Jacques Barzun papers
Scope and Contents
This collection primarily contains the correspondence Jacques Barzun undertook with Joan Peyser between 1970-2007. Most of the letters reflect Barzun's relationship with Peyser as her mentor and editor. The notion of biography and what its aim should be is central to the few disputes that do occur in the letters. The letters often include clippings of articles by Barzun and others, as well as invitations to lectures and other occasions. It also includes Barzun's edits on five of Peyser's New York Times articles, for the purposes of inclusion in her book, The Music of Our Time: Collected Essays and Articles. The edits on Peyser's articles, with one exception, are stylistic and technical in nature.
- Creation: 1970 - 2007
Conditions Governing Access
This collection is housed off-site and requires 48-hours' notice for retrieval. Please contact Special Collections for more information.
Collection is open for use.
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.
Biographical / Historical
Joan Peyser (1930–2011) was an American musicologist and writer, particularly known for her writing on 20th-century music and for her biographies of George Gershwin, Pierre Boulez, and Leonard Bernstein. Her biography of Bernstein was, according to Leon Botstein, the first attempt at a critical account of his life and work.
Jacques Martin Barzun (1907-2012) was a French-born American historian. Focusing on ideas and culture, he wrote about a wide range of subjects, including baseball and classical music, and is best known as a philosopher of education. In the book Teacher in America (1945), Barzun influenced the training of schoolteachers in the United States.
He published more than forty books, was awarded the American Presidential Medal of Freedom, and was dubbed a knight of the French Legion of Honor. His magnum opus, the historical retrospective From Dawn to Decadence: 500 Years of Western Cultural Life, 1500 to the Present (2000), was published when he was 93 years old. He lived in San Antonio, TX with his wife, Marguerite. He passed away in 2012.
0.47 Cubic Feet (1 legal size document box)
Language of Materials
The collection consists of approximately 250 letters written to Joan Peyser by Jacques Barzun, as well as edits that Barzun made on five of Peyser's New York Times articles for the purpose of inclusion in her book, The Music of Our Time: Collected Essays and Articles. Most of the letteres reflect Barzun's relationship with Peyser as her mentor and editor. The correspondence often includes clipping of articles by Barzun and others, as well as invitations to lecture and other occasions. The collection spans from 1970 to 2007.
The collection is arranged in two series: Series 1: Correspondence and Series 2: Mentorship. Series 1 contains correspondence between Barzun and Peyser. Series 2 contains Barzun's edits on Peyser's writings.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
This collection was purchased from Joan Peyser in 2008.
This collection was processed by Gabrielle Ponce, with additional processing by Annie Tang in September 2015.
- Jacques Barzun papers
- Language of description
- Script of description
Part of the Special Collections Repository
The Sheridan Libraries
3400 N Charles St
Baltimore MD 21218 USA