December 4, 2000 Aaron Copland Collection Debuts on American Memory Web Site

Contact: Guy Lamolinara: (202) 707-9217

The "Aaron Copland Collection" is now available on the American Memory collections Web site. This is the first in a series of online material commemorating the centennial of the birth of American composer Aaron Copland (1900-1990).

The initial online offering contains about 5,000 images dating from 1899 to 1981, with the bulk from 1920 to 1959. These items were selected from Copland's original music sketches, correspondence, writings, and photographs. The online collection also includes 86 of Copland's previously unpublished drafts that demonstrate the creative process through which he wrote about his own music, other composers and their music, and other people who played important roles in his musical life.

The online collection includes an introduction to Copland's music styles such as American music, modernism, music for orchestra and voice, opera, and music for dance and film. The online collection also features a timeline detailing the composer's life and career. Another special presentation of the collection is an article about Copland written by Leonard Bernstein that appeared in the November 1970 issue of High Fidelity/Musical America. In the article, "Aaron Copland: An Intimate Sketch," Bernstein presents Copland as friend, mentor, and musician.

The name Aaron Copland is synonymous with Appalachian Spring, the winner of the 1945 Pulitzer Prize in music. Choreographed by Martha Graham, this ballet premiered at the Library of Congress on Oct. 30, 1944. The online collection presents the original musical sketches that Copland used in composing Appalachian Spring and 30 works spanning the years 1924 to 1967.

The online collection is derived from the Aaron Copland collection in the Library's Music Division. The Music Division's collection of some 400,000 items comprises both manuscript and printed music, personal and business correspondence, diaries, writings, scrapbooks, programs, newspaper and magazine clippings, photographs, awards, books, sound recordings, and motion pictures. Beginning in the late 1950s and early 1960s, Copland periodically deposited his original music manuscripts at the Library and subsequently converted them to gifts. In the fall of 1989, he donated all his papers to the Library.

This new online collection has been added to the more than 90 already freely available from American Memory, which is a project of the National Digital Library Program of the Library of Congress.

The latest Web site from the Library is aimed at kids and families. The colorful and interactive "America's Library" invites users to "Log On ... Play Around ... Learn Something."


PR 00-181
ISSN 0731-3527