The Library's relationship with the MacDowell Colony grew out of Edward MacDowell's friendship with former Music Division chief Oscar Sonneck. In 1903, MacDowell gave the Library the manuscript of his "Zweite (indianische) Suite, op. 48," which is on display in the exhibit. The gift inspired Sonneck to begin collecting the illustrious composer's original music manuscripts and first editions, and established an acquisitions policy that has resulted in the Music Division's unparalleled archival collections of preeminent American composers.
Sonneck's successor, Carl Engel, continued the Library's association with Marian MacDowell, and invited her to give one of her famous lecture recitals in the Library's Coolidge auditorium in April 1927. The concert never took place because of Mrs. MacDowell's ill health.
The papers of both Edward and Marian MacDowell were acquired over the years through gifts and purchases and were processed in 1993 as the Edward and Marian MacDowell Collection. Housed in the Music Division, the collection includes Edward MacDowell's music manuscripts and first editions of his music, correspondence of the MacDowells, biographical materials, writings, programs, press clippings, business papers, photographs and the earliest records of the MacDowell Colony. For information about the collection and the finding aid, go to www.loc.gov/performingarts/encyclopedia/collections/macdowell.html.
The Colony's parent organization, the Edward MacDowell Association, presented the official archives of the MacDowell Colony to the Library's Manuscript Division in 1969. Supplemental material was added to the gift in the early 1970s. The finding aid is accessible at www.loc.gov/rr/mss/text/macdowel.html.