Emma Thursby papers
Language of Materials
The collection contains information related to the singing career of Emma Thursby and her family relationships. The collection documents the financial and career dealings of a female concert singer in the late nineteenth century.
The Emma Thursby papers have been organized into the following series:
Series I: Correspondence (1839-1940)
Series II: Financial Papers (1706-1919)
Series III: Legal Papers (1788-1903)
Series IV: Address Books, Diaries, Engagement Books (1868-1929)
Series V: Awards, Ephemera, Notes (1850-1936)
Series VI: Subject and Biographical Information (1879-1937)
Series VII: Autographs (undated)
Series VIII: Master Recordings of the Emma Thursby Musicale (1940)
Series IX. Press Clippings and Other Print Matter (1859-1942)
Within each series, the material is arranged either alphabetically or chronologically.
Scope and Content Note
The Emma Thursby Papers consist of material relating to the life and singing career of Emma Cecilia Thursby, as well as the lives of members of her extended family. Included are letters, telegrams, postcards, address books, diaries, engagement books, autographs, calling cards; financial materials including receipts, bills, checkbook stubs, letters of credit; legal papers such as contracts, wills, indentures, and deeds; poetry, programs, periodical clippings, passports, notes, and a few photographs. The collection effectively documents the financial and career dealings of a renowned concert singer in the late nineteenth century. Emma Thursby traveled to many European countries, as well as to Japan and China, both for her career and for pleasure, and most of these trips are well documented. In addition, the many family letters included show the close family network of siblings, aunts, uncles, and cousins that nurtured Emma Thursby.
The bulk of the collection is composed of the Correspondence and the Subjects series. Letters from Ina Thursby to other family members from her travels with Emma provide detailed information on Emma's concert dates, performances, travel, and voice study. The Subjects series highlights Emma's interests after her own singing career had ended such as Eastern religious philosophies or the salons she held every Friday. Specific information about legal and financial aspects of Emma Thursby's career can be found in the Financial or Legal series, but neither of these aspects is as complete a document of her experience as can be found through correspondence.
Materials in this collection may be stored offsite. For more information on making arrangements to consult them, please visit www.nyhistory.org/library/visit.
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This collection should be cited as the Emma Thursby Papers, MS 2530, New-York Historical Society.
Location of Materials
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Gift of Ina Love Thursby, 1940-1941.
About this Guide
The collection was processed by Jenny Gotwals, circa 2003. The finding aid was converted to an on-line format in 2011. An additional series of print matter (Series IX) was added by Larry Weimer in 2022.