Administrative Records of the Curtis Institute of Music

We are in the process of making finding aids to our collections available online. For more information please contact the archivist.



1.1 History of the Curtis Institute of Music

This record group contains Curtis publications and online resources about the history of the Curtis Institute of Music, as well as other materials about the history of the school. For additional historical resources, consult our frequently asked questions.

1.2 Publications and promotional materials, 1924–present

This record group contains Curtis programs, publications, and promotional materials, published since Curtis’s founding. The materials are subdivided into a chronologically arranged subgroup, as well as an alphabetical subgroup, arranged by title or subject. Where only one copy of an item was found this was filed in the chronological series. Additional promotional materials can be found in AD 1.3. For access to the Catalogue, Overtones, and recitals 1924–1974 see our online resources.

1.3 Clippings and scrapbooks, 1924–1957, 1968–1984

During the first three decades of its existence, the school kept elaborate scrapbooks of newspaper clippings and other materials to document its developments and achievements, as well of those of its alumni. They include annual scrapbooks (1924–1955) and individual scrapbooks kept by various offices, a scrapbook about performances and publicity for Menotti’s Amelia Goes to the Ball, and advertisements for 1938-1957. Scrapbooks with layered clippings were dismantled, photocopied, and microfilmed; photocopies of individual entries were distributed among the vertical files of alumni and faculty. The scrapbooks and clippings spanning the years 1968–1984 concern opera, publicity, Curtis’s 50th anniversary (1974–1975), and a scrapbook kept by Dean Fitzpatrick.

1.4 Oral History, 1972–present

This group contains transcriptions of interviews with alumni, faculty, board members, and staff about their experiences at the Curtis Institute of Music as well as aspects of their own careers. The majority of the interviews were conducted by Naomi and Gary Graffman, as well as Diana Burgwyn. Access to the interviews is restricted during the lifetime of the interviewee, unless otherwise stipulated in the finding aid.

1.5 Audiovisual recordings, 1979–present

This record group contains non-commercial, non-performance audio- or audiovisual recordings relating to the Curtis Institute of Music and its alumni, including publicity materials created by the Curtis Institute of Music and broadcasts, documentaries, and programs featuring the Curtis Institute of Music, its alumni, and staff. These materials are for internal use only and are not accessible to the public. Commercial recordings featuring alumni and all student recitals from 1937 to the present are held by the Library and can be searched through the library’s online catalog.  All recordings are private and are available to students, faculty, alumni and approved researchers (contact the Media Librarian).



2.1 General

2.2 Founder’s records, 1894, 1924–1966

The founder’s records contain Mary Louise Curtis Bok’s correspondence as the school’s president with faculty and staff during the first decades of the school’s existence (1924–1947). In addition, the record group contains miscellaneous materials concerning Mary Louise Curtis Bok and her family, including publications by her first husband Edward Bok (1863–1930), financial records, and personal copies of printed materials and programs.

2.3 Board of trustees, 1924–present

The records of the trustees include minutes, directories, reports, and miscellaneous financial materials, as well as clippings and biographical information about board members.

2.4 Board of overseers, 1986–2006

The records of the board of overseers contain minutes, directories, and information about its members and meetings.

2.5 Mary Louise Curtis Bok Foundation, 1932–1994

The Mary Louise Curtis Bok foundation records include minutes, directories, information about its members, financial ledgers and reports, and limited correspondence.

2.6 Office of the president, 19242009

The office of the president records include subject files, organized in subgroups by president or director. Some of the series are not extensive, particularly in the case of Rudolf Serkin’s directorship.



3.1 Office of the dean, 1924–1959, 1980–2011

The early records of the dean’s office (1924–1959) include annual reports, lists of graduates, and student award records. The annual reports, which are partly restricted, contain statistical information about students, faculty, and staff, as well as applications and dismissals. The later records (1980–2011) include student handbooks, calendars, miscellaneous memos, correspondence, and event files. In addition, they include records and correspondence concerning the Middle School Association of Colleges and Schools (MSA), the Commission of Higher Education (CHE), and the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM), including self-studies and evaluation reports.

3.2 Admissions office, 1925–1960, 1980–2013

This record group contains entrance examination records through 1960 and miscellaneous data and statistics (1980–2013).

3.3 Registrar’s office, 1924–2011

The Registrar’s records include student files from all students attending Curtis since its founding. In addition, the majority of the records consist of the following series, most of which are incomplete: Exams (1929-1943); Student population records (1938–1939, 1968–1978); Commencement records and programs and honorary degrees (1934–present); Student evaluations (1924–1959); Student rosters (1925–2008). For access restrictions and stipulations please consult our policies.

3.4 Student services, 1925–1942, 1965, 1990–2010

The records in this group, which cover a varied but incomplete range of subjects, are divided among the following subgroups: General (1965, 1987–2010); Student information and publications (1980–1999); Student counseling and health (1925–1926, 1999–2000); Student housing (1934–1942, 1994–2001); Financial aid and student employment (1994–2001); Community engagement and career development (2007–2010).

3.5 Academic and non-instrumental studies, 1925–29, 1948–1955, 19902010

The records in this group include a variety of lectures notes and course materials (1925–2010), faculty meeting minutes (1991–2005), and materials of a general nature, including faculty biographies, announcements and reminiscences (1974–2009).

3.6 Library, 1927–2012

The records of the library document all operations of Curtis’s library since its establishment in 1926, including circulation, reference, and access to the library’s collections. The records are divided into the following subgroups: General operations (1967–1912); Circulation (1927–2009; Access to collections (1966–2009); Correspondence (1929–1958, 1975–2012?); Special collections; Archives (2000–2008). Correspondence about the school’s history and archives prior to the appointment of an archivist in 2000 can be found in the general correspondence series.

3.7 Student life, 1938–2011

This record group incorporates student council records and publications (1998–2011) as well as student publications (1938–1992).



4.1 General

4.2 Opera and vocal studies, 1929–1955, 1972–1977, 1997–present

The early opera and vocal studies records include opera contracts (1929–1937) and subject files about individual opera productions (1929–1937, 1955). The records from 1972 include administrative records, subject files, and files about individual opera productions. Programs, publicity materials, and opera scrapbooks can be found in AD 1.  For financial reports (1964–1974) see AD 6.1.

4.3 Orchestra, 1981–2010

AD 4.3 contains miscellaneous records concerning schedules and repertoire, 1981–2010. Orchestra programs can be found in AD 1.3; clippings, reviews, and scrapbooks for 1924–1999 can be found in AD 1.3.

4.4 Recitals, 1934–1940, 1973–2011

The early records in this group pertain to Longwood Gardens recitals (1934–1936) and the Curtis concert bureau (1939). The records from 1973 include miscellaneous administrative records concerning the arrangement of recitals for students, alumni, and faculty, as well as other performances. Recital programs were amalgamated with AD 1.2.

4.5 Ensembles, 1928–1960, 2007–2011

This record group contains clippings, programs, and other materials concerning ensembles associated with the Curtis Institute of Music, in particular the Curtis String Quartet.



5.1 General

5.2 Communications and public relations, 1923–1924, 1977–2009

The communications and public relations record include the following subgroups: Press releases (1923–1924, 1977–2011); Competitions (1978–2006); Subject and event files (1978–2009); Alumni orchestra and opera surveys (1979–2009), Press kits (1980–2006); Overtones and Take Note (1986–2009); 75th anniversary book (1999); Website (1997–2009). Publicity materials and scrapbooks were moved to AD 1.2.

5.3 Alumni and parent relations, 1943–1950, 1973–present

AD 5.3 consists of the following subgroups: Alumni Association and newsletter (1943–1950, 1973–2000); Local chapters (1974–1989); Alumni directories (1975–present); Alumni surveys (1979–2007); Reunions (1983–2005); Alumni affairs council, 1993–2000); Alumni interviews. For access restrictions please consult our policies.

5.4 Fundraising and development, 1948–2010

This record group consists of the following subgroups: Friends of Curtis board and committee minutes, 1948–2001; Alphabetical files (1978–2010); Giving (1987–2007); Fundraising events and campaigns (1980–2008); Groups and committees (1999–2000).

5.5 Events, 1949–2010

AD 5.5 includes the following subgroups: Curtis anniversaries (1949; 1974–2000); Special concerts (1977–2010); Curtis tours (1980–2010); Holiday parties and celebrations (1943–1968, 2005–2007); Awards (2002–2003).



6.1 General

6.2 Finance and administration, 1924–2010

This record group contains the following subgroups: Audit, security, and financial reports (1924–1997); Comptroller’s records (1924–1987); Human resources (1987–2010); Trademarks, patents, and contracts (1935–1948, 1991–2002).

6.3 Grounds and buildings, 1924–present

This record group includes plans and blueprints as well as miscellaneous files regarding building works and renovations.

6.4 Instruments and art, 1924–1999

This record group contains inventories, appraisals, and insurance records concerning instruments and art materials. Access is restricted.