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Bartlett, Homer N.
Papers, ca. 1864-1956


Quantity: 2 boxes (0.50 cubic ft.)
Access: Open to research
Acquisition: Gift of Jay Ford, June 2007
Processed By: Nicholas Webb, Student Assistant, State University of New York at Albany, June 2008

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Biographical Note:

Homer Newton Bartlett portrait
Homer Newton Bartlett

Homer Newton Bartlett, a pianist, organist and prolific composer, was considered during his lifetime to be in the front rank of American musicians. He was born on December 1845 in Olive, New York, the descendant of a long line of illustrious New Englanders which included three Mayflower passengers and New Hampshire governor Josiah Bartlett. A musical prodigy from childhood, he studied piano and composition with a number of well-known teachers, including Emil Guyon and S.B. Mills, and took up his first position as a church organist at the age of fourteen.

In August 1864, the summer after he turned eighteen, Bartlett enlisted as an infantryman in the 64th New York Regiment. It is unknown whether he saw combat during his service; he was mustered out the following year at the end of the war. In 1868, he married Emma L. Cornell, the daughter of iron magnate and philanthropist W.W. Cornell. Their son John B.C. Bartlett was born in 1871.

Bartlett spent his adult life in New York City, where he was organist and musical director at two prestigious Protestant churches. For twelve years he served at the Marble Collegiate Church, the Dutch Reformed church founded by Peter Minuit, which is the oldest Protestant congregation in North America; he then moved to the Madison Avenue Baptist Church, where he remained for the next thirty-one years. At the same time, he was composing and publishing musical works in a variety of genres, from voice-and-piano pieces intended for middle-class drawing rooms to grand symphonic works such as Apollo, a "symphonic poem" based on the Iliad. He was a founding member of the American Guild of Organists, served as president of the National Association of Organists, and won a number of musical competitions, including a 1905 composition contest sponsored by the piano manufacturers Kranich & Bach. He died in April 1920.

In 1896 John B.C. Bartlett married Louise Beckers, a German-American native of Hoboken, New Jersey. Their daughter, Emma Louise Caroline Bartlett, was born in 1897. John B.C. Bartlett died in 1942.

Scope and Content Note:

This collection contains papers, photographs and ephemera related to Homer Newton Bartlett and his family, printed sheet music by Bartlett and other composers, and manuscript scores by Bartlett.

Papers and photographs include a photograph of a young Bartlett with his Civil War regiment and a prose description of his symphonic poem Apollo. Of particular interest is the program of a ceremonial dinner held by "the Musicians of New York," including Bartlett, to celebrate soprano Marcella Sembrich's 25th anniversary as a member of the Metropolitan Opera company. The program is autographed by Sembrich.

Homer's son, John, is represented by a small assortment of materials, including photographs and National Guard enlistment and discharge papers. The collection also includes John Bartlett's correspondence with the United States copyright office regarding the copyright status of his father's works. A small collection of genealogical material assembled by John's daughter, Emma, documents the colonial heritage of the Bartlett family.

The numerous pieces of printed sheet music by Homer Newton Bartlett and other composers have been organized alphabetically by composer. Many of these scores have inscriptions or annotations; some include handwritten translations into German, presumably by Bartlett's German-American daughter-in-law Louise Beckers.

All of the manuscript scores in the collection belong to Bartlett, and all but one contain material from two violin concertos, Op. 109 and Op. 209. They include both full scores of the pieces and individual instrument scores. The remaining score contains a piece for voice and piano, "The Sweetness of Loving is Dreaming."

The collection also includes three oversized items: Louise Beckers's baptismal certificate and Emma L.C. Bartlett's confirmation certificate, both in German, and a certificate in honor of Mr. and Mrs. Homer Newton Bartlett's fiftieth wedding anniversary, signed by a long roster of members of the Fraternal Association of Musicians.

Container List:

Box Folder Description
Bartlett Family Papers and Ephemera, ca. 1864-1956
1 1 Argument and Synopsis of "Hänsel and Gretel" (pamphlet) –  1895
1 2 Bartlett-Cornell Family – Invitation and calling cards – n.d.
1 3 C.D.V. – Unidentified Woman – n.d.
1 4 "Dinner Given by the Musicians of New York to Madame Marcella Sembrich" – Program (autographed by Mme. Sembrich) – 1909; promotional postcard of Marcella Sembrich – n.d.
1 5 Emma Cornell Bartlett – Photograph of painted portrait with annotations – n.d.
1 6 Emma L.C. Bartlett – Genealogical charts – n.d.
1 7 Homer Newton Bartlett – American Flag House and Betsy Ross Memorial Association – Membership Certificate – 1892
1 8 Homer Newton Bartlett – Apollo: A Symphonic Poem – Description and notes on plot – n.d.
1 9 Homer Newton Bartlett – Biographical sketches and drafts – n.d.
1 10 Homer Newton Bartlett – Complimentary dinner given by Kranich and Ross – Program – 1905
1 11 Homer Newton Bartlett – Correspondence received – 2 items – n.d.
1 12 Homer Newton Bartlett – Founder's Certificate, American Guild of Organists – 1896[?]
1 13 Homer Newton Bartlett and Relatives – Newspaper clippings (extremely fragmented; includes photocopies) – 1870-1920, n.d.
1 14 Homer Newton Bartlett – Photograph (magazine clipping) – n.d.
1 15 Homer Newton Bartlett – Photograph with wife (photocopy) – n.d.
1 16 Homer Newton Bartlett and Family – Photographs and clippings (photocopy) – n.d.
1 17 Homer Newton Bartlett – Publicity photographs – 3 items – n.d.
1 18 Homer Newton Bartlett – Recital at Masonic Hall – Program – n.d.
1 19 Invitation to the Inauguration Ceremony of New Jersey Governor Edward I. Edwards – 1920
1 20 John B.C. Bartlett – Funeral receipt – 1942
1 21 John B.C. Bartlett – New York State National Guard – Enlistment and discharge papers – 1892-1897
1 22 John B.C. Bartlett – Notes and correspondence re: Copyright status of Homer Newton Bartlett's works – 1931-1932
1 23 John B.C. Bartlett – Wedding to Louise Beckers – Invitation – 1896
1 24 Kitchell, Joseph Gray. The Kranbach Nocturne: A Musical Story. (New York: George Ethridge Company, 1905). (Pamphlet, 2 copies)
1 25 Louise Beckers Bartlett (Mrs. John B.C. Bartlett) – Photographs – 2 items – n.d.
1 26 Metropolitan Opera House – Seasonal programs – 1927-28, 1941-42, 1955-56
1 27 Musical America IX.9 (9 January 1909) – Interview with H.N. Bartlett, p. 3
1 28 Photograph – Civil War regimental photograph, 64th Infantry – Homer Newton Bartlett, second from left – n.d.
1 29 Photograph – Group Photograph (mounted) – Homer Newton Bartlett (second from right), John B.C. Bartlett (second from left) – n.d.
1 30 Photograph – Group Portrait (mounted) – John B.C. Bartlett, center – n.d.
1 31 Standard Patriotic Songs of Twenty-One Different Countries – 1913
1 32 William W. Cornell – Engraving and obituary (photocopy)
EL 1 Louise Beckers – Taufschein (Baptismal Certificate) – 9 March 1872
EL 1 Emma L.C. Bartlett – Confirmation certificate (German) – April 1911
EL 1 Fraternal Association of Musicians – Certificate in honor of Mr. & Mrs. Homer N. Bartlett's golden wedding anniversary – 1919
Sheet Music, 1867-1946
2 1 Adams, Stephen. "The Holy City." 1892. Annotation: Lyrics in German.
2 2 Baker, Haydn Mozart. "The Emblem of Freedom." 1898. Inscription: "To Homer N. Bartlett with Compliments of Mr. Samuel Francis Ball."
2 3 Bartlett, Homer Newton. "Escape at Bedtime." 1898.
2 4 Bartlett, Homer Newton. "Five Piano Pieces for Little Fingers." 1907. Numbers 2, 3 and 4 (3 Items). With inscriptions to Emma L.C. Bartlett.
2 5 Bartlett, Homer Newton. "Grande Polka de Concert." 1867.
2 6 Bartlett, Homer Newton. "Nocturne on Kranbach Theme for Pianoforte." 1905.
2 7 Bartlett, Homer Newton. "The Old Trundle-Bed." 1895.
2 8 Bartlett, Homer Newton. "O Lord, Be Merciful." 1890. Inscription: "Louise A. Bartlett."
2 9 Bartlett, Homer Newton. "Revery." 1919.
2 10 Bartlett, Homer Newton. Single-page printed scores. (4 items.) 1895-1917, n.d.
2 11 Grisch, Oscar L. "Reverie for Violin and Piano." 1923. Inscription: "Mrs. Louise Bartlett compliments of Oscar L. Grisch."
2 12 Mascagni, Pietro. "Ave Maria." n.d.
2 13 Mendelssohn, Felix. "Songs Without Words for Pianoforte." 1893. Inscription: "H.N. Bartlett, 272 Manhattan Ave."
2 14 Romberg, Sigmund. "Auf Wiedersehn." 1915. Inscription: "To Lulu from Cousin George, Dec. 25, 1917."
2 15 Schubert, Franz. "Ave Maria." n.d. Inscription: "Louise Beckers." Annotation: Lyrics in German.
2 16 Shelley, Harry Rowe. "De Coppah Moon." 1908. Inscription: "To Homer Bartlett. Harry Rowe Shelley, with Best Wishes."
2 17 Shepperd, Frank N. "Rock of Ages." 1889. Inscription: "Louise A. Bartlett." Annotation: Lyrics in German.
2 18 Tate, Arthur F. "Somewhere a Voice is Calling." 1911. Inscription: "To 'Maisie' from Uncle George, Dec. 25 1917."
2 19 Wagner, Richard. "Prelude from Tristan und Isolde" (piano arrangement.) Annotated. n.d.
2 20 Walter, Christiane. "A Child's Christmas Song." 1946.
2 21 Woodman, R. Huntington. "An Open Secret (A Spring Song.)" 1897.
Homer Newton Bartlett Manuscript Scores, 1907, n.d.
2 22 "Concertstück für Violin, Op. 109." Mss. score (2 copies.)
2 23 "Concertstück für Violin, Op. 109." 1st Violin. Mss. score.
2 24 "Concerto for Violin, Op. 109." Violin principale. Mss. score (2 copies.)
2 25 "Concerto for Violin" [Op. 209?] All parts. Mss. score.
2 26 "Concerto for Violin, Op. 209." Tuba. Mss. score.
2 27 "Concerto for Violin, Op. 209." 1st Violin. Mss. score. (Copy 1 of 3)
2 28 "Concerto for Violin, Op. 209." 1st Violin. Mss. score. (Copy 2 of 3)
2 29 "Concerto for Violin, Op. 209." 1st Violin. Mss. score. (Copy 3 of 3)
2 30 "Concerto for Violin, Op. 209." 2nd Violin. Mss. score.
2 31 "Concerto for Violin, Op. 209." Violin principale. Mss. score.
2 32 "The Sweetness of Loving is Dreaming." Mss. score, 1907.
Last Updated: February 25, 2022