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Nineteenth-Century Songbooks
from the Estate of Arthur F. Schrader

Arthur F. Schrader (1925-2004) was a music historian, or as he referred to himself, "an historian who works with obscure old songs sung by ordinary people."

Prior to becoming a member of the American Antiquarian Society in 1995, Mr. Schrader was a researcher utilizing the collections to deepen his understanding of historically accurate 18th- and 19th-century American music and performance.

The Ethiopian Violin Instructor
  The Ethiopian Violin Instructor, Containing Full and Complete Instructions, with all the Popular Negro Melodies of the Day, Including those of the Christy Minstrels (Boston, 1850) was ostensibly written by Gumbo Chaff, the pseudonym of Elias Howe (1820-1895). Howe had previously published The Ethiopian Glee Book and The Ethiopian Flute Instructor in 1848 and 1849.
He began working with the Isaiah Thomas ballad collection in 1962, and received an AAS-NEH fellowship in 1979-80 to prepare the collection for publication. Kate Van Winkle Keller later joined the project and is currently completing the work of Mr. Schrader and his late wife, Penn Elizabeth Burke Schrader.

In addition to researching colonial and early American music, Mr. Schrader also performed it. He discovered that his program of "Singing History" in schools reached students with an immediate sense of historical relevance. He was a ballad singer as well as a music researcher at Old Sturbridge Village, where he worked for two decades. At AAS he presented musical programs such as "Ballads for Ballots."

The Musical Fountain
 

The Musical Fountain was a temperance songster published in 1866. Songs such as "Clear Cold Water" urged their audience to partake of "the pure drink" rather than alcoholic beverages. The songster concludes with the "Independent Order of Good Templars," an order of service for temperance meetings that includes odes and pledges.

  Among his professional accolades, Mr. Schrader was a visiting professor at the College of William and Mary and helped found The Sonneck Society, now the Society for American Music. A WWII veteran, Mr. Schrader earned four Purple Heart citations and a silver star for bravery in battle.

C.C. 
Baldwin "One day I am visited by a collector of ordination sermons; the next, by a collector of 4th of July orations; then comes a collector of geography; another wants religious newspapers; another wants every book printed in New York before 1700. I accommodate myself to all; for I want every thing and collect every thing, and I have more zeal than the whole of them: and in this way I am kept very busy."
~Christopher Columbus Baldwin
 3rd Librarian of AAS

For almost two hundred years the librarians at the Antiquarian Society have worked to build collections by purchase and by donation. This page displays a recent product of our zeal.
~Nancy Burkett
 The Marcus A. McCorison Librarian of AAS (and 13th in the line of AAS librarians)

 

Additional Information

Recent Acquisitions Index

Recent acquisitions in the Newspaper Department

 


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Last updated April 1, 2005

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