RB News & Notes

June 7, 2008

Outline of the unprocessed Bitgood papers

Filed under: Bitgood Papers Annex — Grace @ 11:36 pm

Between 1999 and 2003, after resigning from her final position as organist and choir director of Crossroads Presbyterian Church in Waterford, Connecticut, Roberta Bitgood lived at home under the care of her family with the help of an able part-time staff. In 2003 she moved to the Odd Fellows Home of Connecticut in Groton, where she remained until her death in 2007. Her papers now formed two separate corpora, one collection already owned by Connecticut College and partly described by Carolyn Johnson, Librarian of the Greer Music Library, the other collection remaining at her home in Quaker Hill, still unprocessed.

The task of organizing and analyzing the unprocessed collection, to determine whether transmittal of parts of it to the Shain Library (as annexes to the existing archive) would be desirable or appropriate, was complicated by the fact that some materials had remained embedded in the business of Dr. Bitgood’s daily life until its regular patterns were either disrupted or forgotten, while some others had apparently not been seen since their storage in containers prior to moving to Connecticut many years before.

Another problem was the unknown degree to which particular materials duplicated papers and printed resources already collected and maintained by the Shain Library’s Department of Special Collections as described above. It seemed likely, however, that parts of the unprocessed collection represented unique documentation of Roberta Bitgood’s career which could justifiably be annexed to the Roberta Bitgood Archive and made accessible to future researchers.

A bird’s-eye view of the scope of the unprocessed collection (hereafter, the Bitgood Papers Annex) would need to include the following categories:

(I) Clippings

Clippings about Roberta Bitgood

Other clippings (RB collected or received in correspondence)

(II) Printed programs

Recital programs (organ, given by Roberta Bitgood)

Recital programs (organ, RB attended or received in correspondence)

Convention and workshop programs (mostly AGO, but various auspices)

Other musical programs (featuring Roberta Bitgood as a participant)

Other musical programs (RB attended or received in correspondence)

Printed orders of worship (churches served by Roberta Bitgood)

Printed orders of worship (featuring Roberta Bitgood as a participant)

Printed orders of worship (RB attended or received in correspondence)

(III) Correspondence

Correspondence and papers—professional activities (AGO business, church employment, organ consultations, guest appearances: recitals, workshops, etc.)

Correspondence and papers—publications, related contracts, royalties, proposals

Correspondence and papers—honors, awards, citations

Correspondence and papers—alumni/volunteer activities

Correspondence and papers—personal, family

Miscellaneous records

(IV) Notebooks

(V) Music formats

Music manuscripts—unpublished Bitgood autographs, sketches, unknown/partial works

Musical scores—oratorios, cantatas, operettas

Published music by Roberta Bitgood

Sheet music and collections—liturgical and sacred music (choral, vocal solo)

Sheet music and collections—organ solo

Sheet music and parts—instrumental, organ and other instruments

Sheet music and parts—secular (choral, vocal solo, with piano or organ)

(VI) Books and pamphlets

Hymnals and other liturgical collections

Prayer books and other devotional literature

Religious press non-fiction

Trade press non-fiction

(VII) Periodicals

The American Organist

The Diapason

The Tracker

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