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F. W. Olin Library

Special Collections and Archive

The Darius Milhaud Collection

Finding Aid  |  History  | What the Collection Contains  
How to Use  | How it is Managed  
Examples of Research & Publication  
Selected Exhibits  | Search Library Catalog


Darius Milhaud was at Mills College from 1940–1946 and alternate years, 1946–1971. During those years, the Library began to collect his compositions, books by and about him, recordings of his works, memorabilia, etc. In the 1960s, Professor Margaret Lyon of the Music Department and Flora Elizabeth Reynolds, College Librarian established the Darius Milhaud Collection. Materials were acquired by mean of gifts from the Milhauds (manuscripts and scores) and other donors, and by purchase. By 1976, the Milhaud Archive was entered into The National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections with 249 items (correspondence, notes, four original scores, photocopies of 35 scores, books, one film, and one taped conversation). A collection development policy was written in 1978 (see below). In 1984, an endowment fund for the establishment of the Darius Milhaud Collection of Mills College Archives was created. The goal of the fund was to “…ensure that the Collection be preserved in perpetuity” and to hire an archivist and purchase materials. The fund also made possible an annual concert to promote Milhaud’s work, especially to Mills students.

The collection development policy (June 6, 1978) states:

  1. Collect all scores, original and arrangements and keep one copy for preservation and research    purposes.
  2. Collect and house all books and articles by the composer.
  3. Keep track of materials about the composer, including theses, articles in periodicals and collections, and obtain reprints or copies of these
  4. Collect recordings of Milhaud’s works. Various performances of the same work should be acquired as funds permit. Especially desirable are recordings of performances conducted by the composer himself.
  5. Solicit primary sources, manuscripts, letters, memorabilia, etc. which may be of interest to biographers and students of that period.
  6. Arrange these materials in a convenient way for servicing and answering questions

In general, the collection does not contain Milhaud’s personal papers. The bulk of letters and manuscripts are retained by the Milhaud family.


What the Collections Contains

Published scores: Approximately 625 scores, including some rare items, facsimiles of manuscripts, chamber music works with parts, and full scores that are normally unavailable (gifts of publishers). Cataloged on MINERVA.
Autograph scores (mostly gifts of Milhaud). Also, facsimiles of manuscripts. Cataloged on MINERVA.
Audio: Approximately 200 recordings, including compact discs, LPs, 78s (copied onto cassette tape), cassette tapes, and reel-to-reel tapes. Tapes include some special performances, live and from radio broadcasts. Mostly cataloged on MINERVA. The Library has listening facilities for compact discs, LPs, and cassette tapes.

Books and articles: Writings by and about Darius Milhaud, theses, biographies, catalogs, texts used by the composer. Books are cataloged on MINERVA.

Videos: 1 videotape of a concert, Milhaud, a note of thanks, Mills College, 1996.
Other materials: Programs, photographs, and other ephemera. Letters from Darius Milhaud to the Mills
College administration and the Music Department.

How it is Used

Reference queries are received by postal mail, e-mail, telephone, and in person. Contact information is available on the Special Collections web page. Researchers consist of students, faculty, and outside scholars and musicians. Questions can be related to performance (e.g., requests for copies of scores or information for program notes) or more general research (e.g., dissertation, article, or book). The Music faculty uses the collection for teaching, performance, and publicity purposes.

How it is Managed

Published scores are fully cataloged on the Library’s online catalog and shelved by opus number. Multiple copies are sometimes put in the Library’s circulating collection (where they are assigned a Dewey Decimal number). Books by and about Milhaud (including theses and dissertations) are catalogued with Dewey Decimal numbers. Ephemera and photographs are organized by subject. There is also a card file. Remote access to the Library’s online catalog is available from http://library.mills.edu/search~S1.

The Special Collections Curator acts as the Milhaud Archivist. Student Assistants also help with reference questions and organization of the collection.

 Examples of Research & Publication

Recording: A Milhaud Valentine, "A recital of chamber music by Darius Milhaud presented by The Darius Milhaud Collection of the Mills College Library Archives and the Mills College Music Department." Recorded February 14, 1990 at the F.W. Olin Library, Mills College.

PhD Dissertation: Sandra Sedman Yang, The composer and dance collaboration in the twentieth century: Darius Milhaud’s ballets, 1918-1958, Dept. of Musicology, UCLA, 1997.

Selected Exhibits

1963—“Hommage à Milhaud,” Bender Room, Carnegie Library, Mills College. In conjunction with the Milhaud Festival of 1963.

1984—Selections from the Collection.

1992—Selections from the Collection

1997—100 + 5: The 105th Anniversary of Darius Milhaud (1892–1974)
and The Darius Milhaud Collection at Mills College. Featuring a sampling of materials from The Darius Milhaud Collection.

Inquiries may be directed to Janice Braun at 510.430.2047.



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Contact Information

P: 510.430.2047
F: 510.430.2278
E: jbraun@mills.edu

Last Updated: 9/11/17