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May Garrettson Evans scrapbooks

 Collection
Identifier: PIMS-0060
May Garrettson Evans was a writer for The Baltimore Sun who founded the Peabody Preparatory Department in 1898 and served as its superintendent until 1930. Her collection includes personal scrapbooks and photographs of Evans and her family, including items from her time at the Peabody Preparatory Department.

Dates

  • Majority of material found within 1896-1985

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for use at the Peabody Archives. Contact peabodyarchives@lists.jhu.edu for more information.

Conditions Governing Use

Single copies may be made for research purposes. Researchers are responsible for determining any copyright questions. It is not necessary to seek our permission as the owner of the physical work to publish or otherwise use public domain materials that we have made available for use, unless Johns Hopkins University holds the copyright. All requests for permission to publish or perform materials in this collection must be submitted in writing to the archivist of the Arthur Friedheim Library.

Extent

1.95 Cubic Feet (3 large flat boxes and 1 half-size letter box)

Biographical / Historical

May Garrettson Evans began her professional career covering news for The Baltimore Sun in 1888. Evans’ brother, a newspaperman himself, would often ask for his sister’s help with stories when he was pressed for time. As a student of Peabody Conservatory, she would often be asked to cover concerts or musicals. Evans was officially brought on as a general reporter for The Sun in 1888 as a music and drama critic. She was considered the first woman reporter for The Sun, working for the Baltimore newspaper until 1895.

Looking for an interesting story to cover for the paper, Evans was drawn back to the Peabody Conservatory. She believed there was a need for a preparatory school as a means to prepare future students for the rigorous curriculum offered by the Conservatory. She interviewed the director and wrote the story, sparking serious interest in the project.

Though the Conservatory director, Asger Hamerik, was interested in the idea, there were no steps taken to begin the project. Evans then took it upon herself, along with her sister Marion, to open the Peabody Graduates’ Preparatory and High School of Music in 1894. Evans enlisted the help of fellow graduates of the Conservatory to teach the several hundred pupils who applied for admission that year. The school’s success was overwhelming, and was officially incorporated into the Peabody Conservatory in 1898 as the Peabody Preparatory Department. Evans stayed on as superintendent of the department until 1930. Evans was passionate about bringing music to the people of Baltimore, inviting people of all ages, backgrounds, and musical ability to study at the Preparatory. Dance was incorporated into the Preparatory in 1914.

Evans continued to write, acting as editor of the Peabody Bulletin. She also published one of the first academic articles on the song and dance traditions of the Pueblo and Navajo Indians.

Scope and Contents

The May Garrettson Evans scrapbooks (1896-1985) contain personal scrapbooks and photographs created by the Evans family. Both scrapbooks outline the Evans family history, including May Garrettson's work as founder and superintendent of the Peabody Preparatory Department, using newspaper clippings, letters, and photographs. Most notably, the scrapbook in box 2 contains a letter from Hans von Bülow to Evans in 1890. Also included in the collection are photographs of May Garrettson Evans and her sisters Marion Evans and Bessie Evans, both of whom also worked at the Peabody Preparatory Department. Box 4 contains preservation copies of the scrapbooks, concert programs, and essays.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of the Evans family in 1993.

Repository Details

Part of the Peabody Archives Repository

Contact:
Arthur Friedheim Library
1 E. Mount Vernon Place
Baltimore MD 21202 USA