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Minnesota Orchestra Series 11: Photographs, Slides and Negatives

Identifier: PA012-Series 11

Scope and Content Note

Photographs, negatives, slides, and transparencies were found in boxes from numerous offices at the Orchestra, most notably Public Affairs and Artistic Administration. Initial processing involved locating the materials and sorting them into broad subject areas. For the most part, this has been done. Many of the photographs are identified and the arrangement of them is complete. An extensive finding aid that lists many individual photographs is available in the Archives; but complete description with a detailed finding aid is not yet available.

Photographs of the Orchestra's music directors are located in Series 11.1. There are comparatively few photographs of the first five music directors. Beginning in the 1970s with Stanislaw Skrowaczewski's tenure, extensive photographs were taken. For these later music directors, the photographs are grouped by type: portraits, photographs with other people, conducting shots, etc.

Class photographs and other photographs of the entire Orchestra are in Series 11.2. Class photographs date from Oberhoffer's era and show the musicians and conductor formally posed on stage.

Series 11.3 includes photographs of people associated with the Orchestra beginning with the Danz Band in the early 20th century. There are folders for many of the assistant and associate conductors including Dutoit, Eddins, Severinsen, Slatkin, Smith, Tate, Tennstedt, Trautwein, and Zinman. There are extensive photographs of musicians including group photographs, photos shot backstage, groups of musicians in performance, and many publicity photographs. This series also includes photographs of Association presidents and board members, WAMSO members and activities, and Orchestra staff including managers and program annotators.

Series 11.4 contains guest artist photographs, mainly publicity photos from their agents. The photographs are organized by conductors, composers, and performers.

Series 11.5 is the most extensive group of photographs in the collection. It contains photographs of concerts (beginning in 1946) that document such significant events as Tonight Scandinavia; events sponsored by the Minnesota Orchestral Association (receptions, annual meetings, etc.); Cabaret Pops; Sommerfest; Symphony for the Cities; Children's concerts including those sponsored by the Orchestra, YPSCA, and WAMSO and special young people's activities such as school visits and side-by-side rehearsals; tours; and miscellaneous activities such as recording sessions and audience photographs.

The construction of Orchestra Hall is carefully documented in Series 11.6 from photographs of the demolition of the Lyceum Theatre (Soul's Harbor) through all stages of construction to photographs both interior and exterior of the completed Hall.


  • ca. 1910-ongoing

Language of Materials


Language of Materials


Restrictions on Access

Materials are restricted. Prior permission in writing from the President of the Minnesota Orchestral Association is required. For access, please contact the curator. The original documents do not circulate and may only be used in the Reading Room of the Manuscripts Division.

Restrictions on Use

Photoreproduction and audio reproduction of any materials in which the Minnesota Orchestral Association holds copyright, shall be performed only with the written permission of the MOA except for photoreproduction of any published materials of the Association in the public domain. The Orchestra does not hold copyright for the majority of the images in this collection.

Historical Note

The Orchestra has been using photographs of music directors, guest conductors and other guest artists since its inception. Many of those were taken by staff photographers of the local newspapers of which there are a few in this collection.

In the 1970s the Orchestra began hiring photographers to document various activities and to produce publicity photographs of the music directors, musicians, and staff. In addition, publicity photos of guest artists that were sent to the Orchestra were filed by the staff for future needs.


31 boxes (22 record center cartons, 9 oversized boxes)


The collection includes photographs, negatives, slides, and transparencies of Minnesota Orchestra music directors, musicians and staff, Orchestra Hall and other venues, and concerts, tours, and other events.

Organization of the Collection

The collection is organized into the following subseries. Note that most items in the collection are 8"x10" black-and-white photographs.

Items in Boxes 23-31 are oversized.

Physical Location

Audio-Visual Room, S-2/Mezzanine


Materials in this collection have been transferred to the archives on an ongoing basis since 1975.


Public Affairs' staff transfer materials into this collection on a regular basis.

Related Material

Additional photographs are available in the Arthur Gaines photograph collection (PA 12 A), the Dottie Carpenter photograph collection (PA 12 B), the Elbert L .Carpenter collection (PA 12 D), the Danz collection (PA 12 F), and the the Maddy/Angelucci collection (PA 12 H).

There is a collection of historic slides in Series 12.6 Slide-tape Shows; many of them duplicate photographs, negatives and slides in Series 11.

Photographs of the Orchestra when it played at Northrop Auditorium are in the collections of the University Archives, the University of Minnesota. The Minneapolis Public Library also has a signficant collection of Orchestra photographs.

Select materials in this collection have been digitized and are available online in Umedia by visiting:

Processing Information

The collection was first processed and the finding aid written by Leslie Czechowski from 2001-2003.

Minnesota Orchestra Series 11: Photographs, Slides and Negatives PA012.Series 11.2
Finding aid created by Leslie Czechowski
11 July 2003
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Collecting Area Details

Contact The Performing Arts Archives Collecting Area