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The John C. Hartford Collection: Highlights of the Collection:

This Wilson Music Library recently received the library of musician John Hartford. The collection contains over 1,500 items, including biographies of musicians, fiddle tune books, and books on the music of the South.

Remembering John:

"John was a musician's musician and an entertainer's entertainer. He amassed books and music to immerse himself in it and share with anyone who was interested.  He played music to convey emotion and touch people… He simply loved to play."   

–  Alan O’Bryant

Using the Hartford Collection:

John Hartford had an incredible diversity of interests, and these are reflected in his collection. As a result, materials are housed in a variety of locations. Some are in the general circulating collection and can be checked out of the library by Vanderbilt affiliated users. Other materials, particularly those that are rare or in fragile condition, are stored in the Wilson Music Library's vault, and can only be used inside the library in designated areas. Since the collection was only recently received, it has not yet been fully processed. You can find materials that have been added to the general collection by doing a phrase search, "from the john c. hartford collection," in the Vanderbilt Library's catalog, Library Catalog. Wilson Music Library staff have access to the complete inventory of the collection, so please don't hesitate to ask a member of the staff for assistance - we are here to help!

Some Highlights of the Collection:

The following titles offer a glimpse of the rich variety of materials collected by John Hartford. 

Francis O'Neill (1848-1936), O'Neill's Music of Ireland: [over 1,000 jigs, reels, hornpipes, long dances & marches, in a newly printed & corrected collection of the dance music of Ireland : an introduction on the history of Irish music : tips on playing with an authentic feeling ; new settings from the playing of Michael Coleman & the Sligo fiddle masters] (New York: Oak Publications, [1976]), call no. M1744 .O58 O5.

James S. Kerr, Collection(s) of Merry Melodies: For the Violin, Consisting of Scotch and Irish Reels and Jigs, Highland Schottisches, Country Dances, Hornpipes, Clog Dances, Waltzes, Polkas, &c. : in all 447 Airs, Specially Arranged for the Ballroom (Glasgow: James S. Kerr, [198-]), call no. M1746 .K463 1980z v.1-4.

28 Favorite Songs as Featured on the Grand Ole Opry by the Bailes Brothers: Folio 1, for voice and guitar (1945), call no., VAULT M1630.18 .B15 1945 (currently at Preservation for repair).

Clara Beeson Hubbard, Merry Songs and Games: For the Use of the Kindergarten (St. Louis: Balmer & Weber, c1881), call no. VAULT M1990 .H862 1881 (currently at Preservation for repair).

K¯osei Yoshida, Biru Monr¯o : Yoshida K¯osei shashin-sh¯u (English subtitle: Father of Bluegrass: Bill Monroe and the Bluegrass Boys), a compilation of photographs taken during the 1984 tour of Japan by Bill Monroe and the Bluegrass Boys ([Japan]: B.O.M. Service, 1985), call no., VAULT M420 .M5595 Y67 1985 (currently IN-PROCESS).

Jean Thomas, Devil's Ditties: Being Stories of the Kentucky Mountain People, With the Songs they Sing (Chicago: W.W. Hatfield, 1931), call no., VAULT ML3551.7 .K4 T46 1931 (currently at Preservation for repair).

J.B.T. Marsh, The Story of the Jubilee Singers: With Their Songs, rev. ed. (New York: S.W. Green's Son, 1883), call no., VAULT, ML400 .M353 1883.

Bob Pinson, Richard Weize and Charles Wolfe, The Golden Years: Kitty Wells (Vollersode, West Germany: Bear Family Records, [1987]), call no. VAULT, ML420 .W38 P5 1987 (currently IN-PROCESS).


Subject Guide

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Sara Manus
Music Librarian for Education and Outreach / Anne Potter Wilson Music Library, 2134B / Blair School of Music / 2400 Blakemore Avenue, Nashville, TN 37212
Subjects: Music