Skip to main content
Please contact the Booth Family Center for Special Collections for assistance with accessing these materials.

William B. Cooper Papers

Identifier: GTM-20230202

Scope and Contents

The collection primarily consists of music manuscripts created by William B. Cooper, dating from around 1945 to 1987. In addition to the music manuscripts, it also includes lyrics, a list of compositions by Cooper, abstracts of compositions, a manuscript on modern church music, programs, clippings, and other related documents.

The collection includes one phonograph (LP) recording titled "We Praise Thee O Lord." It features music played by Cooper, William Farley Smith (conductor), and the Congregation of Emmanuel Episcopal Church of Sheepshead Bay (1984).


  • 1945 - 1993


Conditions Governing Access

Researchers are advised to contact the Booth Family Center for Special Collections for more information on access to this collection.

Conditions Governing Use

Researchers are solely responsible for determining the copyright status of the materials being used, establishing who the copyright owner is, locating the copyright owner, and obtaining permission for intended use.

Biographical Note

William B. Cooper (1920-1993) was a native of Philadelphia. He received his B.M. and M.M. degrees from the Philadelphia College or Performing Arts and a Doctorate of Music from Columbia Pacific University (California). In 1988, he was awarded a Doctorate of Sacred Music (honoris causa) from Christ Theological Seminary in Yonkers, New York. Cooper pursued additional music studies at the School of Sacred Music of Union Theological Seminary (New York), the Manhattan School of Music, and Trinity College of Music (London). He served on the music faculties of Bennett College (Greensboro, NC) and Hampton University (Hampton, VA) as well as 26 years in the New York City School System. Cooper also served as Minister of Music at historic Saint Philip’s Episcopal Church (1953-74) and Saint Martin’s Episcopal Church (1974-88) in Harlem. His musical output consists of works for organ, voice, chorus, orchestra, and ballet. Composed in 1973, Pastorale is one of three Cooper organ works by this title. It is a set of variations based on a melody from William Walker’s 19th century compilation, The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion.

(Source: African-American Organ Composers by Mickey Thomas Terry. Ph.D., last accessed February 23, 2023)


2.55 Cubic Feet (6 boxes, 1 oversized folder, and 1 phonograph record)

Language of Materials



Metadata Rights Declarations

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Claudette and Joanne Cooper, 2023 (GTM-20230202). Additional materials provided by Mickey Thomas Terry, 2023-2024 (GTM-20230707 and GTM-20240309).

Related Materials

See also the Mickey Thomas Terry Papers and the Eugene W. Hancock Papers.

Processing Information

The collection has been rehoused in acid-free containers. Some water damaged documents were cleaned during processing.

John Zarrillo
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 2023-03: Edited by John Zarrillo to include items from Accession GTM-20240309

Repository Details

Part of the Georgetown University Manuscripts Repository

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