From an early age, Marian Anderson was recognized for her powerful and beautiful voice. Labelled a contralto, her voice stood out among her peers. Soon she was performing solo and appearing on musical programs at the age of ten years old. While some of these early programs survive elsewhere, for example, at Marian Anderson House in Philadelphia, the earliest musical program in the Penn Collection dates from 1916. For the next twenty years, Anderson self-managed her career. But in 1939, New York Concert Manager, Sol Hurok managed her career until her retirement in 1963. Most importantly for Anderson, Hurok arranged her annual tours, negotiated her fees, and meticulously documented her tours. Programs were saved for virtually all of her performances. The information contained in the programs is invaluable: one can trace her performances by place, venue, and, perhaps, most importantly her repertoire.
You can see a full listing of the contents of the Marian Anderson Papers and the Supplementary Papers
by using Penn's Finding Aids and you can download a PDF version of the entire listing.
Finding Aid for Programs
You can see downloadable images for each item and its accompanying bibliographic data in the Library's new Colenda repository.
Digital Images of Programs