In December 1948, Edward Hopkinson Jr. (1885-1966), the great-great grandson of Francis Hopkinson, donated a series of bound music volumes from his family's collection to the Penn Libraries. These are now called "The Hopkinson Collection of Music" and consist of 15 bound volumes containing both printed and manuscript music collected by Francis Hopkinson (1737-1791), Joseph Hopkinson (1770-1842), and Oliver Hopkinson, (1812-1905). Included in this set are copies of printed music printed mainly in London. Within this collection are two manuscript music compositions by Francis Hopkinson (vols. 12 and 15). The Hopkinson Collection was acquired for the library by Otto Albrecht, whose papers are also in the Kislak Center.
- View records for the music in the fifteen-volume Hopkinson Collection of Music in the Franklin catalog
In 1950, Edward Hopkinson Jr. gave Penn an additional Francis Hopkinson music manuscript which seems not to have descended in the family, but rather was purchased in the prior decade. This harpsichord album is now UPenn Ms. Codex 14.
In her 1968 thesis on and catalog of Hopkinson's music, Caroline Richards identified and described a total of four manuscript volumes containing music composed by Hopkinson. Three of these are in the Hopkinson holdings in the Penn Libraries, and the fourth is at the Library of Congress. She designated these manuscripts as A, B, C, and D.
- Richards MS A: A volume with the cover title "His book" dated circa 1759 (now Library of Congress ML96 .H83 no. 1)
- Richards MS B: A volume with the cover title "Lessons" (Folio M1 .A11 H6 vol. 12). Hopkinson Family Collection.
- Richards MS C: A fragment of a song book (Folio M1 .A11 H6 vol. 15). Hopkinson Family Collection.
- Richards MS D: A harpsichord album (Ms. Codex 14). Gift of Edward Hopkinson Jr. in 1950. Not part of the Hopkinson Family Collection. [Now thought to be in the hand of Michael Hillegas rather than Hopkinson]
An additional manuscript purportedly written by Hopkinson was given to the Library of Congress as part of the Marian Carson Collection in 1996 and is now LC ML96 .H83 no. 2.
Scholarly consensus now seems to indicate that both Ms. Codex 14 and LC ML96 .H83 no. 2 were written by the same eighteenth century hand but that neither are likely penned by Francis Hopkinson himself, but rather by his associate and contemporary Michael Hillegas (1729-1804). These two manuscripts seem to have been purchased by the Philadelphia book dealers Michael and Paul Woehlcke along with others from Hillegas' descendants in the 1930s and are documented as having been offered for sale in the 1940s when Edward Hopkinson Jr. likely purchased what is now Ms. Codex 14.
The confusion around the authorship of the Hopkinson music manuscripts is compounded by the fact that in 1934 the Musical Fund Society of Philadelphia purchased a collection of manuscripts purportedly written by Francis Hopkinson. Subsequent investigation showed these to be forgeries produced by Charles Bates "The Baron" Weisburg. The Musical Fund Society collection at Penn today does not include these forgeries as they were not kept by the Society. These same forgeries seem to have resurfaced at auction in 2002 before they were withdrawn. The saga is fully documented in Anderson et al., "Forgery in the Music Library" (2004, full citation below). It is worth noting that the Kislak Center holds key materials surrounding the forgeries, including the Edward Brooks Keffer collection concerning Hopkinson forgeries (Ms. Coll. 883) and digital scans of the alleged forgeries offered for sale in 2002.
Additional Hopkinson music items include General Washington's March and four scores by Hopkinson owned and perhaps performed by Marian Anderson.