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Collection Information

Collection name

Robert Kelly collection of music manuscripts and published scores


Sousa Archives and Center for American Music


Gift of the composer

When acquired



The Robert Kelly Collection is named for American composer and teacher Robert Kelly who taught at UIUC from 1946 until 1976. The collection comprises manuscripts of virtually all his compositions, plus printed scores where available (a list of his principal works appears in Baker’s centennial edition, p. 1848). Consists of original manuscripts, holograph manuscript reproductions, paste-ups and proofs of compositions, printed scores where available (a list of his principal works appears in  Baker’s centennial edition, p. 1848),programs, correspondences, photographs and clippings documenting Robert Kelly’s career as a violinist, composer and professor of Music Composition and Theory at the University of Illinois. Of special note are photographs and newspaper clippings from the premiere of the  Emancipation Symphony( Symphony No. 3) in Washington DC by the National Symphony in 1963, the 100th Anniversary Year of the Emancipation Proclamation.


Organized into two series: Series 1: Music. Consists of original manuscripts, manuscript reproductions, paste-ups and pre-publication proofs of Kelly original compositions. Arranged by opus number, with original manuscripts followed by holograph reproductions, paste-ups and publication proofs. Series 2: Papers. Maintained in original order as received. Titles of folders correspond to titles of works unless otherwise noted. Folders contain press clippings, programs, photographs and correspondence relating to works, their premieres and other performances.

Access/Finding Aids/Bibliography

See the Robert Kelly Music and Papers, 1933-2000 Finding Aid at the Sousa Archives and Center for American Music.

Index terms

Kelly, Robert; University of Illinois composers; 20th Century music