The Wisconsin Music Archives contains collections representing all Wisconsin musical traditions and encompassing the period from the 1850s to the present. Strengths of the collection include published sheet music, folk and ethnic music, scores by contemporary Wisconsin composers, recordings issued by Wisconsin labels, and of performers associated with Wisconsin.
To search for Wisconsin Music Archives, check the lists below and the library catalog. Material in the Cuca, Paramount, Wisconsin Folksong, and Wisconsin Sheet Music collections can be searched through the Mills Music Library Digital Collections. Many additional collections are not yet processed, so please consult a staff member for assistance.
Wisconsin Music Archives material may be used within the Music Library. Many items are available upon request during regular business hours. However, fragile material, unusual formats or unprocessed collections often require staff time for preparation. Visiting researchers, in particular, are urged to make an appointment in advance. Material can be viewed Monday – Friday, 9 am to 4:30 pm. Please write or call (608) 263-1884 with questions on accessing material or requesting copies.
Help us grow the Wisconsin Music Archives collection! Contact Jeanette Casey regarding potential Wisconsin related donations.
A Suzuki Method in Action consists of video recordings of classes held by Japanese violinist and educator Shinichi Suzuki in 1976 at the American Suzuki Institute at the University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point. During this time, he gave lectures and demonstrations to teachers and parents, as well as teaching master classes and group classes to students.
Extent: 34 video recordings
A collection of digital recordings originally made by Thomas Robert “Bobby” Anderson (1916-1971) of his jazz ensemble, Bob Anderson’s Oshkosh Serenaders. The original recordings are 17 custom-recorded discs and most have not been commercially issued. The material also includes some brief rehearsal, studio banter, and radio broadcast segments.
Audiophile Records began in 1947 in Saukville, Wisconsin. The label specialized in high quality recordings of traditional jazz, classical chamber, and organ music. The Library’s collection contains approximately 50 discs published by the label while it operated in Saukville.
Search Audiophile titles in the Library Catalog.
Jack Baker was a collector of jazz recordings, and producer and host of several jazz radio programs in Milwaukee. The collection includes over 9,000 recordings, mainly commercial releases from the 1920s to the 1940s; a small number non-commercial recordings of concerts, rehearsals, etc.; master tapes of his radio shows; and approximately 20 jazz discographies.
Major jazz figures such as Louis Armstrong and Jack Teagarden are heavily represented, and the collection includes many Wisconsin artists such as Bill Carlson and Dick Reudebusch. The radio shows include Baker’s choice, Dance bands, Jazz classics, Sentimental journey and Sunday soundstage.
John Barrows (1913-1974) was a renowned French horn teacher, composer and performer who played with Minneapolis Symphony, New York City Opera and City Ballet, Budapest String Quartet, New York Woodwind Quintet, Fine Arts Quartet, and other ensembles. He taught at Yale, New York University, Arizona State, and from 1961-1974, University of Wisconsin-Madison. His long friendship with Alec Wilder led to Wilder dedicating three of his sonatas and a suite to Barrows.
The collection includes nearly 200 sound recordings, 56 manuscript scores, 19 published scores, correspondence, photographs, and a scrapbook.
Related materials: Alec Wilder Collection
A collection of master tapes of the radio program Blue Chip Polkas, produced for WYMS Radio (Milwaukee) between 1983 and 1988. The show was hosted by Jim Ebner and featured polka artists from Wisconsin and elsewhere, such as Cousin Fuzzy, Frank Yankovic, Louis Bashell, Sammy Madden, the Winkert Sisters, Romy Gosz, and Bernie Roberts.
Extent: Eleven 7-inch-reel tapes
Bunny Berigan (1908–1942), the well known jazz trumpeter who came to prominence in the 1930s, was born in Fox Lake, Wisconsin. He became a member of such notable bands as those of Hal Kemp, Paul Whiteman, Benny Goodman, and the Dorsey Brothers. Berigan also led his own group in addition to being an active studio musician. He is often associated with the tune “I can’t get started,” popularized by his 1937 recording.
The collection features a comprehensive collection of Berigan recordings as released on 78-rpm records; research materials from Robert Dupuis, who authored a Berigan biography; a vast amount of materials donated by Norm Krusinski; many photos, articles, videos, published music, and realia related Berigan. Other donors who have contributed significant resources to the collection include Audrey Baker, Lorraine Berigan, Tom Cullen, Norma Dobrochowski, Ron Flintjer, Phyllis Ger, Jacques Gilbert, John Grams, Joyce and Ken Hansen, William Hunkins, Todd Krusinski, James B. Raue, and Bozy White.
Related materials: Bunny Berigan, Fox Lake’s own (University of Wisconsin Digital Collections)
Bing Bingen (1909-1971) a pianist and sometimes bandleader from Marshfield, WI who worked with dance bands in the late 1920’s and 1930’s. He played with Lanky Neal and his orchestra, the Nite Owls and the Tice-Allen Band before forming his own groups, Bing Bingen and his band, and Bob and his Rhythm Rascals. The collection consists of correspondence, photographs, newspaper clippings, posters, and various ephemera.
Extent: .5 linear feet
Aleksander Bogucki (d. ca. 1980), a Stevens Point resident, compiled a manuscript collection of melodic lines for several thousand Polish folksongs and dances, some of which include text.
The Jerzy Bojanowski Collection contains items relating to Jerzy Bojanowski (1893-1983), a Polish conductor who began his American career in Chicago in 1932 and relocated to Milwaukee in the early 1940s. He founded the Milwaukee Chamber Symphony Orchestra, and was conductor of the Milwaukee community concert series Music Under the Stars. The collection contains concert programs, correspondence, newspaper clippings, photographs and one manuscript.
Extent: 3 linear ft. (one archival box, one flat archival box, one scrapbook)
The Bruce Bollerud Collection contains 8 reel-to-reel tapes of informal performances by old-time musicians, and some dubs of commercial recordings. The original performances are by various musicians playing mainly polkas and waltzes. They include Ole Gjerald, Sammy Eggum (guitar), and members of Emil Simpson’s Nite Hawks, a popular Beloit, Wisconsin, group in the early 1950s: Bruce Bollerud (bandonion, trombone, vocals), Emil Simpson (fiddle), Joe Weum (accordion), Tina Simpson (piano), Herbert Swingen (guitar, trumpet) and Louie Vincent (drums).
Cecil Burleigh (1885–1980) was a composer, violinist and former University of Wisconsin-Madison faculty member. The library has a large collection of Burleigh’s published music and sound recordings.
Related materials: Cecil E. Burleigh Papers, 1906-1980 (Wisconsin Historical Society Archives)
John Check was a polka composer and band leader from Oshkosh, Wis. The Archives holds many of his commercial recordings which can be located in the Library Catalog and his printed music is documented in the Wisconsin Sheet Music Database.
The Civil War Band Collection was started when, in 1858, a group of citizens of Brodhead, Wisconsin, decided to form a brass band. They initially called themselves the Brodhead Tin Band, from the set of inexpensive tin instruments that they purchased. Soon, they purchased a set of brass instruments, however, and became known as the Brodhead Brass Band, or “B.B.B.” Under that name, they performed at the debate between presidential candidates Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas on 27 August 1858 at Freeport, Illinois. During the Civil War, they served the Union in the 1st Brigade.
Extent: approximately 675 songs in 19 volumes ; 23 images
A collection of music from the library of this Milwaukee bandmaster and dates from the late-nineteenth century to the early-twentieth century.
A collection of concert programs, clippings and correspondence from Robert Cole, flute player and music professor at UW-Madison. Programs are from Philadelphia Orchestra, recitals and concerts with the Wingra Woodwind Quintet and other UW-Madison ensembles Cole performed with, including orchestra tour programs from Europe and the Soviet Union.
The Concert Programs Collection contains concert programs from around Wisconsin, including University of Wisconsin campuses, civic orchestras, and other musical organizations, mostly in Madison and Milwaukee.
Extent: 19.5 linear feet
Manuscripts of arrangements and original composition by composer and conductor David Lewis Crosby. The collection also includes 4,660 sound recordings, 2,753 scores, and 670 books, which can be found in the Library Catalog.
Extent: 36 linear feet
The Cuca Records Collection is comprised of documents including correspondence, artist contracts, financial records, photographs and memorobilia documenting the Cuca Record company. The collection also includes releases on LP, 45, CD and cassette formats. The label operated out of Sauk City, Wisconsin from 1958 through the mid-1970s.
Many of these recordings are available in the Music Library.
Extent: approx. 24 linear feet
The Cuca Records Database provides discographical information for LPs and 45s released by Cuca Records of Sauk City, Wisconsin, and its affiliated labels.
Many of these recordings are available in the Music Library.
Extent: over 780 entries
The collection consists of published music scores and books from the conductor’s personal collection. Many of the scores include handwritten conductor’s marks. The collection amounts to about 175 scores, principally operas and symphonies.
Extent: 20 linear feet
The Archives holds transcriptions of Winnebago Indian songs and a typescript study of Winnebago Music (photocopies) by Densmore (1867–1957). Her published books are available through the Library Catalog.
Dietz was a Milwaukee-based composer of popular songs. The Collection contains 10 titles in various formats: typeset mock-ups for publication, handwritten manuscripts, sketches and lyric sheets.
The Archives has copies of broadcast tapes and research materials from this radio series (1980s–1990s) hosted by Richard March and James Leary. The companion publication, Down home diaryland : a listener’s guide, is available through the Library Catalog.
Extent: 1 flat archival box (1.5 linear ft.)
Marie Endres (1904-1995) was the conductor of the Madison Sinfonia and also a violin teacher. The collection includes programs and recordings.
Olive Endres (1898-1995), a Madison resident, composed sacred choral music, piano music, and music for strings. The Archives holds her manuscripts and published compositions.
The Ethnic Music of Northern Wisconsin and Michigan Collection documents traditional music of European immigrant communities in the northern tier of counties in Wisconsin and the western counties of the upper peninsula of Michigan along Lake Superior’s south shore. The collection reflects the mix of musical traditions among the region’s Cornish, Bohemian, Croatian, Finnish, French-Canadian, German, Hungarian, Italian, Norwegian, Polish, Russian, Irish, Slovenian, Slovak, Swedish, Swiss, and Ukrainian immigrant singers, instrumentalists, dance hall veterans, and home performers.
Related materials: Local Centers/Global Sounds
Extent: 322 sound recordings ; 370 photographs ; 307 documents
The Federal Music Project (Wisconsin) Collection consists of parts for 54 musical works by Wisconsin composers, principally for orchestra, band or mandolin ensemble. A small number are for piano solo or duet.
Extent: 3 linear feet
Related materials: Records, 1936-1941. (Wisconsin Historical Society Archives) ; Cappaert, LeRoy. Government and music : a study of the Federal music project (1935-1941). Thesis (M.S.) University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1951. (UW-Madison Open Dissertations and Theses)
Collection of manuscripts and printed music of composer Emma Fink (d. 1956) a Milwaukee resident.
Finseth (1911–1991) was a folk fiddler from Mondovi, Wisconsin. The collection features homemade tape recordings, biographical materials, and photographs.
The Robert Fountain Collection contains recordings of performances conducted by the legendary UW-Madison choral director Robert Fountain (1917-1996) from between 1972 and 1994. The recordings are primarily of the UW Concert Choir and Choral Union concerts. The collection also includes programs, newspaper clippings, and other documents.
Collection of manuscript compositions of Alfred Galpin (1901-1983). Born in Appleton, Galpin was a former University of Wisconsin-Madison faculty member.
Related materials: Alfred Galpin family papers (1861-1966) (Wisconsin Historical Society)
The Joseph Gigante Collection contains manuscript scores by Gigante (1887–1975). Gigante was born in Palermo, Italy and became a longtime resident of Milwaukee who devoted his life to the band repertory as a performer, conductor, and award-winning composer.
Extent: 1.5 linear ft.
A collection of recitals and concerts of UW-Madison School of Music choir director Dale Gilbert recorded between 1962 and 1973.
Extent: Twelve 7-inch reels; one 5-inch reel
The Oskar Hagen Collection contains mainly his manuscripts and published music. Hagen (1888–1957) was a German art historian and composer who founded the UW-Madison Art Department. The collection also includes 78-rpm recordings of his compositions which have been transferred to compact disc (request PMU 309).
Ethwell “Eddy” Hanson (1893–1986), was a Waupaca native who became a radio organist in Chicago in the 1920s and was also a composer of popular songs. The Archives holds his manuscripts, published music, poems, correspondence, photographs, and commercial recordings, as well as one cassette interview with Hanson.
Ralph Hermann (1914-1994) was born in Milwaukee, studied at Wisconsin Conservatory of Music and variously served as music director for ABC, clarinetist under Toscanini with the NBC Orchestra, and staff arranger for NBC. The collection consists of manuscript scores and parts for 8 short works for orchestra, probably radio or television cues.
A collection of published Czech/Bohemian brass band music utilized by the Hillsboro Band of Hillsboro, Wis.
Jacoby’s Orchestra Collection contains approximately 200 published scores and parts used by Jacoby’s Orchestra of Kenosha, Wisconsin. The collection includes pieces for accompanying silent films and a few manuscripts arranged by F. R. Jacoby.
Gunnar Johansen (1906–1991) was a former University of Wisconsin-Madison faculty member. The collection contains over 100 reel-to-reel tape recordings of his improvised piano sonatas, plus recorded performances of complete keyboard music by J.S. Bach, Liszt, and Busoni. Documents include a manuscript of Johansen’s Vokaliser, as well as correspondence relating to the sales of his recordings.
The Alice B. Keachie Collection contains printed music and books (mostly music instruction), newspaper clippings collected by Keachie, a piano teacher and resident of Madison, Wis. The collection also includes some manuscripts of compositions and arrangements by Keachie.
The collection is made up of over 900 sets of theater orchestrations dating from the late-nineteenth century to the early-twentieth century. The collection was donated by Leo Kissel, a Milwaukee native.
Rudolf Kolisch (1896–1978) was a former University of Wisconsin-Madison faculty member and leader of the Pro Arte Quartet. The Archives holds a collection of articles and programs, mostly in German, dating prior to his residence in the United States (photocopies). Some historic Kolisch and Pro Arte recordings are documented on School of Music recordings.
Related materials: Pro Arte Quartet Collection ; Rudolf Kolisch papers, 1886-1978 (Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University)
A manuscript collection of 26 choral works by Daniel Kunene (1923-), poet and professor emeritus of African Languages and Literature at UW-Madison.
Extent: 1.5 linear ft. (1 flat archival box)
Geary Larrick (b. 1943) is a former University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point composer, author, and percussion professor. The Archives holds a collection of his published compositions, most featuring percussion instruments. His published books are available through the Library Catalog.
The collection includes 8 photographs, and photocopies of newspaper clippings, publicity materials, and photographs. Lewis (1917-1992) played jazz trumpet, most notably with Woody Herman’s band during its days as “The Band That Plays the Blues.”
Extent: 1.5 linear ft. (1 flat archival box)
Hilmar Luckhardt (1913–1984) composer and educator who taught composition and theory at the University of Wisconsin from 1939 to 1979. The collection contains Luckhardt’s manuscripts, published compositions, and several recordings of his works.
Extent: 9 linear ft.
The collection includes scrapbooks, clippings, photographs, posters, and other materials from Carrel Pray, the group’s founder and director.
Charles Mills (1873-1937) was the founding director of the University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Music. The collection includes books, scores and published editions of his works, three letters, and many musical manuscripts. These manuscripts, which make up the bulk of the collection are in most instances incomplete workings of sections of his compositions or exercises in fugue and counterpoint writing. There are also numerous loose sheets of manuscript which have not been specifically identified.
Extent: 1 linear ft. (three flat archival boxes)
The Archives holds recordings, programs, and papers of this Stevens Point performing organization.
Record label in Green Bay, Wisconsin, that specialized in polka and old-time music by Wisconsin artists. The Archives’ collection includes LPs, 45s, cassettes, and compact discs most of which can be found in the Library Catalog.
A collection on 181 reels of jazz music and interviews from Ken Ohst, long-time jazz announcer and producer at WHA Radio. Performers include Duke Ellington, Bunny Berigan, Dick Ruederbusch, Alex Wilder and others.
Extent: 7.5 linear ft.
The Paramount Records Discography contains information about Paramount Records and affiliated labels produced by the New York Recording Laboratories (NYRL) of Port Washington, Wisconsin. All records included in the discography are in the collections of the Wisconsin Music Archives of the Music Library.
Extent: 1,720 entries
Harry Partch (1901–1974) was an experimental composer who spent several years in Madison in the 1940s. The library holds lacquer disc recordings of his Madison concerts, as well as some photographs and scores.
Jack Penewell (1897–1973) was a Madison resident and guitar player. The Jack Penewell collection includes photographs, scrapbook, commercial recordings, test pressings of unissued recordings, newspaper clippings, contracts, fliers, sheet music, and various issues of serial publications.
Extent: 2 linear ft. (2 boxes)
David Peterson (1935-2014) was a former University of Wisconsin-Extension faculty member and composer of musical shows based on Wisconsin subjects. The collection is comprised of his manuscripts, photos, audio and video recordings.
Extent: 24 linear ft. (17 archival boxes; 2 flat archival boxes)
The Archives holds many disc masters and test pressings from the Pfau record company of Milwaukee. The label recorded the music of polka and dance orchestra groups mostly based in Wisconsin.
Edna Pietsch (1894–1982) was a Milwaukee composer of chamber and orchestral music. The Archives holds her complete known manuscripts.
Related materials: Edna Frida Pietsch (website maintained by her family)
Record label founded in 1956 by David A. Bensman in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. In 2006, subsequent owner Greg Leider donated the materials that make up the Archives’ current collection. The collection numbers close to 200 recordings and includes 78s, 45s, LPs, cassettes, and compact discs, as well as roughly 60 master tapes (reel-to-reels), photographs, clippings, posters, contracts, and a history of the Polkaland label compiled by Leider.
Formed in Belgium in 1913, the Quartet has been in residence at the University of Wisconsin–Madison since 1940. The collection includes recordings from the 1930s to the present and programs from the 1920s to the present, clippings, articles commercial 78-rpm recordings, and recordings from the UW School of Music. A paper inventory is available of Pro Arte recordings from the 1940s–1950s.
Related materials: The UW Archives & Records Management holds several collections that include newspaper clippings, programs, photos, and correspondence, primarily from the 1940s and 1950s relating to the Quartet
Related materials: Rudolf Kolisch Collection ; Recordings available through the Library Catalog.
Heinz Roemheld (1901–1985) was a Milwaukee native and a prodigious composer of film music. The Archives holds copies of manuscripts for his concert music, a list of works, and a biographical study.
Ethyl Romelfanger performed on steam calliope, air calliope, una-fon, shaker chimes, and Hammond organ at Circus World Museum in Baraboo, Wisconsin. The collection consists of 8 reel-to-reel tapes recorded by Romelfanger between 1960 and 1965. Some of the recordings were subsequently issued on the Cuca record label.
Rosser (1913-2010) was a Madison resident, composer and violinist. The collection contains her manuscripts, papers, programs, and taped performances of her compositions.
Extent: 2 linear ft. (6 archival boxes)
R. W. Rozelle, an oboe player, was band director in Athens, Wisconsin, before becoming band director at John Muir Junior High School from 1961 through the late 1970s. At John Muir he conducted the Junior band and Advanced Band as well as the Swingin’ Scots, a dixieland group made up of some of the more advanced players. He also conducted the Wausau Concert Band from 1960-1980, and played tenor saxophone professionally in small jazz groups in the Wausau, Wisconsin, area.
The collection includes photocopies of manuscript scores with parts of marches composed by Rozelle, and 1 CD.
Extent: .3 linear ft. (1 archival box)
The collection consists primarily of early twentieth-century dance and theater music from this Madison performing group.
This collection contains nearly 400 reel-to-reel tape recordings used a source audio for the Wisconsin Public Radio series Simply folk. The performances are of Wisconsin and regional folk musicians performing live at various music festivals in and around Wisconsin.
Related materials: Wisconsin Public Radio Collection
A small collection of correspondence and a scrapbook of clippings, reports and programs from this music organization in Sparta, Wis. in the 1930s.
Extent: .3 linear ft. (1 archival box)
A collection of part books of the Stahl Brass Band of Luxemburg, Wisconsin, that flourished in the late-19th and early-20th centuries.
Between 1940 and 1946, the Wisconsin Folk Music Recording Project, co-sponsored by the UW and the Library of Congress, sent School of Music faculty member Helene Stratman-Thomas (1896–1973) on collecting expeditions around Wisconsin to record and document the folk music and folklore that reflected the colorful pattern of immigration and occupational development in the state.
The recordings may be heard through the Wisconsin Folksong Collection. This collection documents nearly 800 performances, representing more than thirty ethnic or geographical sources.
The Archives holds materials gathered in the 1980s by Stuttgen when she visited descendants of the Jacobs family, singers originally studied in the 1930s by folklorist Asher Treat.
Related materials: Songs from Langlade County, Wisconsin (Library Catalog)
The UW-Madison School of Music Alumni Manuscripts Collection contains scores written by faculty and student composers in residence at the School of Music.
Ramond Vickers (active 1930s) was a Wisconsin Rapids resident(?). The Archives holds a small collection of his manuscript art songs.
The Visual Materials collection of photographs primarily of musicians and music-related subjects dating from the late nineteenth century to the present. In addition to photographs, there are postcards, lithographic prints, advertising and promotional materials, posters, and other types of ephemera.
New images are added on a regular basis.
Extent: approximately 100 images
Joseph Philbrick Webster (1819, New Hampshire-1875, Elkhorn, Wisconsin) composed music for ballads, hymns, patriotic drama, and a cantata, and, in all, published fully 1,000 songs.
Among his most popular compositions were “Lorena,” sung by both Confederate and Union forces during the Civil War, and “In the sweet bye and bye.”
Extent: 10 volumes
A collection of 24 reel-to-reel sound recordings of various performance ensembles, many featuring Donald Whitaker as performer or director. Whitaker was a UW-Madison professor of trumpet performance (1958?-1981) and founder of the Wisconsin Brass Quintet.
Extent: 1.5 linear ft. (1 archival box)
The Archives serves as the score repository for members of the Wisconsin Alliance for Composers. Many of the 500 compositions listed in the following catalog may be found in the Catalog of Compositions (Library Catalog).
A collection of music-related materials from the Wisconsin Folk Museum of Mount Horeb, Wis. which operated from 1986–1996. Included in the collection are books, recordings, printed music, photographs, slides, videotapes, posters, programs, and brochures.
Related materials: Records of the Wisconsin Folk Museum (Wisconsin Historical Society Archives)
The database represents materials from two collections housed in three discrete but closely related repositories. The Wisconsin Folksong Collection reflects and documents the state’s colorful pattern of immigration and occupational development during those years. It includes Wisconsin field recordings, notes, and photographs made by UW-Madison faculty member Helene Stratman-Thomas as part of the Wisconsin Folk Music Recording Project, co-sponsored by the University of Wisconsin and the Library of Congress during the summers of 1940, 1941, and 1946; and recordings collected by song catcher Sidney Robertson Cowell during the summer of 1937 for the Special Skills Division of the Resettlement Administration.
Files of newspaper clippings, pamphlets, brochures, promotional materials, etc. on music-related subjects pertaining to Wisconsin. The WMA Vertical File contains over 600 subjects including musical instruments, musicians, genres, organizations and performance groups.
The Wisconsin Public Radio Collection contains reel-to-reel tape and transcription disc recordings of various radio programs produced by WHA Radio in Madison, Wis.
Extent: approximately 75 linear ft.
Related materials: Simply Folk Collection
A collection of published Czech/Bohemian brass band music utilized by the Yuba Band of Yuba, Wis.