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Hugh R. Newsom papers

Identifier: PIMS-0046

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  • No requestable containers

Scope and Contents

The Hugh Raymond Newsom papers, 1908-1982, contain manuscript scores, personal documents, and reel-to-reel recordings of Newsom's compositions. Series 1 contains both manuscript and published scores written by Newsom. Series 2 includes manuscript scores for harp written by Newsom's wife, Marjorie Bunton Newsom. Series 3 contains documents such as posters, concert programs, correspondence, newspaper clippings, photographs, and pencil portraits. Series 4 contains reel-to-reel and LP recordings of Hugh Newsom's compositions.


  • Creation: 1908-1982


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for use at the Peabody Archives. Contact 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.

Biographical / Historical

Hugh Raymond Newsom (1891-1978) was born in Cawnpore, India, of American missionary parents and was brought to the United States at an early age. When only 11, Newsom became a church organist and choir director for his father in Wapello, Iowa, and at 13 he wrote and conducted a short oratorio, producing significant public interest.

Newsom received his musical education at Wesleyan, Oberlin College, and New England Conservatory, studying under such teachers as Alexander Rommel, Arthur Heacox, and George Chadwick. When studying under Chadwick, Newsom was given the opportunity to attend rehearsals and sit with various players of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, an experience that inspired him to continue his studies and become a composer.

Newsom studied music theory and composition, focusing on choral music in particular. His experience playing the organ helped him write for the instrument effectively in works for orchestra.

Newsom married Marjorie Brunton, a concert harpist and composer. His sister, Grace Newsom Cushman, taught musicianship at the Peabody Conservatory of Music from 1950 to 1970.

Newsom spent about three months of each year contracting for and routing the coast-to-coast tours of noted individual artists. Some artists include the Don Cossack Choir, the Mozarteum Orchestra Salzburg, The Israel Philharmonic, Jan Kubelik, Pablo Casals, Mischa Elman, Ernestine Schumann-Heink, Alberto Salvi, Rosa Ponselle, and others. The rest of each year Newsome spent composing. For over twenty years Newsom wrote many of his scores in his studio and garden in Baltimore.


12.94 Cubic Feet (27 medium flat boxes, 2 small flat boxes, 2 record center boxes, 1 full-size legal box, 1 oversize flat box, 1 LP record)

Language of Materials



Hugh Raymond Newsom (1891-1978) was an organist and composer who lived in Baltimore. The collection includes manuscript scores of music composed by Hugh Newsom or by his wife, harpist Marjorie Brunton Newsom; documents related to Hugh Newsom's career; and reel-to-reel recordings of his music.


The collection is arranged in four series.

Series 1: Scores by Hugh Raymond Newsom
Subseries A: Manuscript scores and sketches
Subseries B: Scores with notes, corrections, additions
Subseries C: Unpublished and self-published scores
Subseries D: Published scores
Subseries E: Unpublished parts
Subseries F: Gelatins, transparencies, and negatives
Subseries G: Oversize scores
Subseries H: Hardbound scores or collections

Series 2: Scores by Marjorie Brunton Newsom

Series 3: Documents

Series 4: Audio recordings

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

Access to recordings on outdated media is subject to the physical condition of the items and the library's ability to support playback. Contact the Arthur Friedheim Library Archives at for more information.

Other Finding Aids

An item-level inventory exists offline. Please contact the Peabody Archives for more information.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Marjorie Newsom in 1981, 1985, and 1986. Accession 2020-21.PIMS.18 donated by Beverly Conner in 2021.

Processing Information

The collection is mostly processed. Processed by Scott A. Miller in 2015.

Guide to the Hugh Raymond Newsom papers
Kerri Sheehan
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Peabody Archives Repository

Peabody Institute
1 E. Mount Vernon Place
Baltimore MD 21202 USA