Held at: University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts [Contact Us]3420 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6206
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts. 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
"Barbara J. Kukla was born in 1940 and grew up in North Arlington, New Jersey. Her interest in journalism began when she was 12 years old and started writing for The Viking Saga, the student newspaper paper at North Arlington High School, where she graduated in 1958. During her senior year, she was the paper's editor-in-chief.
After graduating Bloomfield College in 1963, she worked for the Bloomfield Independent Press and The Herald-News of Passaic before moving to The Star Ledger, where she spent nearly 37 years, mostly as editor of the popular "Newark This Week" section. She also was the paper's Sunday city editor for seven years.
Early in her career, she interviewed Viola Wells, a famous Newark singer known as Miss Rhapsody who introduced her to many people in the Newark community, especially its jazz artists. Kukla's first book, Swing City: Newark Nightlife 1925-1950, published in 1990 by Temple University Press, is dedicated to Miss Rhapsody. Reissued as a paperback by Rutgers University Press in 2002, it is considered the authoritative work on the Newark jazz scene. Since then, Kukla has written four more books and six calendars about prominent Newark people. They include: Defying the Odds: Triumphant Black Women of Newark; Sounds of Music: The Dolores Collins Benjamin Story; Newark Inside My Soul: A 50-Year Memoir and America's Music: Jazz In Newark. As a charter member of the Newark Public Schools Historic Preservation Committee, she also wrote the Newark Public Schools Directory of Distinguished Alumni in 2016. For many years, Kukla operated the Friends of Barbara Kukla Scholarship Fund, a group that raised $50,000 to aid Newark Public Schools children. She is a member of Bethany Baptist church. She has one daughter, Dashanta Faucette-Knight, and one granddaughter, LaFire Faucette."
Biographical note taken, in its entirety, from The Newark Public Library's finding aid for the Barbara J. Kukla papers, 1901-2016 [bulk 1970-2012]
This collection consists of ten acetate discs containing classical, gospel, and popular music, dating from at least 1937 to 1939. Since the majority of the discs contain no dates on either the wrapper or the disc, it is possible that the date range is significantly wider. Researchers will find recorded songs composed by Johann Georg Ahle, Johannes Brahams, Gaetano Donizetti, George Frideric Handel, Gustav Mahler, Felix Mendelssohn, Franz Schubert, William Schuman, Robert Schumann, and Giuseppe Verdi. Composers of gospel songs include Edward Hammond Boatner, Harry Thacker Burleigh, and Florence Price. There are also records containing music performed by Jerry Lee and Marian Anderson. Discs 7 and 9 appear to be accompaniments to songs--there is no voice, only piano.
Of particular note may be Marian Anderson's performance at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington. At the concert, Anderson sang "America;" Aria, "O, Mio Fernando" from "La Favorita," by Donizetti; "Ave Maria," by Schubert; "Gospel Train," by Burleigh; and "Trampin,'" by Boatner.
The discs were numbered at time of accession and the numbering system has been retained. The collection was digitized (although several discs were deteriorated to the point that they could not be copied). Researchers interested in listening to portions of the collection should contact the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books, and Manuscripts.
Gift of Barbara J. Kukla.
- University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
- Access Restrictions
Access to original audio/visual materials and computer files is restricted. The Kislak Center will provide access to the information on these materials from duplicate master files. Researchers will have access to the files on a dedicated computer in the Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center. Researchers should be aware of specifics of copyright law and act accordingly.
- Use Restrictions
Copyright restrictions may exist. For most library holdings, the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania do not hold copyright. It is the responsibility of the requester to seek permission from the holder of the copyright to reproduce material from the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts.