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John Duncan Collection

Identifier: MS-0182

Scope and Contents

The John Duncan Collection was gifted to the LaBudde Special Collections, UMKC Miller Nichols Library, by Stephen and Lanette Shepherd in August 2010. Contained in the collection are many of Duncan’s scores, in both complete and incomplete form, as well as sketches, arrangements and scores from other composers, such as Samuel Coleridge Taylor, William Grant Still, Clarence Cameron White, and others. Duncan’s compositions span all genres, with chamber, vocal, choral and large ensemble pieces in this collection, as well as his opera Gideon and Eliza.

The collection also contains a notable array of personal documents, including photographs, letters, newspaper clippings, programs, articles and other miscellaneous items. This portion of the collection not only provides some of Duncan’s memorabilia from a life of music, but also allows insight into his biography and professional career.

Duncan’s career as a composer and educator was bolstered by his passion for the music of his fellow African American composers, and this collection is valuable to those who share this interest and would like to study it further.


  • 1932 - 1979


Conditions Governing Use

Donor has retained copyright and would like to be notified of what items are being requested and performed


13.5 Linear Feet (LaBudde: 21 Manuscript Boxes, 36 photographs.)

Language of Materials


LaBudde: Jeff Borowiec, Stuart Hinds (supervising archivist).
LaBudde: October 2010; Addendum 1: November 2010.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the University of Missouri-Kansas City Special Collections and Archives Repository