Collection inventory

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Belfer Portrait Collection

An inventory of the collection at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: MRC
Date: 9 Mar 2010

Biographical History

The Belfer Audio Archive at Syracuse University was formed in 1963 with a collection of 150,000 recordings held off-campus. Today the Belfer has more than 350,000 items, ranging from Edison wax cylinders to CDs, housed in a specially designed climate-controlled facility with a state-of-the-art audio studio.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Belfer Portrait Collection is a reference collection, amassed by the Belfer Audio Archive, of reproductions of photographs, sketches and paintings of notable Composers, musicians and conductors and Singers (mostly opera). The vast majority are pictures clipped from magazines or record album covers although there are a few originals; other formats include postcards, programs, and old scrapbooks. A number of items are part of a series of testimonials by various important figures in the music world put out by the Steinway company to advertise their pianos. The earliest items date from circa 1920. The collection includes approximately twenty Glass plate positives. These are listed separately.

There are also a few Miscellaneous music-related clippings (e.g. minstrels, musical instruments, etc.) and a packet of photogravures from the Victor Talking Machine Company.

Arrangement of the Collection

The collection is arranged alphabetically by performer name. Names are given in strict alphabetical order, regardless of nationality or prefix (e.g., de Los Angeles is filed under "D" and von Bary is filed under "V"). If names had alternate spellings, the one appearing most often was used. Glass plate negatives are filed separately in Box 4.


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.

Subject Headings

Corporate Bodies

Steinway & Sons.
Victor Talking Machine Company.


Composers -- Photographs.
Composers -- Pictorial works.
Conductors -- Photographs.
Conductors -- Pictorial works.
Musicians -- Photographs.
Musicians -- Pictorial works.
Singers -- Photographs.
Singers -- Pictorial works.

Genres and Forms

Clippings (information artifacts)
Lantern slides.
Programs (documents)

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Belfer Portrait Collection,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Collected by Belfer Audio Archive, 1963-

Table of Contents

Composers, musicians, conductors


Glass plate positives