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Lawrence Gilman Papers

Identifier: GTM-GAMMS232

Collection-level Scope and Content Note

Comprising seven boxes, eleven linear feet of material, the Lawrence Gilman Papers consist of correspondence, manuscripts, and printed matter relating to the life and career of Lawrence Gilman (1878-1939). The grandnephew of Johns Hopkins' University's first president Daniel Coit Gilman, Lawrence Gilman was a noted music critic for the "New York Herald-Tribune," annotator of orchestral programs for the New York Philharmonic-Symphony Orchestra and the Philadelphia Orchestra, and radio commentator for broadcasts of New York Philharmonic concerts. Materials of interest among these papers include drafts and printed versions of orchestral program notes written by Gilman; printed articles written by him; Gilman family correspondence and photographs; and correspondence related to his music career, including a small number of letters from notables such as Aaron Copland, Rudolph Ganz, Daniel Gregory Mason, Deems Taylor, Philip Hale, W. J. Henderson, Adolph Lewisohn, Bruno Zirato, and Quinto Maganini.

Most of the music related correspondence in the Gilman Papers dates between 1933 and 1936 and includes correspondence to Gilman from contacts in the music world and from fans across the United States. The outgoing letters preserved in this collection deal mostly with travel and family matters. Indeed, the Gilman papers contain a vast quantity of Gilman family correspondence, especially letters among Gilman's wife Elizabeth W. (Walter) Gilman, his daughter Betty (Gilman) Anderson, and his aunts Julia S. (Gilman) Bristol and Caroline T. Gilman. A handful of Lawrence Gilman manuscripts are also present, including a report on his European trip of musical observation (1924) and a typed manuscript "A Christmas Meditation." Unpublished, edited, and printed versions of orchestral program notes written by Gilman highlight the collection. His program notes dating 1930-37 pertain to a wide variety of major composers and conductors, and his writings offer valuable insights into their works. The Gilman Papers also contain printed articles and clippings of Gilman's appearances in periodicals, most notably "Harper's Weekly" and the "New York Herald-Tribune." Finally, this archive includes newspaper clippings regarding various composers maintained in a file by Gilman himself. Overall, the Lawrence Gilman Papers provide information on the career of a prominent music critic in particular and shed light on the state of music commentary in general during the 1930s. The Lawrence Gilman Papers represent a valuable addition to the music collections of the Georgetown University Library, Special Collections Division.

The Special Collections Division also owns a first edition book by Lawrence Gilman, "Music and the Cultivated Man" (New York: William Edwin Rudge, 1929). The book is number 225 out of a run of 750 signed by Gilman. Gilman's papers complement those of Paul Hume, noted music critic for the "Washington Post", whose papers are also housed in the Georgetown Special Collections Division. The New York Historical Society Manuscript Department (Central Park West, New York, New York) holds another portion of Lawrence Gilman papers dating from 1933 to 1961. The papers of Gilman's granduncle Daniel Coit Gilman, the distinguished first president of Johns Hopkins University, are preserved at the Milton S. Eisenhower Library of Johns Hopkins University.


The Lawrence Gilman Papers are arranged into thirteen (13) series as described below: SERIES 1 - Lawrence Gilman Correspondence from Notables. Consists of correspondence (c.1900-37) to Lawrence Gilman from notables in the field of music. A small number of letters from composers Aaron Copland, Rudolph Ganz, Daniel Gregory Mason, and Deems Taylor; music critics Philip Hale and W. J. Henderson; conductor Joseph Stransky; and others are included. Arranged alphabetically by last name of correspondent.

SERIES 2 - Lawrence Gilman Correspondence: Incoming. Contains letters (1900-37) to Lawrence Gilman from fans across America and individuals in the music business. The correspondence centers on Gilman's radio broadcasts and his program notes. Most letters are dated between 1933 and 1936. Arranged chronologically.

SERIES 3 - Lawrence Gilman Correspondence with Family. Contains letters, both outgoing and incoming, between Lawrence Gilman and members of his family, mostly regarding family news. Of particular interest are letters to and from Gilman's daughter Betty and his aunts Julia S. Bristol and Caroline T. Gilman. Letters from Gilman appear first, arranged alphabetically by last name of correspondent. Letters to Gilman appear second, also arranged alphabetically by last name of correspondent.

SERIES 4 - Lawrence Gilman Correspondence: Outgoing. Contains letters from Lawrence Gilman to various individuals, mostly regarding travel and musical matters. A few pieces of correspondence to Adolph Lewisohn are part of this series. Arranged alphabetically by last name of correspondent.

SERIES 5 - Gilman Family Correspondence. Contains a large quantity of family correspondence. Letters among Julia S. Bristol, Caroline T. Gilman, and Elizabeth Gilman are most common. Of note are a few references to Daniel Coit Gilman. Arranged alphabetically by last name of correspondent, the recipient in most cases.

SERIES 6 - Elizabeth W. Gilman Financial Records. Contains income tax records, estate records, account records, and check books of Elizabeth W. Gilman. Arranged chronologically.

SERIES 7 - Manuscripts Series. Contains a few manuscripts written by Lawrence Gilman, some he inscribed, and some family manuscripts. Notable are Gilman's typed manuscript "A Christmas Meditation" and autograph manuscript report concerning his 1924 European trip of musical observation. Lawrence Gilman manuscripts appear first in the series. Gilman family manuscripts appear second.

SERIES 8 - Articles by Lawrence Gilman. Contains articles written by Lawrence Gilman. Comprised mostly of printed newspaper clippings from "Harper's Weekly" and the "New York Herald-Tribune." Material from the "Herald-Tribune" appears first, and material from "Harper's Weekly" follows.

SERIES 9 - Orchestra Program Notes. Contains orchestra program notes dated 1930-37. Arranged in the original order created by Lawrence Gilman, who kept the documents in several letter books. Printed orchestra programs (1930-34) written by individuals other than Gilman are placed first in the series and arranged alphabetically by composer. Gilman made marginal notes in many of them. Program notes written by Gilman, preserved in autograph manuscript, typed manuscript, proof, and printed forms, are grouped second in the series. Gilman archived program notes he wrote into two groupings, one covering the years 1930-35 and the other spanning 1936-37 and then arranged them alphabetically by last name of composer. The program notes in this series deal with a wide scope of prominent composers worldwide.

SERIES 10 - Clippings File Maintained by Lawrence Gilman. Contains newspaper clippings and clippings from other printed material collected and filed by Lawrence Gilman. Arranged according to the original order in which Gilman maintained these documents in several letter books. Gilman grouped the clippings into five segments: 1931-32, 1933-34, 1934-35, 1935, and literary clippings. Within each segment, he arranged the clippings alphabetically by name or topic. The material is not directly related to Gilman, but rather reflects his interests. The clippings pertain mostly to music, composers, and conductors.

SERIES 11 - Printed Matter. Contains printed matter found among the papers of Lawrence Gilman. Printed matter relating directly to Lawrence Gilman, including numerous obituary clippings, appears first in this series. Materials not directly related to Gilman appear next in the series.

SERIES 12 - Photographs. Consists of 59 folders containing photographs. Lawrence Gilman photographs appear first in the series, arranged chronologically. Gilman is depicted in various childhood, family, and middle-age and older pictures. Photographs of individuals other than Gilman appear second in the series, arranged alphabetically by name. Betty Gilman and Elizabeth W. Gilman are pictured often.

SERIES 13 - Oversized Photos. Consists of 8 folders each containing one oversized photograph.

ABBREVIATIONS: AC - Autograph Card ACS - Autograph Card Signed AL - Autograph Letter ALS - Autograph Letter Signed AM - Autograph Manuscript AMS - Autograph Manuscript Signed MSS - Manuscript TC - Typed Card TEL - Telegram TL - Typed Letter TLS - Typed Letter Signed TM - Typed Manuscript TMS - Typed Manuscript Signed


  • 1807 - 1948
  • Majority of material found within 1901 - 1937

Collection-level Access Restrictions

Elizabeth Gilman Financial Records Series is restricted.

Most manuscripts collections at the Georgetown University Booth Family Center for Special Collections are open to researchers; however, restrictions may apply to some collections. Collections stored off site require a minimum of three days for retrieval. For use of all manuscripts collections, researchers are advised to contact the Booth Family Center for Special Collections in advance of any visit.

Biographical note

Lawrence Gilman (1878-1939), member of the prominent Gilman family and respected music critic, was born on July 5, 1878, in Flushing, New York. He was the son of Arthur Coit Gilman and Bessie (Lawrence) Gilman. After attending local public schools, Lawrence Gilman studied at Collins Street Classical School in Hartford, Connecticut. William M. Chase taught Gilman painting. Gilman then studied illustration at the Art Students' League. Self taught in musical theory, composition, orchestration, organ, and piano, Lawrence Gilman began his career by joining the staff of the "New York Herald", where he worked from 1896 until 1898. He served as music critic for "Harper's Weekly" from 1901-13, advancing to the positions of assistant editor (1903-11) and managing editor (1911-13). Lawrence Gilman married Elizabeth Wright Walter on August 1, 1904. They had one child, Elizabeth Lawrence Gilman. Betty, as they called her, was born in 1905, graduated from Smith College in 1927, and married Malcolm E. Anderson in 1936. In 1913, Lawrence Gilman joined the editorial staff of "Harper's Magazine." He worked there until 1915. Gilman next was employed as a music, dramatic, and literary critic for "North American Review," where he worked from 1915 to 1923. He then succeeded Henry E. Krehbiel as a music critic for the "New York Herald-Tribune," a post in which he drew much attention and earned widespread recognition. Gilman wrote for the "Herald-Tribune" from 1923 until his death in 1939. Also, From 1921 until 1939, Gilman annotated program notes for both the New York Philharmonic-Symphony Orchestra and the Philadelphia Orchestra. From 1933 to 1936, he acted as a radio commentator for broadcasts of New York Philharmonic concerts. Lawrence Gilman was the author of a number of books. His writings include "Phases of Modern Music" (1904), "The Music of Tomorrow" (1906),"Stories of Symphonic Music" (1907), "A Guide to Strauss' 'Salome'" (1907), "A Guide to Debussy's 'Pelleas et Melisade" (1907), "Edward MacDowell: A Study" (1909), "Aspects of Modern Opera" (1908), "Nature in Music" (1914), "A Christmas Meditation" (1916), "Music and the Cultivated Man" (1929), "Wagner's Operas" (1937), and "Toscanini and Great Music" (1938). In addition to his published writings, Gilman composed several musical works, including "A Dream of Death" (1903), "The Heart of a Woman" (1903), and "The Curlew" (1904). Lawrence Gilman died on September 8, 1939, at the age of 61 at Picketts, Sugar Hill, Franconia, New Hampshire. In his roles as music critic, program annotator, and radio commentator, Gilman contributed in important ways to the field of musical criticism.

The following abbreviated genealogy of the Gilman family is intended to help researchers identify family correspondents in the Lawrence Gilman Papers. This brief genealogy focuses on those Gilman family members whose correspondence and photographs are preserved in this particular collection. (Source: Daniel Coit Gilman Papers, MS 1, Ser XV, Milton S. Eisenhower Library, Johns Hopkins University) (Gilman) Children of William C. Gilman (1795-1863) and Eliza (Coit) Gilman (1796-1868), married 1820: Elizabeth Coit (1821-92), m. (1854) Rev. Joseph P. Thompson (d.1879); Edward Whiting (1823-1900), m. (1850) Julia Silliman (1826-92); Maria Perit (1824-1906); Harriet Lothrop (1828-81), m. (1865) George W. Lane (d. 1883); Daniel Coit (1831-1908), m.1 (1861) Mary Ketcham (d. 1869), m.2 (1877) Elizabeth D. Woolsey (d. 1910); William Charles (b. 1883?), m. Katharine Beecher Perkins (d. 1879); Emily Serena (1835-1910); Louisa (b. 1838), m. (1883) George W. Lane (d. 1883); Caroline (1840-44). __________ (Thompson) Son of Joseph P. and Elizabeth Coit (Gilman) Thompson: William Gilman (b. 1856?), m. (1887) Harriet Pomeroy. (Gilman) Children of Edward W. and Julia (Silliman) Gilman: Caroline Trumbull (b. 1851); Julia Silliman (b. 1854), m. (1903) Eugene S. Bristol (1843-1910); Arhtur Coit (1855-1890), m. (1877) Bessie Lawrence (1858); Mary Trumbull (1857-58); Henry Kingsley (1861-1893); Louisa (1868-1891). (Gilman) Daughters of Daniel C. and Mary (Ketcham) Gilman: Alice (b. 1863), m. (1894) Everett P. Wheeler; Elizabeth (b. 1867). (Gilman) Children of William and Katharine (Perkins) Gilman: Mabel (1861-64); Theodora (b. 1865, d. 1865); Elizabeth Coit (1866-79); George Houghton(?) (b. 1867), m. (1900) Charlotte Perkins Stetson; Francis (b. 1870), m. (1904) Emily Wilson. __________ (Gilman) Sons of Arthur C. and Bessie (Lawrence) Gilman: Lawrence (1878-1939), m. (8/1/1904) Elizabeth Wright Walter; Edward Coit (1879-1909); Joseph (b. 1881). __________ (Gilman) Daughter of Lawrence and Elizabeth (Walter) Gilman: Elizabeth ("Betty") Lawrence Gilman (b. 1905), m. (1936) Malcolm E. Anderson.


11 Linear Feet (7 boxes)

Language of Materials


Lawrence Gilman Papers
Scott S. Taylor. Georgetown University Library Booth Family Center for Special Collections
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Georgetown University Manuscripts Repository

Lauinger Library, 5th Floor
37th and O Streets, N.W.
Washington DC 20057