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Sophie Hutchinson Drinker Papers, 1859-1990 (Bulk: 1935-1966)
12 boxes (3.75 linear ft.)
Collection number: MS 51

Abstract:
Historian; Musicologist. Papers primarily relate to Drinker's work on the history of women and music, and her promotion of choral singing by women. Types of materials include correspondence, research, and writings for her books Brahms and His Women's Choruses (1952), and Music and Women: The Story of Women in Their Relation to Music (1948). Of particular interest are the songbooks, or stimmenhefte, which chorus women copied from Johannes Brahms' manuscripts. There are also 16 volumes of bound notes for Music and Women on women and music around the world from prehistoric times to the 20th century.

Terms of Access and Use:

Restrictions on access:

The papers are open to research according to the regulations of the Sophia Smith Collection. Due to their fragility, bound materials in the collection may not be photocopied.

Restrictions on use:

Permission to cite the papers for quotations or for publication beyond "fair use" must be obtained from the Sophia Smith Collection as owners of the physical property. The copyright owner for Drinker's writings is unknown. Copyright to materials authored by persons other than Sophie Hutchinson Drinker may be owned by those individuals or their heirs or assigns. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights.

Sophia Smith Collection
Smith College
Northampton, MA

Biographical Note

Sophie (Lewis) Hutchinson Drinker was born in Haverford, Pennsylvania, on August 24, 1888 to Sydney Pemberton Hutchinson and Amy Lewis. She attended boarding school at St. Timothy's School in Catonsville, Maryland, and graduated in 1906. Although she was then admitted to Bryn Mawr, she declined to attend college.

She married Henry Drinker, a lawyer and musicologist, in 1911. They had five children: Sophie, Henry S., Jr., Cecilia, Ernesta, and Pemberton. The Drinkers were well known in the Philadelphia area for their invitation-only singing parties. Group songs and music, often with the accompaniment of invited musicians, including some from the Philadelphia Orchestra or the Curtis Institute, preceded and followed dinner prepared by the Drinker household staff.

Sophie Drinker spent a significant portion of her life researching and writing about the history of women and music, as well as promoting choral singing by women. In 1930 she joined the Montgomery Singers, a women's chorus, and many years later she served as the group's president. In her scholarly work Drinker was greatly influenced by Mary Beard, pioneer women's historian, and the democratic, economically oriented history of the "progressive" school to which Beard subscribed. She worked with Beard on her abortive project to establish the World Center for Women's Archives.

Drinker's book, Music and Women: The Story of Women in Their Relation to Music, was published in 1948. It was widely reviewed by the historical community but did not receive much attention from the musical community until the late twentieth century. She is also the author of Brahms and His Women's Choruses (1952) and articles on women and music. In her later works, Drinker moved away from the topic of music and began to focus more on women in colonial America. Her later works include the books Hannah Penn and the Proprietorship of Pennsylvania (1958) and The American Woman in Colonial and Revolutionary Times, 1565-1800 (jointly authored with Eugenie Andruss Leonard and Miriam Young Holden; 1962), and articles entitled, "Patriarchal Values in Women's Education" (1954), "Women and the Ideal Democracy" (1960), "Women Attorneys of Colonial Times" (1961), and "The Two Elizabeth Carterets" (1961).

Cited for her "service in the cause of Music whereby she had brought together and made available much that, but for her, would have lain forgotten," Drinker received an honorary degree from Smith College in 1949. She served for a time as a guest lecturer at Pennsylvania Medical College for Women, from which she received an honorary degree in 1967. Throughout her life Drinker was involved in a number of philanthropic, civic, and women's groups, including the Marriage Council of Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania Society of the National Society of Colonial Dames of America, the Lucy Stone League, the Community Chest, and the League of Women Voters. Because of her work with, and writings on, women, Betty Friedan wanted Drinker to join the first elected board of the National Organization of Women. However, Drinker's health was failing at this point, so her daughter Ernesta volunteered in her place and won election to the board. Drinker died of cancer a few months later in September 1967. The Sophie Drinker Institute in Bremen, Germany, is named after her.

Additional biographical sketches of Drinker written by Ruth A. Solie can be found in American National Biography and in the afterword of the 1995 edition of Music and Women: The Story of Women in Their Relation to Music.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Sophie Hutchinson Drinker Papers consist of 3.75 linear feet and are primarily related to her books Brahms and His Women's Choruses and Music and Women: The Story of Women in Their Relation to Music. Types of materials include correspondence, research notes, songbooks, addresses, journal articles, newspaper clippings, transcripts of oral history interviews, and memorabilia.

The bulk of the papers date from 1935 to 1966. Notable parts of the first series are the transcripts of oral history interviews conducted by Smith College Professor Ruth A. Solie with two of Drinker's daughters, Ernesta Drinker Ballard and Cecilia Drinker Saltonstall. These provide a glimpse into the life of Sophie Drinker and her family.

WRITINGS is the largest series and much of it consists of research materials, notes, and correspondence relating to Drinker's book Brahms and His Women's Choruses. Of particular interest are the individual music notebooks, or stimmenhefte, that the chorus women copied from Brahms' manuscripts. Drinker obtained stimmenhefte from four women or their families in either their original book form or as photostatic copies. The photostatic copies are in many cases the only remaining copies as the originals were destroyed during World War II or otherwise lost. The stimmenhefte are all written in German. Except for the Völckers sisters' materials, there is a folder of correspondence associated with each woman's stimmenhefte that explain how the Drinkers acquired the material or the status of the songbooks. The search for the original choir members and their stimmenhefte began in the 1930s when the Drinkers contacted Dr. Hans Albrecht. Dr. Albrecht contacted many of the families of former choir members on behalf of the Drinkers and facilitated the acquisition or the copying of the stimmenhefte. A fuller account of the acquisitions can be found in the correspondence folders mentioned previously, or in Drinker's book Brahms and His Women's Choruses.

The Jahrbuch der Gesellschaft Hamburgischer Kunstfreunde, 1902 [translation: Yearbook of the Hamburg Society of Friends of the Arts] contains a piece written in German by Franzisca Lentz about the women's chorus directed by Brahms. "Photographs and illustrations" includes images of Brahms, some of the chorus women, and other musical figures involved with the chorus. The "Writings by Brahms" folder contains a photostat of a few lines of music most likely written by Brahms.

The subseries on Drinker's book Music and Women largely consists of bound volumes of her notes. The first volume (Part I: "Introduction/Prehistoric") contains a list of contents for the books; however, the titles on the outsides of the books sometimes do not exactly match the formal title or description Drinker gave them in the contents listing. The books are arranged according to Drinker's order in the first volume. Due to the fragility of these items, they may not be photocopied.

This collection is organized into three series:


Information on Use
Terms of Access and Use
Restrictions on access:

The papers are open to research according to the regulations of the Sophia Smith Collection. Due to their fragility, bound materials in the collection may not be photocopied.

Restrictions on use:

Permission to cite the papers for quotations or for publication beyond "fair use" must be obtained from the Sophia Smith Collection as owners of the physical property. The copyright owner for Drinker's writings is unknown. Copyright to materials authored by persons other than Sophie Hutchinson Drinker may be owned by those individuals or their heirs or assigns. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights.

Preferred Citation

Please use the following format when citing materials from this collection:

Sophie Hutchinson Drinker Papers, Sophia Smith Collection, Smith College, Northampton, Mass.

History of the Collection

Sophie Drinker donated her papers to the Sophia Smith Collection in 1948 and 1965. Professor Ruth Solie donated the oral history transcripts in 1991 and Harriet Gratwick donated some correspondence with Drinker in 1983 and two articles in 1989.

Processing Information

Reprocessed by Sarah E. Keen, 2004.


Additional Information
Contact Information
Sophia Smith Collection
Smith College
Northampton, MA 01063

Phone: (413) 585-2970
Fax: (413) 585-2886

Email Reference Form: http://www.smith.edu/libraries/libs/ssc/emailform.html
URL: http://www.smith.edu/libraries/libs/ssc/
Language
English.
Sponsor
Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Contents List
SERIES I. BIOGRAPHICAL MATERIALS



Contents


Box 1: folder 1
Published material about Drinker,
1967, n.d.

Box 1: folder 2
Photograph of unidentified man,
1952

Box 1: folder 2
Oral histories about Drinker: transcripts



Ernesta Drinker Ballard,
1990

Box 1: folder 3
Cecilia Drinker Saltonstall,
1990

Box 1: folder 4
Photographs, Sophie Hutchinson Drinker,
1949, n.d.

Box 1: folder 4a
SERIES II. CORRESPONDENCE



Albrecht, Hans,
1935-39, 1950

Box 1: folder 5
Becker, Gretchen and unidentified,
1960-67

Box 1: folder 5a
Gratwick, Harriet,
1946-48, n.d.

Box 1: folder 6
Helms, Sigmund, and Arthur Ware Locke,
1962-66, n.d.

Box 1: folder 7
Miscellaneous about the Drinker collection,
1965, 1981, n.d.

Box 1: folder 8
SERIES III. WRITINGS



Addresses



"Address to Marriage Council Trainees, "
March 1963

Box 1: folder 9
"Women in American History,"
9 Apr 1959

Box 1: folder 10
Articles



"Academia dei Dilettanti di Musica," by Sophie and Henry Drinker
1930-60,

Box 1: folder 11
"The Amateur in Music," by Henry S. Drinker


Box 1: folder 12
Books



Brahms and His Women's Choruses



Articles about Brahms,
1987, n.d.

Box 1: folder 13
Correspondence: permission letters,
1950-51

Box 1: folder 14
Diary entries and reminiscences,
1859, n.d.

Box 1: folder 15
Folksongs


Box 1: folder 16-18
Jahrbuch der Gesellschaft Hamburgischer Kunstfreunde,[translation: Yearbook of the Hamburg Society of Friends of the Arts]
1902

Box 1: folder 19
Memorabilia,
1860, n.d.

Box 1: folder 20
Note:

[see also Box 2]

Photographs and illustrations,
1860-65, n.d.

Box 1: folder 21
Photographs: negatives,
1865, n.d.

Box 1: folder 22
Published copy of Brahms and His Women's Choruses ()
1952


Note:
Stimmenhefte [translation: music notebooks]



Franzisca Lentz



Correspondence: Anna Lentz,
1935-37

Box 1: folder 23
Paperbound volumes


Box 1: folder 24-25
Photostatic copy


Box 1: folder 26
Quartette


Box 2
Versammlung No. 3


Box 2
Memorabilia: medallion,
n.d.

Box 2
Stimmenhefte



Camilla Meier



Correspondence from Brahms,
n.d.

Box 3: folder 1
No. 24 - 3 Stimmige Lieder für Frauen-Chor


Box 3: folder 2
No. 25 - Lieder & Gesange für Frauenchor ohne Begleitung


Box 3: folder 3
Paperbound volumes


Box 3: folder 4
Notes


Box 3: folder 5
Clara von Königslow



Correspondence,
1951

Box 3: folder 6
Photostatic copy


Box 3: folder 7
Friedchen Wagner



Correspondence



Kurt Sauermann,
1936, 1950

Box 3: folder 8
Brahms to F. Wagner,
n.d.

Box 3: folder 9
Volksleider, 1. Stimme


Box 3: folder 10
Volksleider, 2. Stimme


Box 3: folder 11
Volksleider, 3. Stimme


Box 3: folder 12
Volksleider, 4. Stimme


Box 3: folder 13
Partitur der Volksleider


Box 3: folder 14
Notes


Box 4: folder 1
Betty and Marie Völckers


Box 4: folder 2-14
Writings by Brahms,
n.d.

Box 4: folder 15
Die Frau in der Musik, eine Sociologische Studie ()
1955


Note:
Music and Women: The Story of Women in Their Relation to Music



Articles and reviews,
1948, n.d.

Box 4: folder 16
Published copy of Music and Women ()
1948


Note:
Notes in bound volumes



Note:

[Due to their fragility, these items may not be photocopied.]

Part I: "Introduction/Prehistoric" (Foreword, Introduction to Primitive Ideas and Customs, Prehistoric Culture)


Box 5
Part II: Primitive contemporaries



"American Indians" (North American Indians, South American Indians, Central American Indians)


Box 5
"Pacific primitives" (Siberian primitives including Ainu in Japan, Malay, Pacific Islands)


Box 5
"Africa"


Box 6
Part III: Ancient civilizations and modern peasants



"Orient" (China; Tibet; Burma; Persia; Indo-China: Annamites, Siamese, and Cambodians; Japan; Korea; India)


Box 6
"Near East" (Arabia, Armenia, Cappadocia, The Jews, Phoenicia, Sumer, Syria, Turkey, Crete, Etruria, Rome)


Box 6
"Egypt" (Egypt, Carthage)


Box 7
"Greece"


Box 7
"Europe peasants" (Ancient Celtic, Ancient Eddic and Teutonic, Ancient Finno-Ugrian, Ancient Slavic, Modern Europe, and "The Participation of Russian Women in Music," by Katherine Swan)


Box 8
Part IV: Christian culture



"Nuns"


Box 8
"Early Christian - Mediaeval" (Early Christian, Mediaeval Laywomen (secular))


Box 9
"1400-1700" (Renaissance 1400-1700 [laywomen])


Box 9
"1700-1800" (18th century, Venetian conservatories)


Box 9
"19th century" (19th century including the Brahms material)


Box 10
"20th century"


Box 10
"Meyer's 'Choral Singing'" (Kathi Meyer's "Choral Singing of Women")


Box 11
BOOKS



Brahms and His Women's Choruses ()
1952

Box 12
Die Frau in der Musik, eine Sociologische Studie ()
1955

Box 12
Music and Women: The Story of Women in Their Relation to Music ()
1948

Box 12

Search Terms
The following terms represent persons, organizations, and topics documented in this collection. Use these headings to search for additional materials on this web site, in the Five College Library Catalog, or in other library catalogs and databases.

Subjects
  • Brahms, Johannes, 1833-1897-Choral music-Sources
  • Drinker, Henry Sandwith, 1880-1965
  • Drinker, Sophie Hutchinson, 1888-1967
  • Ethnomusicology-History-Sources
  • Music-History and criticism-Sources
  • Women composers-History-Sources
  • Women musicians-History-Sources
  • Women singers-History-Sources


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