Series II: Correspondence
Scope and Contents note
Series II includes only correspondence received by Bella C. Landauer. In general, her outgoing correspondence does not seem to have been kept. Landauer did not keep files on correspondents, but instead pasted her correspondence into large scrapbook albums, as she did her ephemera collections. Two of these scrapbooks are part of this series. This series also includes three smaller bound volumes in which correspondence, mainly about specific aspects of Landauer's collections, has been bound together or pasted onto bound pages. The volume with a cover title "Scraps - Bella C. Landauer" contains correspondence, mainly about aeronautics and aeronautical ephemera, from 1930 to 1936. Some of these letters are in French from French correspondents. The volume with spine title, "G and S correspondence Reginald Allen" holds correspondence as well as ephemera relating to Reginald Allen and Gilbert and Sullivan. Allen was an arts administrator and a collector of Gilbert and Sullivan ephemera. The correspondence covers the period between 1939-1951 and is mainly related to discussions of Gilbert and Sullivan ephemeral finds. Some fragile material was removed from the title page of this volume and foldered at the time of processing. A third volume with "B. C. L." embossed on the cover is titled "Letters from composers of Walt Whitman Music 1936-1937." It has a photograph of Walt Whitman pasted on the inside cover. Most of the letters are related to the publication of Landauer's book, Leaves of Music by Walt Whitman, from the Collection of Bella C. Landauer (1937), a listing of sheet music related to Whitman or including Whitman verses.
Landauer did not always segregate or bind her correspondence; much of it can be found scattered throughout the collection scrapbooks, especially when the letter or postcard related to one specific item of ephemera. This aspect makes it difficult to acquire a complete sense of the volume of correspondence she encountered. In general, Landauer did not broadly solicit donations to her collections, preferring to negotiate with her trusted dealers. During World War II, however, she does appear to have sent out letters to a variety of companies that were awarded the Army-Navy "E" Award for high achievement in war production. Landauer requested copies of the companies' award ceremonies programs; several folders of unbound correspondence are replies to her inquiries, sometimes with the award programs enclosed. One folder of miscellaneous letters includes other loose correspondence to Landauer. Unused sheets of Landauer's letterhead and one small spiral notebook of addresses are included in this series.