PAPERS, 1914-1974

1 linear foot





The papers (donor no. 8) were donated by Alma A. Turechek in 1980.


The papers are open for research.


Copyright has been transferred to the University of Iowa.


In box 1.


Robert J. Jett, 1993, and Special Collections Staff. [CrawfordLouise.doc]



Louise Crawford was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa on July 18, 1890 to Dr. George E. and Mrs. Julia C. (Benest) Crawford.  At the age of eleven she began taking piano lessons with Mrs. J. O. Baxter.  Crawford continued these lessons for nine years.  Her father, two brothers, two uncles, a cousin and a nephew were all doctors, but Crawford's father "feared" for her to take zoology, so she decided to major in music.  She enrolled in Wellesley College and graduated with a degree in music theory in 1914.  It was here that she composed her first work for a choir of fifty female voices for a class assignment.  Crawford studied at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, Massachusetts from 1914 to 1915.  In 1916 she received her Master of Arts degree from Wellesley.


From 1916 until 1941 Crawford served as Professor of Theory of Music and as Assistant Professor of Piano at Coe College in Cedar Rapids.  She spent her summers at the MacDonell Colony in Petersborough, New Hampshire, doing most of her composing there.  In 1927, one of the prominent colonists wrote: "Miss Louise Crawford has established a record quite enviable in achievement...Those privileged to hear the works she completed felt them to be outstanding compositions of the colony."


In addition to composing, Crawford wrote articles for The Musical Observer:  "Bell effects in piano compositions" (1923), "Pianistic seascapes" (1925), and "Autumnal piano music", (1926).


In 1941 Crawford retired from teaching at Coe College.  She remained active writing and lecturing and participated in various organizations, including the National League of American Pen Women, The National Association for American Composers and Conductors, The Beethoven Club of Cedar Rapids, The Cedar Rapids College Club, Mu Phi Epsilon, and Phi Kappa Phi.


Her compositions include songs, anthems, works for violin and piano, duets for piano and organ, piano pieces, organ solos, and Christmas carols.  Some of Crawford's best known works include Fantasy, for violin and piano; Ballet Fantasy; and two Iowa folk-songs, The Pudding and My Grandma.


Crawford died on December 16, 1973.


Additional biographical information can be found in Who's Who in Iowa, Who's Who in Music, Who's Who in American Education, Musical Iowana, Career Women of America and Who's Important in Music.  A thesis on Crawford's life and works is held by the University of Iowa Music Library.


Scope and Content Note


            The Louise Crawford papers measure 1 linear foot and date from 1914 to 1974.  The papers are divided into two series: Personal files and Musical Scores.  The bulk of the material consists of musical scores arranged by Crawford.


            Personal files include biographical material, a radio script from station WMT of Cedar Rapids of the show "Private Citizen, USA", which paid tribute to Louise Crawford on December 4, 1947, resume, and lists of her publications, compositions, and awards.  This list was published in Musical Iowana: 1838-1938. The speeches consist of two talks delivered to the Beethoven Club of Cedar Rapids.  A small amount of Correspondence concerning Crawford's career and several articles on her father, Dr. George E. Crawford, a prominent and well respected Cedar Rapids physician are also included.  A separate folder of letters regarding Crawford belonging to Alma Turechek accompanies the correspondence.  Alma Turechek was a close friend of Louise Crawford's, and was responsible for sorting her belongings upon her death.


            Musical Scores include original sketches by Crawford, notes, and correspondence regarding the works.  Many of the scores are autographed.


            There is one photograph of a group of American women composers, members of the League of American Pen Women, at the biennial festival of American Music in Washington, April 1932, in which Crawford is included.


Related Collections


            Dieman-Bennett Dance Theatre of the Hemipsheres

Louise Crawford wrote the score for the Dieman-Bennett production Ballet Fantasy.  See Box 2, Production, Ballet Fantasy.




Box no.   Description


Box 1

Personal files

Biographical information

Copyright and royalty agreements, 1925-1929

Correspondence, 1931-1957 (scattered)

Alma Turechek, 1973, 1974

Coe College

Crawford Music Scholarship

Newspaper clippings, 1927-1974

Papers [delivered to Beethoven Club, 1929-1930]

Photograph, [April, 1932]


Printed Material, 1928-1944 and undated

Wellesley College

Wellesley Christmas Carols from the Christmas Song Book, 1925 (2 copies)

Christmas Carols from the Wellesley Song Book 1915,1917



Musical Scores [arranged by Louise Crawford]

Because, Guy d'Hardelot. Transcribed for Piano

Christmas Carols, traditional. Sketches and autograph copy

Cradle Song, Alexander Gretchaninoff. Transcribed for violin and piano

God the Father Dwell with Us, J. S. Bach. Sketches for brass ensemble

God the Omnipotent, Russian Hymn. Sketch for brass ensemble

Jesu, Jesu, Thou Art Mine, J. S. Bach. Sketches and autograph scores for brass ensemble.

Little Star, M. Mussorsky. Autograph score transcribed for violin and piano

Box 2

A Mighty Fortress Is Our God, J. S. Bach. Sketches, scores and parts

My Grandma, traditional. Correspondence, sketches, non-Crawford version, and autograph copy

A Sacred Head Now Wounded, J. S. Bach. Sketches, scores and parts for brass ensemble

Oriental Romance, N. Rimsky-Korsakoff. Sketch and autograph copy.

The Pudding, traditional. Notes, sketch, and autograph copy

After a Party, words by Alice Meynell. Autograph copy

Airships, words by G. Perle Schmidt. Song - two autograph copies

Berceuse Elegiaque. Two autograph copies for violin and piano

A Birthday, words by Christina Rossetti. Sketch and autograph copy

By Night and Day, words by Richard Burton. Sketch and two versions

Canzonetta. Sketch, and copies for violin and piano

The Fallen Oak, words by Jay G. Sigmund. Three versions

Fantasy Erotique. Autograph score for violin and piano

Musical Scores [arranged by Louise Crawford] (cont.)

He Whom a Dream Hath Possessed, words by Shaemus O'Sheel. Autograph copy of song

How Sweet and Silent is the Place, words by Alice Freeman Palmer

I Saw Three Ships, words by Katherine Tynan. Autograph copy, and various versions (including one in Braille) of a Christmas carol for alto solo and mixed voices

Intermezzo. Various versions for violin and piano

Invocation, words by Nan Bagby Stephens. Sketch, autograph copy, and various versions of an anthem for mixed voices with alto solo

Legend. Sketch, autograph copy, and various versions for violin and piano

Memory, words by Nan Bagby Stephens. Versions for low and high voice

Musings. Score for violin and piano

My Soul Is Dark, words by Lord Byron

A Nativity Pageant. Full score

Nativity Song, words by Sophie Jewett. Rhythmic sketch and various versions

Box 3

Nocturne, 1914. Autograph copy

Now Sleeps the Crimson Rose, words by Tennyson. Sketch and various versions

Pastoral. Autograph copy

Prairie. Autograph copy of suite for piano and organ

Quartet. Parts only

Renouncement, words by Alice Meynell. Sketch and copy

Revery. For organ

Revery. Manuscript in reduced score for string quartet

Sea-Fever, words by John Masefield. Sketch and various versions

Seascapes - Four Mood Pictures for Piano. Autograph copy and copies of the poetry by Nan Babgy Stephens on which the pieces are based

Soliloquy. Two versions

Song without Words, 1914. Autograph copy

There Came Three Kings, words from the 16th century. Version for a cappella women's chorus with accompanied version

Thou Art Near, words by Oliver Wendell Homes. Sketch and versions for low and high voice

When Earth's Last Picture is Painted, words by Kipling. Sketches and two versions

Why Should I Leave You? words by Amy Lowell. Three versions

The Willow Cats, words by Margaret Widdemer. Copies for low and high voice