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Arthur Mendel Papers

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Held at: Princeton University Library: Manuscripts Division [Contact Us]

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Princeton University Library: Manuscripts Division. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

Mendel, Arthur, 1905-1979

After graduation from Harvard University (B.A. 1925), Mendel went to Paris, where he studied with Nadia Boulanger (1925-1927). He was music critic of The Nation (1930-1933), literary editor for G. Schirmer (1930-1938), editor of the American Musicological Society's journal (1940-1943), and editor for Associated Music Publishers (1941-1947). He was also an active translator. From 1936 to 1953 he conducted the Cantata Singers, one of the first groups in the USA to give authentic performances of Baroque music. He taught at the Dalcroze School of Music and the Diller - Quaile School in New York (1938-1950), serving as president of the former (1947-1950).

In the late 1940s Mendel gained recognition as a musicologist. He was appointed professor of music at Princeton University (1952), where he was departmental chairman (1952-1967), and held the Henry Putnam University Professorship from 1969 until his retirement in 1973. He was a member of the editorial boards of the Neue Bach - Ausgabe and the new Josquin edition. Mendel published studies on the history of musical pitch and the rhythmic structure of Renaissance and Baroque music. His editions and studies of Bach's life and works, most notably the documentary biography The Bach Reader (1945, with Hans T. David), and his practical and critical editions of the St. John Passion (1951, 1974), brought him recognition as the foremost American Bach scholar of his generation.

In his later years he investigated the music of Josquin and possible applications of computer technology to musicological problems. A Festschrift in his honor, Studies in Renaissance and Baroque Music, was published in 1974 (edited by Robert L. Marshall).

The collection consists of articles, correspondence, course notes, scrapbooks (1937-1952), memorabilia, and printed matter of Mendel, a professor of music at Princeton (1952-1973). The collection contains correspondence between Mendel, professional colleagues, and organizations such as the American Musicological Society, the Josquin Committee, and the International Josquin Festival Conference (June 1971) in New York, N.Y. There are also Mendel's records on the status of dissertations, course notes for a senior seminar in music history, material on pitches of various instruments and standard tuning frequencies, and scrapbooks containing letters, public relations announcements, and newspaper reviews of the Cantata Singers of All Souls Church in New York City, of which he was the conductor. In addition, there are liability insurance policies and cancelled personal checks of Mendel's wife, Elsa.

Additional material, also unprocessed was added to the collection in May 2007. This material includes sixteen binders and folders of Mendel while he was at Princeton University. The binders contain sheet music, original manuscript material, class curriculum and notes, and writings and criticism of Bach. Also included is correspondence; a binder labeled "Arthur's Honors"; photographs from an exhibition about Mendel; personal photographs; a photo album of his wife Elsa Wissell and her family, and documents about her death and her estate; photographs and letters about the "Cantata Singers"; printed material; and newspaper clippings.

This is an unprocessed collection and remains in its original arrangement.

Gift of the author. Additional material : transfer from Princeton University's Woolworth Music Center, May 1, 2007. AM 2007-100.

For preservation reasons, original analog and digital media may not be read or played back in the reading room. Users may visually inspect physical media but may not remove it from its enclosure. All analog audiovisual media must be digitized to preservation-quality standards prior to use. Audiovisual digitization requests are processed by an approved third-party vendor. Please note, the transfer time required can be as little as several weeks to as long as several months and there may be financial costs associated with the process. Requests should be directed through the Ask Us Form.

This is an unprocessed collection. The contents list provided is a preliminary inventory.

No appraisal information is available.

Publisher
Manuscripts Division
Finding Aid Date
2001
Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Single copies may be made for research purposes. To cite or publish quotations that fall within Fair Use, as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission is required. For instances beyond Fair Use, it is the responsibility of the researcher to determine whether any permissions related to copyright, privacy, publicity, or any other rights are necessary for their intended use of the Library's materials, and to obtain all required permissions from any existing rights holders, if they have not already done so. Princeton University Library's Special Collections does not charge any permission or use fees for the publication of images of materials from our collections, nor does it require researchers to obtain its permission for said use. The department does request that its collections be properly cited and images credited. More detailed information can be found on the Copyright, Credit and Citations Guidelines page on our website. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us through the Ask Us! form.

Collection Inventory

Physical Description

1 box

American Council of Learned Societies, dates not examined. 1 folder.
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1 folder

AMS, dates not examined. 1 folder.
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1 folder

AMS Publication, 1974. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

AMS Publication, 1973 (incl.), 1973. 1 folder.
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1 folder

AMS: Washington, 1974. 1 folder.
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1 folder

Archival Restoration Associates, dates not examined. 1 folder.
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1 folder

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1 box

AS, dates not examined. 1 folder.
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1 folder

Babitz, dates not examined. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Bach Concordance: BG Sachverzeichnis, dates not examined. 1 folder.
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1 folder

Bach, J.S., Inst., etc., dates not examined. 1 folder.
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1 folder

Barenreiter, dates not examined. 1 folder.
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1 folder

British Museum, dates not examined. 1 folder.
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1 folder

Dissertations in Progress, dates not examined. 1 folder.
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1 folder

Dufay Conference: 12/6 - 7/74, dates not examined. 1 folder.
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1 folder

Durr: Dadelson, dates not examined. 1 folder.
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1 folder

Handel and Haydn, dates not examined. 1 folder.
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1 folder

Haydn Proceedings, dates not examined. 1 folder.
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1 folder

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1 box

Int(l Congress: Bach Symposium, dates not examined. 1 folder.
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1 folder

KNUF, dates not examined. 1 folder.
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1 folder

Microfilm Print(s), dates not examined. 1 folder.
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1 folder

Neumann, Frederick, 1972. 1 folder.
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1 folder

Neumann, Frederick, 1973. 1 folder.
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1 folder

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1 box

Neumann, Werner, dates not examined. 1 folder.
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1 folder

NYPL, dates not examined. 1 folder.
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1 folder

Oxford, dates not examined. 1 folder.
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1 folder

Reese Memoir, dates not examined. 1 folder.
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1 folder

Research Committee, dates not examined. 1 folder.
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1 folder

Schmitz, dates not examined. 1 folder.
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1 folder

Smend, dates not examined. 1 folder.
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1 folder

Staehelin, dates not examined. 1 folder.
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1 folder

Strunk Festschrift, dates not examined. 1 folder.
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1 folder

A, dates not examined. 1 folder.
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1 folder

B, 1974. 1 folder.
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1 folder

B, 1975. 1 folder.
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1 folder

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1 box

C, dates not examined. 1 folder.
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1 folder

D, dates not examined. 1 folder.
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1 folder

E, dates not examined. 1 folder.
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1 folder

F, dates not examined. 1 folder.
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1 folder

G, dates not examined. 1 folder.
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1 folder

H, dates not examined. 1 folder.
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1 folder

I, dates not examined. 1 folder.
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1 folder

J, dates not examined. 1 folder.
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1 folder

K, dates not examined. 1 folder.
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1 folder

L, dates not examined. 1 folder.
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1 folder

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1 box

M, dates not examined. 1 folder.
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1 folder

N, dates not examined. 1 folder.
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1 folder

O, dates not examined. 1 folder.
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1 folder

P, dates not examined. 1 folder.
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1 folder

Q, R, dates not examined. 1 folder.
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1 folder

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1 box

S, dates not examined. 1 folder.
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1 folder

Departmental Business, dates not examined. 1 folder.
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1 folder

U-V-W-X-Y-Z, dates not examined. 1 folder.
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1 folder

Physical Description

1 box

Confidential File, dates not examined. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Josquin Committee, 1979. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Committee Business, dates not examined. 1 folder.
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1 folder

CH/EL/HMB, dates not examined. 1 folder.
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1 folder

1977 Meeting, 1977. 1 folder.
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1 folder

Individual Committee Members, dates not examined. 1 folder.
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1 folder

Physical Description

1 box

Josquin Conference, dates not examined. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Mass Workshop, dates not examined. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Music 410, dates not examined. 1 folder.
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1 folder

T, dates not examined. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Physical Description

1 box

Personal Checks, dates not examined. 2 folders.
Physical Description

2 folders

Obsolete Insurance Policies, dates not examined. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

The Cantata Singers, 1937 - 1945. 1 folder.
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1 folder

Physical Description

1 box

The Cantata Singers, 1946 - 1947. 1 folder.
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1 folder

The Cantata Singers, 1948 - 1949. 1 folder.
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1 folder

Cantata Singers: 1950-1951 - Cantata Singers, 1952, 1950-1951 1952. 1 box.
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1 box

Physical Description

1 box

Pitch: Miscellaneous & Curiosa, dates not examined. 1 folder.
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1 folder

Brass, dates not examined. 1 folder.
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1 folder

Cammer-Ton, Chorton, etc., dates not examined. 1 folder.
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1 folder

Pitch: Chiavette, dates not examined. 1 folder.
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1 folder

Harpsichords, etc., dates not examined. 1 folder.
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1 folder

Leipp, dates not examined. 1 folder.
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1 folder

Meeùs, dates not examined. 1 folder.
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1 folder

Organ - Pipe Measures, dates not examined. 1 folder.
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1 folder

Organs, dates not examined. 1 folder.
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1 folder

Praetorius, dates not examined. 1 folder.
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1 folder

Schlick, dates not examined. 1 folder.
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1 folder

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1 box

Strings, dates not examined. 1 folder.
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1 folder

Thomas & Rhodes, dates not examined. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Vocal Compasses, dates not examined. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Woodwinds, dates not examined. 1 folder.
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1 folder

Pitch Material and Cantata Singers programs, etc., dates not examined. 1 box.
Physical Description

1 box

Elsa Wissell's Family Photo Album, 1896-1984. 1 box.
Physical Description

1 box

Scrapbook, 1928-1942. 1 box.
Physical Description

1 box

Photographs, 1902-1975. 1 box.
Physical Description

1 box

Binder with "Arthur's Honors", Correspondence, Printed Material, 1938-1988. 1 box.
Physical Description

1 box

Binder 1: Handel I; Binder 2: Monteverdi; Binder 3: Bach Performance Book; Binder 4: Performance I, 1957-1967. 1 box.
Physical Description

1 box

2 Binder Containing Bach's Cantatas BWV 225-846; 2 Binders Containing Opera I & II, 1949-1979. 1 box.
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1 box

4 Binders Containing Bach Cantatas BWV 1-224, 1963-1966. 1 box.
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1 box

3 Binders with Material for Teaching Classes; 1 Binder Labeled "Handwriting Studies", 1954-1971. 1 box.
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1 box

Matted Photographs, undated. 1 box.
Physical Description

1 box

Print, Suggest