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Collection 138 Ephemera of American Hymn Writers and Composers

Identifier: CN 138

Scope and Contents

Microfilmed contents of a scrapbook containing miscellaneous correspondence, photos, and memorabilia by and about hymn writers and composers. Included are Cliff Barrows, Merrill Dunlop, Lowell Mason, Homer Rodeheaver, Ira Sankey, George Stebbins, and others.

Series 1: Photographs

Photographs include these subjects: George Stebbins, Charles Alexander, Rodney "Gipsy" Smith, William Runyan, Don Hustad, Cliff Barrows, Tedd Smith, George Beverly Shea, Robert Loveless, Wendell P. Loveless, and John Wilson.

Series 2: Paper Records (Box List)

Microfilm is of the contents of a scrapbook compiled by Hope Publishing Company, containing letters, photographs, and memorabilia by and about hymn writers and composers.  The letters were written to company executives and its affiliate, Biglow and Main.  A list of the items microfilmed appears at the head of the microfilm.  Among the items are a Lowell Mason manuscript, an autographed title page and preface to Ira Sankey's SACRED SONGS AND SOLOS, a Fanny Crosby Christmas poem, a letter from Alfred Ackley, and the last letter written by George Stebbins.

The collection consists of the microfilmed contents of a scrapbook compiled by Hope Publishing Company, an enterprise that has published many hymnals. It contains letters, photographs, and memorabilia by and about hymn writers and composers ranging from Lowell Mason to Tedd Smith. Most of the letters were written to Hope Publishing Company executives and its affiliate Biglow and Main. It should be noted that few of the letters were preserved for their content; rather, it was the autograph that appears to have been held important. For purposes of microfilming, the scrapbook was dismantled and rearranged alphabetically by writer/photograph subject/etc.

A combination list and cross-index to all items is at the head of the microfilm. It pinpoints the location on the film of all cross-references contained in this guide.

There are upwards of one hundred separate, unrelated items in this collection. Many are simply autographs or short business letters. Some of the pieces with more intrinsic content are: a Lowell Mason manuscript; title page (autographed) and preface to Ira Sankey's Sacred Songs and Solos; a Fanny Crosby Christmas poem "Affectionately dedicated to my friends" at Biglow & Main Co. and letter; two 1908 souvenir programs--one from the Chicago Moody Church's "Reunion Week," the other entitled "Gospel Tent Evangel;" a letter from Alfred Ackley concerning the rewriting of song lyrics; and reportedly the last letter George Stebbins wrote before his death in 1945.


  • Created: 1878-1975

Conditions Governing Access

Microfilm may be consulted without prior permission, but all literary rights to this material are held by:

Hope Publishing Company

Carol Stream, Illinois 60187


1 Reel of microfilm

8 Negative Files

8 Photograph Files

Language of Materials