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Choir records

Identifier: 6QM-Choir

Scope and Contents

Collection consists of records of the Wellesley College Choir, dating from 1877-1985. Collection is arranged into two series. Series I. Record Books and administrative records, 1900-1976, includes financial records, news clippings about the group, meeting minutes, Record Books (containing a record of Choir activities and information on former members, published every five years), and Registers (with lists of members, services, and rehearsals). Series II. Event programs, 1902-1985 consists of programs for Choir performances. Series III. Beethoven Society records, 1877-1896, includes records of activities and event programs (overlapping with Series II.) from the group's earliest years, before it was reorganized into the Choral Society in 1900 and again reorganized into the Wellesley College Choir in 1900.


  • 1877-1985


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research. To make an appointment to view materials, please contact the Archives staff by email at or by phone at (781) 283-3745.

Conditions Governing Use

The Wellesley College Archives welcomes researchers to use materials in the public domain, to make fair use of copyrighted materials as defined by copyright law, and to request permission to use works whose copyright is held by Wellesley College. All materials from the Archives, regardless of copyright status, should be attributed to the Wellesley College Archives, Library and Technology Services when cited, quoted, or reproduced.

Biographical / Historical

The Wellesley College Choir was originally founded as the Beethoven Society in 1876; the Beethoven Society was reorganized in 1897 and was renamed as the Choral Society, which was in turn reorganized in 1900 and renamed as the Wellesley College Choir. The Beethoven Society was the College's first singing group, and occasionally included a string quartet; it was led by Junius Welch Hill, Professor of Music and Director of the School of Music. It consisted of one hundred singers, who rehearsed weekly. The 1900 reorganization was spurred by President Caroline Hazard, who chose a new choirmaster, Professor of Music Hamilton C. Macdougall (Junius Welch Hill had retired in 1897). Under Choirmaster Macdougall, the Choir would provide musical accompaniment to vespers (evening prayers) every two weeks. The Choir came under the leadership of William A. Herrmann in 1952, at which point biweekly vespers had ceased (but the Choir still performed at Christmas vespers). Under Choirmaster Herrmann, the Choir collaborated with groups from men's colleges, and with professional soloists every two years in the Dober Memorial Concert. [Information from: Glasscock, Jean, and Katharine Canby Balderston. Wellesley College, 1875-1975: a Century of Women. Wellesley College, 1975. Page 181. See also: Hume, Elizabeth Fielden. "Professor Hill, A Tribute." Wellesley College News, Volume XXIV, No. 1. 1916 October 5, page 7.]


1 Linear Feet (3 boxes)

Language of Materials



Collection is arranged in three series: Series I. Record Books and administrative records, 1900-1976, Series II. Event programs, 1902-1985, and Series III. Beethoven Society records, 1877-1896. Series II. is arranged in chronological order.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Received from Owen Jander of the Wellesley College Music Department in two accessions, in 1979 and 1981. No acquisition information for materials in Series III. Beethoven Society records.
Wellesley College. Choir. Choir records, 1877-1985: a guide
File-level description by Student Assistant Sophia Pechaty, collection-level description by Natalia Gutierrez-Jones, Project Archivist.
2020 April
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Wellesley College Archives Repository