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Joe Raposo Papers

Identifier: GTM-980701

Scope and Contents Note

The Joseph Raposo Papers contain original musical compositions by Joseph Raposo (d. 1989), a well renown musician who wrote numerous children's songs. Included in the collection is a set of original lead sheets for songs composed by Raposo for the popular children's television show "Sesame Street." In fact, in addition to composing the music for these songs, Raposo wrote the lyrics for some of them, too. The papers also include a few compositions by Raposo for the Muppets. Moreover, the collection contains 14 photographs, some of Raposo and others of various individuals, such as Woody Allen, Jimmy Carter, Jim Henson, Lena Horne, Nancy Reagan, Ronald Reagan, and Dr. Seuss. A printed "Joe Raposo Songbook" and an audio cassette tape of some of Raposo's works round out the collection. The Joseph Raposo Papers are preserved in 1 archival box (0.5 linear feet).


  • 1969 - 1989

Conditions Governing Access

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.

Conditions Governing Use note

Status: Open.

Biographical note

Joseph Raposo (d. 1989) was a prolific musical talent who devoted much of his work to producing music for children. In college at Harvard University, Raposo developed his talents in the theatrical arts. Soon after his college graduation, he studied with Nadia Boulanger in Paris.

Moving to New York City, Raposo began his spectacular career as a composer. Raposo took an active part in the creation of popular children's television show "Sesame Street" in 1970. In fact, he worked as the show's first musical director. Raposo wrote many works for television shows, including the "Cabbage Patch Kids," the CBS Morning News, the "Electric Company," Muppet productions, Dr. Seuss specials, "Three's Company," and "You're a Good Man Charlie Brown" special. Raposo worked closely with Fred Astaire, Ethel Mermen, Woody Allen, and Robin Gibb, among many others.

In his lifetime, Raposo was awarded five Grammys, and he also produced a number of gold and platinum records. He won honorary doctorates from Hope College, Mount St. Mary's College, and Southeastern Massachusetts University.

Joseph Raposo died in 1989. That same year, he posthumously received the Life Time Achievement Award by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

[Source: "Joe Raposo Songbook" in Box 1 Folder 76 of the Joseph Raposo Papers].


0.5 Linear Feet (1 box)

Language of Materials



Provenance: Gift of Pat Collins Sarnoff. Processed by Scott S. Taylor, June 2010.

Joe Raposo Papers
Georgetown University Library Booth Family Center for Special Collections.
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Repository Details

Part of the Georgetown University Manuscripts Repository

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