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Amy Cheney Beach Collection

Identifier: MS-0089

Scope and Contents

The Amy Cheney Beach Collection, housed in the Dr. Kenneth J. LaBudde Department of Special Collections, was purchased from the MacDowell Colony by the University of Missouri-Kansas City in the early 1970s. The collection consists of over 30 manuscript scores and over 60 published scores of original compositions by Beach. Also included is a handwritten correspondence from Beach to the Toledo Times Company.

The manuscript scores include dated (1872-1933) and undated works. Many of them have dedicatory notes and autographs by Beach. Notable works include the one-act opera Cabildo, Op. 149; The Chambered Nautilus, Op. 66, a cantata for women’s voices and orchestra; and The Rainy Day, a setting of the Henry Wadsworth Longfellow poem. Also in manuscript form are several works for solo piano written during the composer's childhood: Mamma’s Waltz (1872), Air and Variations (1877); Menuetto (1877); and Petite Valse (1878).

The published scores date from 1892 to 1943, and include several notable works such as Three Browning Songs, Op. 44, no. 1-3, settings of Robert Browning poems; and A Hermit Thrush at Eve and A Hermit Thrush at Morn (Op. 92, no. 1 and 2, respectively). Eskimos: Four Characteristic Pieces for the Pianoforte, Op. 64, represents the latest published work in the collection (1943).

Other UMKC resources pertaining to the life and compositions of Amy Beach can be found through a UMKC Library Catalog subject search: Beach H H A Mrs. In addition, a full listing of Beach compositions can be found in the International Encyclopedia of Women Composers, 2nd Edition, by Aaron I. Cohen. New York: Books & Music (USA), Inc., 1987, pp.83-85.

Non-UMKC resources include the Mrs. H.H.A. Beach / Amy Cheney Beach Collection, Milne Special Collections and Archives, University of New Hampshire:; and the MacDowell Colony, which retains copyright control of all of Beach’s works and where Beach was a member from 1921-1941:


  • 1872 - 1943


Conditions Governing Use

Donor has retained copyright. Any public use must be pre-approved by MacDowell Colony and secured by requestor. LaBudde staff provide contact information at time of request.


3 Linear Feet (LaBudde: 4 manuscript boxes.)

Language of Materials


LaBudde: Stephen Childress, Amy Leimkuhler (supervising archivist); Addendum 1: Dr. Anthony LaBat.
LaBudde: October 1997; Addendum 1: April 2023.
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