Herbert Spence papers
Held at: African American Museum in Philadelphia [Contact Us]701 Arch St., Philadelphia, PA, 19106
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the African American Museum in Philadelphia. 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
Herbert "Herb" Melvin Spence was a musician and music teacher based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He attended Fort Valley State College around 1950 before earning a Master of Music Education degree from Temple University in 1979. For many years he worked for the School District of Philadelphia, retiring from Samuel H. Daroff Elementary School in 1986.
This collection is made up largely of printed sheet music, musical education texts, and slides. There is only a small amount of personal papers, such as Spence's notes on music history, diplomas and plaques he received, programs for student recitals and other performances, and photographs of children in his classes, of Spence himself, and of famous African American musicians. The sheet music ranges from spirituals to musicals to classical and other genres. There are over three dozen audiocassette tapes, both mass produced and privately recorded, of musical performances, choirs, jazz, singers, etc. There are also many books on music education and music theory. The slides are in 16 slide carousels and date from 1971-1988. Most are from travels, to destinations in Europe, California, Mexico, Hong Kong, Japan, South America, and the Middle East. Accompanying these slides, and presumably collected from Spence's journeys, are rocks from Christian sites in Egypt and Israel, and from Greek sites. Also included are a small number of personal slides depicting events such as birthday parties, graduations, sports games, awards ceremonies, and Spence's classes. Inventories for the sheet music, texts, and audio recordings are available on-site; there is also a handwritten listing of the slides.
Summary descriptive information on this collection was compiled in 2012-2014 as part of a project conducted by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania to make better known and more accessible the largely hidden collections of small, primarily volunteer run repositories in the Philadelphia area. The Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories (HCI-PSAR) was funded by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
This is a preliminary finding aid. No physical processing, rehousing, reorganizing, or folder listing was accomplished during the HCI-PSAR project.
In some cases, more detailed inventories or finding aids may be available on-site at the repository where this collection is held; please contact African American Museum in Philadelphia directly for more information.
- African American music teachers
- African American musicians
- Music teachers
- Music--Instruction and study
- African American Museum in Philadelphia
- Finding Aid Author
- Finding aid prepared by Celia Caust-Ellenbogen and Sarah Leu through the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories
- This preliminary finding aid was created as part of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories. The HCI-PSAR project was made possible by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
- Access Restrictions
Contact African American Museum in Philadelphia for information about accessing this collection.