The Francis Hopkinson collections include manuscript and printed music and other materials written and collected by this early graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and signer of the Declaration of Independence, and by other family members.
Philadelphia bandleader and composer Francis Johnson (1792-1844), a free African American, achieved extraordinary renown and respect through performances of his band. The Kurt Stein collection includes forty-two rare printed examples of Johnson's sheet music, along with research materials on Johnson.
Marian Anderson (1897-1993) was world-renowned as a contralto. She also challenged racial barriers in the United States. Her dramatic open-air concert at the Lincoln Memorial in 1939, after she was banned from singing in Constitution Hall, was delivered to 75,000 listeners. She was the first African American to sing at the Metropolitan Opera in 1955.