
Box   8  
Brooks. Gwendolyn
Box   8  
Bullins, Ed
Box   8  
Burke, Georgia
Box   8  
Burton, Levar
Box   8  
Carroll, Diahann
Box   8  
Castor, Jimmy
Box   8  
Cosby, Bill
Box   8  
Davis, Ossie
Box   8  
Daughtry, Willia
Box   8  
Dillard, James
Box   8  
Dubois, W.E.B.
Box   8  
Dunbar, Paul Laurence
Box   8  
Giovanni, Nikki
Box   8  
Hale, Birdie
Box   8  
Haley, Alex
Box   8  
Hughes, Langston
Box   8  
Hansberry, Lorraine
Box   8  
Jones, James Earl
Box   8  
King, Martin Luther
Box   8  
Lance, Leon
Box   8  
Marshall, Thurgood
Box   8  
McDaniel, Hattie
Box   8  
McNair, Barbara
Box   8  
McNeil, Claudia
Box   8  
Peters, Brock
Box   8  
Poitier, Sidney
Box   8  
Premice, Josephine
Box   8  
Redding, J. Saunders
Box   8  
Robinson, Bill "Bojangles"
Box   8  
Roundtree, Richard
Box   8  
Schroeder, Gerald H.
Box   8  
Silvera, Frank
Box   8  
Simms, Hilda
Box   8  
Tubman, Harriet
Box   8  
Tyson, Cicely
Box   8  
Uggams, Leslie
Box   8  
Washington, Chet
Box   8  
Ward, Douglas Turner
Box   8  
Williams, Billy Dee
Box   8  
Wilson, Flip
Box   8  
Miscellaneous Clippings
Box   8  
Oversized Clippings (located in Box 14)
 
Photographs [series]

The Photograph series (3.0 linear feet and one outsized box) contains photographs of Jessye and her friends and family, many pictures of various Eva Jessye Choirs, scene shots and individual publicity shots for various Porgy and Bess casts, and publicity shots of performing artists, black cultural leaders and political leaders. This collection is an excellent visual survey of Afro-American cultural history. This series is derived from a number of binders and is organized by photo content and binder. The binder provenance is recorded on the folder when known. Many of these photographs are well labeled. Each folder is grouped into one of eight subseries: Eva Jessye; The Eva Jessye Choir; Choirs, Dance and Theatrical Groups; Scene Shots; Clippings; Programs; Unclassifiable; Porgy and Bess; and Black History. The Black History subseries collects many photographs, generally 8x10, of African American social activists and people in the arts. Some of those included are Alvin Ailey, Eddie Anderson, Marian Anderson, James Baldwin, Howlin' Wolf, Ray Charles, Gloria Davy, Katherine Dunham, Lionel Hampton, The Nicolas Brothers, Leontyne Price, Billy Taylor, and Stevie Wonder.

Box   9  
Photo Drawer List
 
Eva Jessye
Box   9  
Jessye with Family -- Binder A
Box   9  
Jessye -- Binder D
Box   9  
Framed Photos
Box   9  
Large Brown Photo Album
Box   9  
Un-labeled Maroon Binders
 
Loose Photographs
Box   9  
Small Floral Photo Album
Box   9  
Dedication at University of Michigan 1974
Box   9  
Etta Moten Photos
Box   9  
Posters, Flyers, News Clippings
Box   9  
Conducting Paradise Lost 1979
Box   9  
Ancestors, Buckners in St. Louis
Box   9  
Family
Box   9  
In Character with Standifer
Box   9  
At Stern and Dedication 1974
Box   9  
University of Michigan Small Choir
Box   9  
Friends at the Piano, Negatives
Box   9  
With Sylvia Lee and Everett Lee, Negatives
Box   9  
Loose
 
Eva Jessye Choir
Box   9  
Binder D
Box   9  
Display Materials
 
Choirs
Box   9  
Binder A
Box   9  
Binder B
Box   9  
Binder C
 
Dance and Theatre Groups
Box   9  
Alvin Alley -- Binder A
Box   9  
H. Tann Theatrical Ensemble -- Binder B
 
Scene Shots
Box   9  
Binder A
Box   9  
Binder B
Box   9  
Binder C
Box   9  
Binder D
 
Clippings, Programs, Unclassifiable, Photocopies
Box   9  
Production Clippings and Programs -- Binder A
Box   9  
Unclassifiable -- Binder A
Box   9  
Production Clippings and Unclassifiable -- Binder B
Box   9  
Production Clippings and Programs -- Binder C
Box   9  
Unclassifiable -- Binder C
Box   9  
Production Clippings and Programs -- Binder D
Box   9  
Known Photographs
Box   9  
Partially Known Photographs
Box   9  
Unknown Photographs
Box   9  
Loose Photographs (2 folders)
Box   9  
Photocopies
 
Porgy and Bess
Box   10  
Publicity Shots, Individuals --RSB2
Box   10  
Publicity Shots, Individuals --Maroon 2" Binder
Box   10  
Publicity Shots and Scene Shots, Black 1" Binder
Box   10  
Publicity Shots and Scene Shots, Black 1.5" Binder
Box   10  
Publicity Shots and Scene Shots, in Pittsburg, RSB2 1942
Box   10  
Scene Shots, RSB2 1958
Box   10  
Scene Shots in Egypt, RSB2
Box   10  
Scene Shots in Boston, RSB2 1942
Box   10  
Scene Shots, Maroon 2" Binder 1976
Box   10  
Scene Shots, Maroon 2" Binder 1935
Box   10  
Scene Shots, Maroon 2" Binder, New Zealand
Box   10  
Scene Shots, Orpheus, Maroon Binder #3
Box   10  
Proofs and Miscellaneous, RSB2
Box   10  
Miscellaneous, Maroon Binder #1
Box   10  
Miscellaneous, Maroon Binder #2
Box   10  
Miscellaneous Shots, Blue 2" Binder
Box   10  
Miscellaneous Loose Photos
Box   10  
Snaps, Cast and Scene, Negatives, Clippings, Red 3" Binder (3 folders)
Box   11  
Photo Lists
 
Black History Photos
 
Publicity Shots
Box   11  
Individuals (9 folders)
Box   11  
Individuals, Binder A (2 folders)
Box   11  
Individuals, Maroon 2" Binder
Box   11  
Individuals, Framed
Box   11  
Individuals, Opera Stars
Box   11  
Group Shots (2 folders)
Box   11  
Group Shots, Binder B
Box   11  
Group Shots, Binder C, The Talented Turners
Box   11  
Group Shots, Binder D
Box   11  
Miscellaneous Individual and Group Shots
Box   11  
Prints of Black Americans
Box   11  
Unidentified Family Shots, Maroon 2" Binder
Box   11  
Oversized Black History Photos (located in Box 14)
Oversize Box   12  
Miscellaneous Scene Shots (2 folders)
Oversize Box   12  
Miscellaneous Production Clippings and Programs
Oversize Box   12  
Miscellaneous Publicity Shots
 
Awards, Certificates, and Proclamations [series]

The Awards and Certificates series (1 outsized box) collects documents honoring Jessye including the award for Kansas Ambassador of the Arts, honorary proclamations from California, Kansas, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Atlanta, Dallas, Los Angeles, Memphis, New York City, Philadelphia, St. Louis, Taft, Oklahoma, and Washington DC. Among other tributes, Jessye also received honors from Howard University and Pittsburg State University in Kansas, and honorary doctorates from the University of Michigan School of Music, Eastern Michigan University and Glassboro State College.

Oversize Box   13  
Awards and Certificates, Originals (7 folders, 3 oversize items)
Oversize Box   13  
Awards and Certificates, Copies
Oversize Box   14  
Certification of Appreciation, International Freedom Festival
Oversize Box   14  
County of Los Angeles honor
 
Eva Jessye Program Series (outsized) [series]
Oversize Box   14  
Concert Posters Involving Jessye or concerts organized by the Eva Jessye Collection
 
Collected Program Series (outsized) [series]
Oversize Box   14  
Concert Posters, University of Michigan and Ann Arbor
 
Black History Clippings (outsized) [series]
Oversize Box   14  
Miscellaneous Black History Material
 
Photographs (outsized) [series]
 
Black History Photos (outsized)
Oversize Box   14  
Miscellaneous Publicity shots, individual and group
Additional Descriptive Data
Related Material

For more information on Eva Jessye see the Leonard H. Axe Library at Pittsburg State University in Kansas, which holds a 5 linear foot collection of her papers and records: http://library.pittstate.edu/spcoll/ndxjessye.html

The Robert W. Woodruff Library of the Atlanta University Center (http://www.auctr.edu/rwwl/Home/tabid/437/Default.aspx) also has a small Eva Jessye collection: http://www.auctr.edu/rwwl/FindingAids%5CEva%20Jessye%20Collection.pdf