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Alexander Russell Collection

An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Russell, Alexander, 1880-1953.
Title: Alexander Russell Collection
Inclusive Dates: 1907-1943
Quantity: 0.5 linear ft.
Abstract: Published and manuscript scores from the American composer.
Language: Bulk in English, scattered items in German and French
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010

Biographical History

(George) Alexander Russell (1880-1953) was an American composer and musician, particularly known for his piano and organ works. He graduated from Syracuse University in 1901 and spent the next four years as associate professor of pianoforte and organ there. His wife Eloise Holden Russell (1885?-1984) was a native of Syracuse. Russell studied in Berlin and Paris from 1906 to 1909. Upon his return to the United States, following a 1909 concert-tour he became director of the Auditorium Concerts at Wanamaker's in New York, and for nearly twenty years (1917-1935) he held the Henry Frick Chair of Music at Princeton University. Syracuse University granted him an honorary Mus. Doc in 1921 and in 1929 he received his Doctor of Pedagogy from the Cincinnati Conservatory. He was also named a Chevalier of the Order of the Crown of Belgium in 1932.

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Alexander Russell Collection consists of published music and manuscripts of compositions by Russell. There are also a few compositions by others, including a few by Eloise Russell. Compositions include both sacred and secular; several, such as "Christi qui lux es et dies" and "Jesu dulcis memoria," are based on medieval sacred works.

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Arrangement of the Collection

Material is arranged in alphabetical order.

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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.

Many of the manuscripts are on very fragile or brittle paper. Care should be taken in handling the original material.

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.

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Related Material

The library has recordings of many of Russell's compositions; please refer to the Classic Catalog for a complete listing (search on "Russell, Alexander" as author).

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Subject Headings


Russell, Alexander, 1880-1953.
Russell, Eloise.


Organ music -- 20th century.
Composers -- United States.
Organists -- United States.
Pianists -- United States.

Genres and Forms

Sheet music.



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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Alexander Russell Collection,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Transfer from Belfer, Feb 2010.

Finding Aid Information

Created by: MRC
Date: 24 Feb 2010
Revision history:

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Manuscript scores
Box 1 Titled, A-Z
RESTRICTED: Many of the manuscripts are on very fragile or brittle paper. Care should be taken in handling the original material.
Titles: At night; A ballade of chivalry; Bois etais / Sombre Woods; The bridal; Les cloches / The Bells; Contrapuntal study on original waltz themes; City hall; A desert scent [secret?]; Drink to me only with thine eyes; Dweller in my endless dreams; Elegy on the death of a mad dog; Eterna Christi munera; Fugue [illegible]; Funestra piagge; Holsworth [?] bells; Hymn for the night; Hymn in the night / Christi qui lux es et dies; I heard the voice of Jesus say; If you knew; In fountain court; In memoriam; In noctis umbra desides [When shades of night around us close]; In the valley; Jesu dulcis memoria; Laut der welt / The way of the world; Love dance; Lyric from Tagore; Meditation; Minnesinger's Song / Summertime; My [illegible] boy; New college; Norwich [?] Cathedral chimes; O lux beata trinitas; Pange lingua; St. James the Less Chapel; St. Margaret's in London wedding chimes; Sanctorum meritis; Sleep song; Summertime / Sommerlied; Theme and variations.
Box 1 Untitled and fragments
Notebooks, bound
Box 1 Volume 1, no cover
Titles: Little boy blue; Now is the month; Spring rain; Rector potens, verax Deus; Grand [illegible] chimes
Box 1 Volume 2, no cover
Titles: Chime figures, St. Mary's Oxford; Cambridge Catholic Church; Chapel at Fontainebleau, emigrant song heard in Rotterdam; Hour chime, Chateau de Peyrien, France; Hour chimes from St. [illegible]; At Quebec; Russian children's carol; Volga boat song
Box 1 Volume 3, red cover
Titles: Sunset; Cradle song; Orientale; Serenade; Invocation;
Box 1 Volume 4, brown cover (smaller)
Titles: In memoriam; Meditation; A sketch; The lament; Music when soft voices die; Du bist wie eine blume; Wenn ich in deine augen seh'; Music when soft voices die; The mass of the dead lovers; At the shrine of Pan; My heaven
Box 1 Volume 5, brown cover (larger)
Titles: The Lord is my shepherd; Agitato; Rector potens; In noctis umbra decides; St. Lawrence sketch; Hymn in the night;
Box 1 Volume 6, blue softcover, "Alexander Russell Berlin 1907 Composition"
Titles: In memoriam; Meditation; Nocturne; Serenade; A sketch / St. Andrews of the northern sun; The lament; Devotion; The traitors; Music when soft voices die; Theme, variation and fughetta; At the shrine of Pan;
Box 1 Volume 7, blue softcover, "Alex. Russell Paris-Berlin 1907-08 Potsdamerstrasse 103A" [additions at end dated 1919]
Titles: Waltz themes; Notes on composition [short essay]; Music box theme; Exercises lesson 2
Box 1 By others - Eloise Holden Russell, Richard Kountz, "Hymns by Edgar Allen Poe"
Published material
Box 1 Miscellaneous, A-Z 1911-1943
Titles: Art Songs arranged for Princeton choristers (1921); The blue bonnet (1915); Child redeemer / Puer redemptor (1943); Elegy on the death of a mad dog (1911); Expectation (1911); A gypsy song (1912); In fountain court (1916); Lyric from Tagore (1918); The merry mermaid (1918); My heaven (1910); My true love lies asleep (1912); The patient lover (1915); Princeton marching songs; The sacred fire (1911); St. Lawrence sketches III: Song of the basket-weaver (1921); Sunset (1910); Wenn ich in deine augen seh' (1911)

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