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Elizabeth Ellen Starr correspondence

Identifier: PIMS-0147

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Scope and Contents

The Elizabeth Ellen Starr correspondence, approximately 1904-1970 (bulk: 1918-1945), consists mostly of Starr's incoming letters related to music in Baltimore. Many of the letters relate to Starr's efforts to support local institutions such as the Lyric Theatre and coordinate appearances by the Philadelphia Orchestra and other visiting ensembles. Also included are newspaper clippings related to music and other topics of Starr's interests.

The collection includes autographed letters from conductors Leopold Stokowski and Walter Damrosch, author H. L. Mencken, composer Mary Howe, orchestra manager Arthur Judson, Peabody Conservatory Director Harold Randolph, and others involved in Baltimore music from approximately 1918-1945.


  • Creation: 1904 - 1970
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1918 - 1945


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for use at the Arthur Friedheim Library Archives of the Peabody Institute. 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

Elizabeth Ellen Starr (1859–1950) organized support for classical music institutions in Baltimore. Starr studied harmony and voice at the Peabody Conservatory and earned a diploma in 1885. In 1893 she co-founded the Peabody Conservatory Alumni Association with May Garrettson Evans, who would become the founder and director of the Peabody Preparatory. Starr was active as a singer, teacher at the Peabody Graduates' School, and composer. Her ode to the Johns Hopkins University, "Veritas vos liberabit," was published in The Hopkins Songbook (Johns Hopkins University, Omicron Delta Kappa, 1924). She also prepared a textbook, Theory of Music by Peabody Conservatory Director Asger Hamerik, for use by students of the Conservatory.

In 1920 Starr chaired the Auxiliary Board of the "Save the Lyric" campaign, which raised money to keep Baltimore's Lyric Theatre from being demolished. In the 1920s and 1930s Starr served as a counselor in Baltimore for visiting orchestras, including Philadelphia, New York Philharmonic, Boston, and National Symphony Orchestras. She also chaired the Promotion of Music in Baltimore and the local chapter of Friends of Music of the Library of Congress, and served on the board of the Philharmonic Symphonic Society of Baltimore.


0.57 Cubic Feet (2 boxes)

Language of Materials



Elizabeth Ellen Starr (1859–1950) attended the Peabody Conservatory and organized support for classical music institutions in Baltimore, including a campaign in 1920 to keep Baltimore's Lyric Theatre from being demolished. Many of the letters in the Starr correspondence collection relate to her efforts to support local music institutions such as the Lyric Theatre and coordinate appearances by the Philadelphia Orchestra and other ensembles visiting Baltimore between 1918 and 1945.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Copies of the correspondence were made from originals held at the University of Baltimore Langsdale Library Special Collections in 1991. There is no information on when the original materials were transferred to Peabody. They were likely acquired between 1991 and 2013.

The Peabody Archives accession log recorded this as accession 1992.1: "Papers of Elizabeth Ellen Starr. Copies of papers in University of Baltimore Langsdale Library Special Collections (then closed). Copied with permission from special collections librarian Gerry Yeager. July 1991." Staff at UB Special Collections in May 2024 were unable to locate any additional information about the Starr collection or its deaccession from UB.

Processing Information

Processed by Grace Minghsuan Tsai in 2016. Additional description by Chris Trotman (2016?) and Matt Testa (2024).

Guide to the Elizabeth Ellen Starr correspondence
Matt Testa
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Peabody Archives Repository

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