Collection inventory

Special Collections home page
printer friendly version

Charles Huerter Papers

An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Huerter, Charles, 1885-
Title: Charles Huerter Papers
Inclusive Dates: 1898-1970
Quantity: 5.0 linear ft.
Abstract: Papers of the American composer, pianist, teacher. Died 1974.
Abstract: Biographical material, letters (1926-1960), manuscript scores, musical sketchbooks (1904-1970), printed scores, and memorabilia including a notebook (1903-1919), programs (1922-1967) and publicity.
Language: English
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010

Biographical History

Charles Joseph Huerter (1885-1974), composer, pianist, and teacher, was born in Brooklyn, New York. After receiving piano instruction from his father and completing his secondary education in New York City and Geneva, New York, he entered Syracuse University, where he studied piano under Joseph C. Seiter and Adolf Frey and composition with William Berwald. He continued his musical studies at the Royal Academy at Charlottenburg in Berlin with composer Paul Juon. Also in Europe he studied piano with Karl Heymann.

As a composer he wrote some two thousand works, including piano pieces and exercises, songs, and compositions for violin, violincello, solo performers, choral groups, and orchestra. Using his own texts for many of his songs and choral works, he had more than 700 published titles. His songs were used in the motion pictures"The Sea Hawk," the original version of "The Jazz Singer," and the original "Beau Geste."

A fifty-six-year resident of Syracuse, New York, for many years he taught piano and composition there and early in his career served as an organist and choirmaster.

Return to top

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Charles Huerter Papers contain manuscript scores, musical sketchbooks, and printed scores that span almost seventy years of musical composition. There are also small amounts of biographical material, letters, and memorabilia. Material in the papers dates from 1898 to 1970.

Biographical material contains two folders of miscellaneous biographical material

Letters contains two folders of incoming letters, mostly from music publishers regarding Huerter's work.

Memorabilia includes programs of Huerter compositions performed in either live or broadcast concerts, lyrics set to music by the composer, a notebook of musical jottings, and a manuscript of "Playland." Details an this material and other items of memorabilia are given in the shelf list. Rounding out the holdings are

Scores in manuscript form, largely undated, are arranged by type in four oversized packages. The vocal works, as well as a large portion of the piano works, are arranged alphabetically by cover titles, which occasionally vary from the inside titles. Many of the sheets containing works for piano solo may once have been part of composition folders, the assembled order of which has since been lost, and the manuscripts of other piano works sometimes have earlier sketches of other songs on their reverse sides. Some of the piano manuscripts either carry several titles or contain several compositions on the same page; these are separately foldered, as indicated in the shelf list. At the head of the section of scores are placed lists of compositions by Charles Huerter.

Sketchbooks of compositions — mostly songs — from a more-than-sixty-year period fill three archival boxes. These seventy music writing books are arranged by dates that, for the most part, appear on the books' covers in the composer's handwriting. Other dates, bracketed in pencil on or inside the front covers, are supplied from dated compositions inside the sketchbooks. Such dates, used here for purposes of arrangement and identification, may only approximate the inclusive dates of these books' compositions. Because the composer apparently sometimes kept simultaneous sketchbooks, some dates overlap. The subjects or place names that appear in the shelf list are those given by the composer himself on the cover labels. The sketchbooks date from 1904 to 1970, with two undated sketchbooks placed at the end of the sequence.

Charles Huerter's Works in published form, many of them written under pseudonyms, are arranged by type. Some of these are marked in the composer's handwriting "corrected copy." The accompanying shelf list gives details of holdings. The item count provided in the shelf list is, in most cases, the equivalent of a title count.

Return to top

Arrangement of the Collection

Letters and sketchbooks are arranged chronologically. All other material is arranged alphabetically by type and/or title.

Return to top


Access Restrictions

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

Return to top

Subject Headings


Huerter, Charles, 1885- -- Archives


Composers -- United States.
Music -- 20th century.
Musical sketches.
Musicians -- United States.
Pianists -- United States.

Genres and Forms

Letters (correspondence)
Manuscripts for publication.
Musical scores.
Programs (documents)
Sheet music.



Return to top

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Charles Huerter Papers
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of estate of Charles Huerter, 1975.

Finding Aid Information

Created by: EL
Date: Sep 1977
Revision history: 18 Feb 2008 - converted to EAD (MRC)

Return to top


Biographical material
Box 1 Miscellaneous (2 folders)
Box 1 1926-1940
Box 1 1941-1960, undated
Box 1 Broadcast concert programs 1937-1942
Oversize 1 Confirmation pledge card and diploma 1898, 1900
Box 1 Lyrics, holograph and typescript 1930-1970
Box 1 Notebook 1903-1919
Box 1 Photograph undated
Box 1 "Playland" ms. undated
Oversize 2 Printed music inscribed to Charles Huerter
Box 1 Programs containing Huerter compositions 1922-1967
Box 1 Promotional brochures undated
Box 1 Miscellaneous items 1910-1960
Scores in manuscript
Oversize 3 Lists of works by Charles Huerter
Oversize 3 Choral works (10 items)
Oversize 3 Orchestral works (4 items in 2 folders)
Piano solo
Oversize 4 Alphabetical sequence (140 items)
Oversize 5 Irregularly sized sheets, unarranged (12 items)
Oversize 5 Sheets with multiple works, unarranged (61 items)
Oversize 5 Untitled or unidentified works and sheets with conflicting titles, unarranged (46 items)
Oversize 6 String works, unarranged (17 items)
Oversize 6 Vocal, with piano accompaniment, alphabetically arranged by title (63 items)
Oversize 6 Miscellaneous works, unarranged (approximately 40 items)
Box 1 Theory, 1904-1909
Box 1 1909-1910
Box 1 Theory 1910
Box 1 Theory 1910-1911
Box 1 1911
Box 1 1911 July
Box 1 1911-1912
Box 1 1912-1913
Box 1 1913
Box 1 1913 December
Box 1 Berlin, 1913-1914
Box 1 Berlin, 1914 Jan 14
Box 1 Berlin, 1914 [ca. March]
Box 2 Berlin, 1914 April
Box 2 Berlin, 1914 May and June
Box 2 1915 Jan-Mar
Box 2 1915 Mar-Sep
Box 2 1915 Nov-Dec 1916
Box 2 1917
Box 2 1917-1918
Box 2 1918
Box 2 1918 [ca. December]
Box 2 1918-1919
Box 2 1919
Box 2 1919 Jan-Feb
Box 2 1919 Feb-Mar
Box 2 1919 [ca, May]
Box 2 1920 (B.C. notebook)
Box 2 1920 (Schirmer notebook)
Box 2 1920-1921
Box 2 1921
Box 2 1921 May-Oct
Box 3 1921-1922
Box 3 1922-1923
Box 3 1923 Sep-Nov
Box 3 1923-1924
Box 3 1924
Box 3 1925
Box 3 1925-1926 (2 notebooks)
Box 3 1926
Box 3 1926-1927
Box 3 1927 Mar-May
Box 3 1927-1928
Box 3 1928 Mar-Jun
Box 3 1928 May-Dec
Box 3 1928-1929
Box 3 1929
Box 3 1930-1932
Box 3 1932
Box 3 1936-1944
Box 4 1937-1938
Box 4 1941
Box 4 1942-1944
Box 4 1944
Box 4 1944-1945
Box 4 1945-1946
Box 4 1945-1947
Box 4 1946-1947
Box 4 1947
Box 4 1948
Box 4 1949
Box 4 ca. 1950?
Box 4 1950-1956
Box 4 1957-1958
Box 4 1960-1969
Box 4 1969-1970
Box 4 Undated (2 notebooks)
Works in published form
Box 4 Choral and mixed-voice arrangements and part songs (66 items, 9 folders)
Orchestral scores
Box 5 "The Afterglow"
Box 5 "Chansonnette"
Box 5 "Granada"
Box 5 "Homeland"
Box 5 "Stray Sunbeams"
Box 5 "Uncle Hiram"
Box 5 "When Love Calls"
Box 5 Organ (4 items)
Piano solo (281 items)
Box 5 A-L (9 folders)
Box 6 M-Z (8 folders)
Box 6 Piano four hands (2 items)
Box 6 Violin (10 items)
Box 6 Violincello (11 items)
Vocal solo (100 items)
Box 6 A-G (4 folders)
Box 7 H-Z (11 folders)

Return to top