Explore the Archives

When Paul Fromm formally affiliated his Fromm Music Foundation with Harvard University in 1972, the archival material collected by Fromm since the early days of the Foundation moved to Cambridge.  The collection consists of tens of thousands of pages of documents relating to the Foundation’s operations, including personal letters, draft and published scores, administrative documents, photographs, and more.  In the content included in this section, you can see the rich diversity of materials in action: students of Professor Anne Shreffler have provided summaries and documentation of research projects that point to the breadth and depth of the collection.

Over the course of several decades, the materials related to the Fromm Music Foundation have been spread across seventeen different collections in three Harvard libraries: Houghton Library, the University Archives, and the Merritt Room of Loeb Music Library.  Access to these collections may require special permission; contacting a librarian before arrival is highly recommended.

Each of these libraries has its own hours, policies, and finding aids.  The following information provides a basic overview of the materials in each collection, as well as the information necessary to conduct research onsite.

1.  Houghton Rare Books and Manuscripts
Houghton contains two separate Fromm collections. The first contains mostly scores and recordings, while the second contains correspondence files organized by composer. A separate collection of the papers of violinist Rudolf Kolisch also contains several items relating to the Foundation. 
Finding Aid for Fromm Music Foundation Materials at Houghton Library
A Guide for Researchers at Houghton Library (Although this is written for the Theatre Collection at Houghton, protocol and logistical information is applicable.)
To contact: houghton_library@harvard.edu or 617-495-2440

2. Harvard University Archives (enter through Lamont Library, via Pusey Library)
HUA’s collections focus primarily on subject listings culled from the Foundation’s office files (a folder might concentrate on a particular concert, for example).  While there is much interesting material, the HUA collections are among the most difficult to navigate; they are spread out between 13 collections and over 70 boxes.
Plan a Visit to HUA
To contact: Ask an Archivist

3.  Loeb Music Library (Merritt Room in Isham Memorial Library)
The Music Library holds six boxes of Fromm Material. They relate primarily to Harvard Administrative operations after the transfer of the Foundation to Harvard in 1972.
About Isham Memorial Library
To contact: sjadams@fas.harvard.edu