Table of Contents

Descriptive Summary

Administrative Information

Historical Note

Scope & Content Note

Past Presidents

Organization & Arrangement

Index Terms

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

Series Arrangement & Description

Series 1: Minutes and Records

Series 2: Membership

Series 3: Correspondence

Series 4: Constitution and Bylaws

Series 5: Scholarship

Series 6: Programs

Series 7: History

Series 8: Scrapbooks

Series 9: Music

Container Listing

 

 

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A Finding Aid for the
Plainfield Musical Club Records,
[
1914-2000]


club photo
Plainfield Musical Club meeting, photograph taken by Howard Rowe, circa 1930s.

Finding aid written and encoded by Michelle Campbell in April 2010;
processed in 2010 by Michelle Campbell.


Descriptive Summary

Title:

Records of the Plainfield Musical Club, 1914 - 2000

Creator: Plainfield Musical Club
Accession: MSS-2000-3
PPL-2010-018

Size:

2.5 linear feet of records
Comprised of 4 boxes:
One (1) 10”H x 15 ½”L x 12 ½”W archival storage box
Two (2) 10”H x 15 ½”L x 5”W archival document cases
One (1) 3”H x 11 ½”L x 15”W archival document case
Repository:

Plainfield Public Library, Local History Department, 800 Park Avenue, Plainfield, NJ 07060

Abstract:

The Plainfield Musical Club [1914-2000] was founded in April 1892. The charter members had been meeting informally for several years before officially establishing the Club, which was “dedicated to the stimulation of a greater interest in musical culture.” The collection includes administrative material, such as early constitutions and by-laws, as well as meeting minutes, annual reports, event records, correspondence, scrapbooks, newspaper clippings, programs, as well as sheet music.

Language:

The records are in English.


Administrative Information
Access & Restrictions

The Records of the Plainfield Musical Club are available for research.

Access is restricted to materials prepared by the Local History department staff. All materials must be viewed in the Plainfield Room and may not be removed to another area of the library without permission of the Library Director or designee. Materials must be handled carefully and kept in order. Materials must not be leaned upon, altered, folded, ripped, or traced upon. Marks may not be added or erased from materials. Materials must be returned directly to Local History department staff and inspected before the researcher leaves the Plainfield Room.

One photocopy may be made (by Plainfield Public Library staff) of each document for the purpose of research; official Local History departmental reproduction fees may apply. Permission to publish must be obtained by the Plainfield Public Library Board of Trustees as delegated to the Library Director. Permission to publish does not constitute a copyright clearance. The researcher is responsible for further copyright restrictions. The Plainfield Public Library is not responsible for the misuse of copyrighted material.

Preferred Citation

Identification of item; Date (if noted); "Records of the Plainfield Musical Club,” Box and Folder Number; Local History Department, Plainfield Public Library, Plainfield, New Jersey.

Acquisition Information

The collection was donated in 2000 by an unknown donor. Additions to the collection were donated in 2010 by Robert Paoli.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Michelle Campbell in 2010. The finding aid was written and encoded by Michelle Campbell in 2010. Finding aid content follows the guidelines suggested by Describing Archives: A Content Standard.

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Historical Note

The Plainfield Musical Club, the oldest musical club in New Jersey was founded in April 1892 by Miss Caroline Struelli and 21 other women vocalists, pianists and "elocutionists". The charter members had been meeting informally for several years before officially establishing the Club, which was “dedicated to the stimulation of a greater interest in musical culture.” Important early members included Miss Maud Van Boskerck, who came to the PMC as a pianist and contributed to programs as an accompanist and offered her studio as a meeting place. She also supported the annual concert of famous artists. Mrs. Albert H. Atterbury built Club membership up to 60, but when members wavered in meeting attendance, her suggestion of disbanding spurred renewed interest.

1925 brought the addition of males to the Club, as well as organists, harpists, orchestral instrument players and the elocutionists became "poet-readers." The PMC season ran from October through July inclusive and it held nine monthly meetings annually.

The Club was also active with the community. They contributed money to the Red Cross during both World Wars, bought and donated boxes or seats at the Metropolitan Opera House for the Jersey Junior performances as well as tickets to performances by the Plainfield Symphony Society, Plainfield Choral Club and Mendelssohn Glee Club. The PMC also made many contributions to the Edward MacDowell Association for its artist's colony in Peterborough, NH. In 1950, the Club established an Scholarship Fund which awarded high school graduates from Plainfield and North Plainfield who were interested in furthering their musical education. The fund was generously supported in 1988 with a donation from the estate of former member Adele de Leeuw, noted Plainfield author and native. The bequest was set up in honor of her sister Cateau de Leeuw, also a noted author, illustrator and club member. Other nationally known members included Harriet Ware, who composed music for solo voice, piano, choral and organ, and Charlotte Garden, once the leading female organist in the United States and Europe.

There were fifteen types of musicianship represented: piano, accompanists, organ, violin, soprano, contralto, tenor, bass and baritone, ensemble, choral director, and poet-reader. There were also five classes of membership: Senior-active, Junior-active, Joint (for husbands and wives), Associate and Honorary. Mrs. Leighton Calkins, wife of a Plainfield mayor, was made the first honorary member in 1919. The Club is still in existence today and remains active, still gathering at members homes.

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Scope and Content Note

The Plainfield Musical Club collection includes a variety of historical material dating back to 1914. Record types include meeting minutes from recording secretary, board and other committees, constitution and bylaws. The recording secretary's minutes run from 1951 - 1964. Other administrative records include financial records, membership rosters, meeting correspondence, and publicity records including PMC official letterhead, postcards, press releases, and newspaper clippings. Original paper documents contain typed and handwritten information; with handwritten marginal notes appearing on both.

There is a large volume of records documenting PMC activities including the various meetings, club fundraisers, anniversary records and event programs.  A variety of scrapbooks, created by members, help document the Club’s early history from 1936 to 1992.  Some contain early organization minutes, and photographs; there are extensive newspaper clippings.  Of particular interest is the 100th gala anniversary of the PMC from 1992 which includes photographs, clippings, and correspondence. There is also a copy of the Club's history in an article written by Muriel Collins Lambert in 1949 for the New Jersey Music magazine, from which much of the historical information was collected for this finding aid.

Finally, there is one box of sheet music, primarily choral music with publication dates back to 1869. Original paper documents contain printed and handwritten information with handwritten marginal notes appearing on both.

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Past Presidents


 

Name

Dates

Mrs. Clifton Wharton

1892 - 1898

Mrs. Albert H. Atterbury

1906 - 1914

Mrs. J. Kirtland Meyers

1914 - 1917

Mrs. Albert H. Atterbury

1917 - 1920

Mrs. Ruth Waldo

1920 - 1923

Mrs. Harry R. Moyer

1923 - 1925

Mrs. Duncan W. Taylor

1925 - 1927

Mrs. Leontine Hunstman

1927 - 1929

F. Clyde Doane

1929 - 1931

H.D. Bonnell

1931 - 1933

Fay Barnaby Kent

1933 - 1935

Mary Eaton His

1935 - 1937

Georges J. His

1937 - 1939

H.D. Bonnell

1939 - 1941

Muriel Collins Lambert

1941 - 1943

Howard S. Savage

1943 - 1945

Georges J. His

1945 - 1947

Jean Bender Coulthurst

1947 - 1949

Phyllis Runyon

1949 - 1951

Catherine Talley

1951 - 1953

Rosemary Hinman

1953 - 1955

Stuart LeCompte

1955 - 1957

Claire C. O'Neill

1957 - 1959

Florence S. Hageman

1959 - 1961

Dorothea Durant 1961 - 1963

Louise Markley De Lisle 1963 - 1965

Bernice Swain 1965 - 1967

Marilyn Hannon 1967 - 1968

Patricia McNelis 1968 - 1969

Jeannette M. Rutan

1969 - 1970

Joyce Bayer

1973 - 1974

 

IBeverly Weber

1976 - 1977

 

Irina Holt

1977 - 1978

 

Carol Marder

1980 - 1981

 

Robert Paoli

1981 - 1983

 

Rena Fruchter

1983 - 1985

 

Patty Fischer

1985 - 1987

 

Fred Fischer

1987 - 1989

 

Allen Weakland

1989 - 1991

 

Paul DiDario

1991 - 1997

 

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Organization and Arrangement

The Records of the Plainfield Musical Club are arranged into nine series:

Series 1: Minutes and Records
Series 2: Membership
Series 3: Correspondence
Series 4: Constitution and By-Laws
Series 5: Scholarship
Series 6: Programs
Series 7: History
Series 8: Scrapbooks
Series 9: Music

 

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Index Terms

People:

deLeeuw, Adele, 1899-1988.
deLeeuw, Cateau, 1903-1975
Hu, Shih, 1891-1962.
Ware, Harriet, 1877-1962.

Organizations:

Mendelssohn Glee Club
Metropolitan Opera Guild
Plainfield Musical Club, Plainfield, NJ
Plainfield Symphony Society, Plainfield, NJ
Plainfield Choral Club, Plainfield, NJ

Places:

Plainfield (N.J.)

Subjects:

Choral music
Music & Musicians
Music and youth
Music appreciation
Music--scholarship and performance
Music--Societies, etc.
Music Scores
Plainfield (N.J.)--History
Plainfield (N.J.)--Clubs and organizations

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Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

This collection consists of paper documents that do not require any additional technology for access.

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Series Description

Series 1: Minutes and Records [1915 -- 1993]

Series Arrangement

Series 1 is arranged chronologically by subject in 5 folders.

Description

Series 1 contains meeting minutes from various committees, including general club, board, executive, and committee minutes.  It is composed solely of paper documents. Archivist maintained original organization of Recording Secretary's minutes and records (1951 - 1964), annual and chronological and combined into two folders.

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Series 2: Membership [1937--1995]

Series Arrangement

Series 2 is arranged alphabetically by subject and chronologically in 6 folders.

Description

Series 2 contains records and documents that pertain to membership including rosters and correspondence. It is composed solely of paper documents. Correspondence includes recommendations for membership, resignations from membership, welcome to new members, change of address from members and announcements of death.  Includes handwritten notes, letters on personal letterhead and cards. Membership rosters are comprised of printed, typed and handwritten booklets with some handmade covers.

 

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Series 3: Correspondence, [1931--1997]

Series Arrangement

Series 3 is arranged alphabetically by subject and chronologically in 5 folders.

Description

Series 3 contains correspondence from past presidents and general business correspondence. It is composed solely of paper documents. The bulk of this series are newsletters to members announcing where meeting locations and programs. Original organization included two folders labeled Correspondence, President H.D Bonnell 1931-33 and Correspondence, President Allen Weakland 1988-1991 which are now included in this series in folders 14 and 15. Programs, meeting letters, membership correspondence and board meeting minutes were removed and included in the corresponding series. Also included in this series are telegram from the Chinese Ambassador to the United States, Hu Shih and a letter from Ambassador’s Private Secretary to President Lambert from 1942 inviting Mrs. Francis de L Hyde as his guest for the meeting on the 17th. A handwritten note on the letter reads: " The Chinese ambassador from China to USA was invited to speak at the March 1942 meeting of the Plainfield Musical Club in an open meeting in Crescent Ave. Church in the Club's 50th anniversary year- Chinese music was featured in the program. Mr. Richard E. Lambert interviewed Mr. Hu Shih. During the meeting there was a serious fire in the neighborhood and Mr. Lambert heard the fire engines and feared that the church house just to the rear of the church was on fire while he was interviewing Mr. Hu Shih."

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Series 4: Constitution and By Laws [1940, 1959-60, n. d.]

Series Arrangement

Series 4 is arranged chronologically by subject in one folder.

Description

Series 4 contains copies of constitution and by laws with handwritten edits and notes.  It is composed solely of paper documents.

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Series 5: Scholarship [1973--2000]

Series Arrangement

Series 5 is arranged chronologically by subject in one folder.

Description

Series 5 contains records that pertain to the scholarship administered by the clubs.  It includes letters from scholarship award winners, application forms and receipts. It is composed solely of paper documents. Included is handwritten letter dated November 17, 1975 from Adele de Leeuw thanking the PMC board in “making a contribution to the scholarship fund in memory of my sister Cateau de Leeuw.

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Series 6: Programs [1912 --1995]

Series Arrangement

Series 6 is arranged chronologically by subject in 4 folders.

Description

Series 6 contains programs of performances at club meetings and other performances.  There are also handwritten and typed notes of performer biographies. It is composed solely of paper documents.

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Series 7: History [1966 --1993 with gaps, n. d.]

Series Arrangement

Series 7 is arranged chronologically by subject in 3 folders.

Description

Series 7 contains newspaper clippings, photos and ephemera. It also contains a copy of the history of the club written by Muriel Collins Lambert, originally published in 1949 in the New Jersey Music periodical.

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Series 8: Scrapbooks [1936 --1992]

Series Arrangement

Series 8 is arranged chronologically in 2 boxes with 8 folders in total.

Description

Series 8 contains scrapbooks. It is composed primarily of paper documents.  Some contain early organization minutes, and photographs; there are extensive newspaper clippings. There are 6 scrapbooks in total: 1936-38, 1951-52, 1952-53 (contents were removed and separated from fragile 3 ring binder), 1953-54, 1954-59. The last scrapbook 1992 is dedicated solely to the 100th anniversary event. (The contents were removed from a 3-ring binder which was discarded). Also Included in Box 3 are the contents of a envelope entitled 100th Birthday Gala with clipping and final reports collected by Bob Paoli. Finally, there is a framed document from the city of Plainfield and Mayor announcing the proclamation of Plainfield Music Club Week May 24 - 30, 1992 to celebrate the event.

 

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Series 9: Music [1931 --n.d]

music

Series Arrangement

Series 9 is arranged by subject in 3 folders.

Description

Series 9 contains sheet music with both published and handwritten arrangements. It is composed solely of paper documents. Included is a handwritten score that is inscribed " Used at the Dec. 1942 meeting of the Plainfield Musical Club." This series also includes songbook. The bulk of the series is sheet music, handwritten and printed copies of "In a Persian Garden", a vocal song cycle for four solo voice, originally published in 1869. This material is fragile. There is also a two page typed document entitled "Music Library" containing a list of music and composers.

[Handwritten copy of "In a Persian Garden", originally published in 1869.]

 

 

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Container Listing

Series I: Minutes [1915--1995]

Box

Folder

Title Date

1

1

Annual Board of Directors Meeting

1931 - 1991 with gaps

 

2

Financial Records

1964 - 1993 with gaps

 

3

Recording Secretary

1951 - June 1960

 

4

Recording Secretary

1960 - 1964

 

5

Junior PMC

1970

 

 

 

 

Series 2: Membership [1944--1995]

Box

Folder

Title Date

1

6

Correspondence

1944 - 1945, 1959-1979 with gaps

 

7

Correspondence

1988 - 1993

 

8

Reports

1973 - 1974

 

9

Rosters

1937 - 1968 with gaps

 

10

Rosters

1969 - 1974 with gaps

 

11

Rosters

1982 - 1995 with gaps

 

 

 

 

 

Series 3: Correspondence [1942--2000]

Box

Folder

Title Date

1

12

General

1942 - 2000 with gaps

 

13

Meetings

1969 - April 1997 with gaps

 

14

President -- H.D. Bonnell

1931 - 1933

 

15

President -- Allen Weakland

1988 - 1991

 

16

Stationery

 

 

 

 

 

Series 4 : Constitution and Bylaws[1940-1960]

Box

Folder

Title Date

1

17

Constitution and Bylaws

1940, 1959 - 1960

 

 

Series 5 : Scholarship[1973-2000]

Box

Folder

Title Date

1

18

Scholarship

1973 - 2000

 

 

Series 6 : Programs [1914-1995]

Box

Folder

Title Date

1

19

Club

1914 - 1970 with gaps

 

20

Club

1980 - 1995 with gaps

 

21

Other

1924, 1969, 1992

 

22

Performer Biographies

n.d.

 

 

 

Series 7 : History [1949--1993]

Box

Folder

Title Date

1

23

Article

1949

 

24

Clippings

1966 - 1993 with gaps

 

25

Photos and Ephemera

n.d.

 

 

 

Series 8 : Scrapbooks [1936--1992]

Box

Folder

Title Date

2

1

Scrapbooks

1936 - 1938

 

2

Scrapbooks

1951 - 1952

 

3

Scrapbooks

1952 - 1953

 

4

Cover

1952 - 1953

3

1

Scrapbooks

1953 - 1954

 

2

Scrapbooks

1954 - 1959

 

3

Scrapbooks -- 100th Birthday

1992

 

4

Framed Proclamation

1992

 

 

 

 

 

Series 9 : Music [1931--n.d.]

Box

Folder

Title Date

4

1

Miscellaneous Music

1931,1942 - n.d

 

2

In a Persian Garden

n.d.

 

3

In a Persian Garden

n.d.

 

 

 

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