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Mary Church Terrell Main Library
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Consists of approximately 1,200 books that are individually cataloged in the Oberlin’s Library Catalog (OBIS). A complete list is available organized in reverse chronological order by date of publication.

These materials focus on the history of the violin, violin construction, the rare violin market through the years, early violin makers and violinists, and early violin treatises. Rare eighteenth-century treatises on violin playing and stringed instrument acoustics include authors such as Francesco Geminiani, Carlo Tessarini, Peter Prelleur, Johan Adam Hiller, Leopold Mozart, and Carlo Taglini.

More than fifty books on the early nineteenth-century violin virtuoso and composer Niccolo Paganini, including works published during his lifetime, were collected primarily by Frankel, who was an avid admirer of Paganini. There are also a wealth of materials on violin construction and acoustics, with extensive coverage of the bow, varnish, woods, gums and resins, adhesives, and painting techniques. Included in Series I is a notebook (ML140.G66 1900z) Goodkind maintained that indexed photographs of violins discovered in his readings, the catalogs, and other brochures. Although never published, the index is useful to anyone needing photographs of specific violins, and it often refers to items appearing in the Catalogs Series.

Series 2: Periodicals (21.5 linear feet), 1872-1982:

Consists of approximately 40 periodical titles, each of which is individually cataloged in the Oberlin Library Catalog (OBIS).

Series 3: Catalogs (13 linear feet), 1838-1991:

Consists of auction catalogs, musical instrument maker catalogs and brochures, and musical instrument dealer catalogs that address violin sales, pricing, and ownership. Hyman Frankel regularly collected catalogs and provided the foundation for the catalog collection. When Goodkind received the collection in 1959, he actively worked to update this part of the collection. Goodkind carefully followed the rare violin market by collecting catalogs from auction houses, stringed instrument makers, and musical instrument dealers that related primarily to auctions of musical instruments.

Many catalogs contain marginalia by Goodkind. The auction houses most heavily represented are Bongartz, Christie's, Phillips, Puttick & Simpson, and Sotheby's. Price lists and descriptive, historical, or biographical pamphlets of stringed instrument makers include companies such as Fraser, Gemunder, Muller & Kaplan, Roth, Virzi, and Weisshaar. Musical instrument dealer catalogs, especially those dealing with rare instruments include companies such as Bein & Fushi, Inc., Ditson, Doring, Fischer, Friedrich, Lewis, Lyon & Healy, Rushworth & Dreaper, Scherl & Roth, and Wurlitzer. Complete inventory of the 566 catalogs representing 104 companies.

Series 4: Research Materials (5 linear feet), 1808-1986:

Consists of materials created or compiled by Herbert Goodkind or Edward Abell to support research, collecting, and writing.

  • Sub-Series 1: Herbert K. Goodkind Papers, 1808-1986:

    Consists of correspondence to or from Goodkind or his estate along with miscellaneous research notes related primarily to stringed instruments. These include seven scrapbooks containing prints and research clippings related to Antonio Stradivari and string instruments more broadly; film negatives for images to be used in Goodkind's book on Stradivari; and files related to Goodkind's reception of the Eugene Ysaye Foundation's Diploma of Honor in 1974.

    Also contains a number of edited drafts of various articles dealing with string instruments as well as Goodkind's article about Hyman Frankel ("20th-century Tarisio" published in 1962 in The Violin Maker's Journal). Contains 168 articles from 83 periodical titles and 107 newspaper articles from 32 newspaper titles on the subject of violin construction, violin history, and violinists or violin makers.

    Goodkind collected newspaper clippings and single periodical issues that included articles primarily from non-music journals, generalist periodicals, or other non-music specialized journals which musicians would normally not be able to retrieve through a normal literature search in the field of music. All articles and clippings have been photocopied and placed into a subject-organized vertical file. The file is especially strong in articles on violin builders and violin construction.
  • Sub-Series 2: Edward W. Abell Papers, 1909-1928:

    Consists of one box of correspondence and research files. Correspondence between Ada E. Taylor and Abell (1916-1927) is followed by folders of general correspondence (1909-1928). The best biographical material on Abell is found in his draft of a letter to Taylor (never sent) of February 21, 1920.

    His research files are organized by article along with correspondence to and from editors about that specific article. Correspondence with Ada Taylor, editor of The Violinist, is found in these research files as well as in the separate Taylor/Abell correspondence folders. Ephemera folders contain ads for The Violinist, a membership certificate for the Philadelphia Forum, and publications from John A. Gould & Son in Boston. The final folder contains biographical information on Abell.

Series 5: Visual Materials:

(0.5 linear feet, and two paintings)

Consists of two nineteenth-century photo albums: 1) with 60 photographs of Franz Liszt; 2) with 30 photos of historical figures and royalty. Also included are two postcards with Liszt photos; 8 loose plates with portrait photographs of late nineteenth-century musical figures (Hector Berlioz, Hans Richter, Arthur Nikisch, Anton Seidl, Theodore Thomas, Arturo Toscanini); photographs of violin makers Fred Haenel and Arthur Bultitude; a photo of Charles E. Farley Model 1900 violin; and miscellaneous photographs (c. 65) of violins enclosed in correspondence to Goodkind.

An unidentified series of about 40 black and white photographs of rare instruments is included as well as one large black and white photo of Fritz Kreisler and Walter Damrosch. The series additionally contains a 1980 painting (36x48") of H.K. Goodkind by Ted Koepper and a 1971 painting (40x47") of Antonio Stradivari at work by Alton S. Tobey and commissioned by Goodkind, as well as two reproductions (12.5x16") of the Tobey painting.

Series 6: Violin Society of America Institutional Records:

(1.5 linear feet), 1973-1996 and undated

Contains financial, membership, public relations, and board of directors records; along with correspondence, clippings files, ephemera, and miscellaneous photographs related to the American Society for the Advancement of Violin Making and the Violin Society of America.

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