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MC 266

Daniels, Mabel W. (Mabel Wheeler), 1878-1971. Papers, 1884-1971: A Finding Aid

Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America


This collection of papers was processed under a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (RC-24669-76-987).
Radcliffe College
May 1978

© 1978 Radcliffe College

Descriptive Summary

Call No.: MC 266
Repository: Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute
Creator: Mabel Wheeler Daniels, 1878-1971
Title: Papers, 1884-1971
Quantity: 5 + 1/2 file boxes, 1 card file box, 1 folio+ folder, 1 folio folder, 2 audiotapes
Abstract: Correspondence, musical scores, notebook, photographs, etc., of Mabel W. Daniels, composer.

Processing Information:

Processed: May 1978
By: Madeleine Bagwell Perez

Acquisition Information:

Accession numbers: 711, 744, 1004, 1434, 1443, 1518, 1684, 70-76, 70-92, 71-56, 71-75, 71-91, 71-135, 72-75, 73-8
The Mabel Wheeler Daniels papers were given to the Schlesinger Library between 1964 and 1973 by Mabel W. Daniels or by her estate. Additional scores were given by Katharine M. Hall in June 1966.

Preferred citation for publication:

Mabel Wheeler Daniels. Papers, 1884-1971; item description, dates. MC 266, folder #. Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.


Mabel Wheeler Daniels, composer, was born November 27, 1879 in Swampscott, Massachusetts, the daughter of George F. and Maria (Wheeler) Daniels. She attended Girls' Latin School, Boston, and graduated magna cum laude from Radcliffe College in 1900.
While she was at Radcliffe, music became the most important element in her life. MWD was leader and soloist of the Glee Club and composed the music for two operettas performed by students (A Copper Complication, 1900; The Court of Hearts, 1901). After graduation, she continued to study music, first with George W. Chadwick in Boston and then with Ludwig Thuille in Munich. On her return from Europe, she published a book about her experiences abroad as a music student (An American Girl in Munich, 1905). She served as director of music at Bradford Academy, 1911-1913, and at Simmons College, 1913-1918, after which she devoted her life to composing.
MWD composed in various forms, specializing in choral compositions. Some of her major works are: Exultate Deo, in honor of the 50th anniversary (1929) of the founding of Radcliffe College; Deep Forest, featured in a festival of "serious American music," Carnegie Hall, 1939 (MWD being the only woman composer represented); The Song of Jael, introduced at the Worcester Festival, 1940; and A Psalm of Praise, composed for the 75th anniversary (1954) of Radcliffe College. MWD was awarded a medal from the Munich Conservatory in 1903, wrote the "best Girl Scout song" in 1919, received honorary degrees from Tufts University in 1933, and Boston University in 1939, and served as alumnae trustee of Radcliffe College from 1945 to 1951. She died in Boston on March 10, 1971.


The papers of Mabel Wheeler Daniels include correspondence, musical compositions, scrapbooks, and photographs. The correspondence spans her entire career; most of the letters, both professional and personal, concern her work. Besides detailing her career, the correspondence illuminates her friendship with Marian MacDowell, her participation in the MacDowell Colony, and the financial help she gave to music students and to institutions, especially Radcliffe College. The musical compositions begin with The Fairy Charm Waltz, written at the age of ten, and continue through her many operettas, choral works, and symphonies, and end with her last composition, Piper, Play on! (1961). Not all her works are included here, but the manuscript card file (Box 7) lists them both chronologically and alphabetically and includes information on publication or performance of some works.
The scrapbooks reflect MWD's school days and social life (1884-1910) and her musical accomplishments (1910-1935). They contain some correspondence; many programs, tickets and invitations; stories and poems by MWD and others; and newsclippings about MWD, her friends and her compositions. The small group of photographs consists mainly of portraits of MWD. Also included are a group of photographs from the dedication of Daniels Hall, Radcliffe College, 1966; and a snapshot of Marian MacDowell, 1947. Series I includes information about the Daniels and Wheeler families but there are no strictly personal papers in the collection.




Additional catalog entries

Arnold, Sarah Louise, 1859-1943
Beach, Amy Marcy (Cheney), 1867-1944
Bernstein, Leonard, 1918-
Blackall, Dorothy (Brewer), ca 1890-1949
Boulanger, Nadia, 1887-
Boult, Adrian Cedric, 1889-
Briggs, Le Baron Russell, 1885-1934
Bunting, Mary (Ingraham), 1910-
Cabot, Hugh, 1905-
Cannon, Cornelia (James), 1876-
Carter, Morris, 1877-1965
Coes, Mary
Comstock, Ada Louise, 1876-1973
Conrad, Adrienne (Rich), 1929-
Copland, Aaron, 1900-
Cronkhite, Bernice Veazey (Brown), 1893-1983
Damrosch, Walter Johannes, 1862-1950
Daniels family
Davison, Archibald Thompson, 1883-1961
Dickson, Harry Ellis
Hill, Edward Burlingame, 1872-1960
Hull, Josephine (Sherwood), 1877?-1957
Jacobs, Sophia (Yarnall), 1902-
Jordan, Frances (Ruml), 1899-1980
Jordan, Wilbur Kitchener, 1902-1980
Kerby-Miller, Wilma Anderson, 1897-
Koussevitzky, Olga, 1901-1978
Koussevitzky, Sergei Alexandrovitch, 1874-1951
Low, Juliette
Lowell, Amy, 1874-1925
McCord, David Thompson Watson, 1897-
McCormick, Katharine (Dexter), 1875-1967
MacDowell, Marian (Nevins), 1857-1956
Morse, Frances Rollins, 1850-1929
Morse, Samuel Finley Brown, 1885-1969
Ormandy, Eugene, 1899-
Park, Marion Edwards, 1875-1960
Park, Rosemary
Piston, Walter, 1894-
Pusey, Anne (Woodward)
Sarton, May, 1912-
Schelling, Ernest Henry, 1876-1939
Sherman, Mildred (Percival), 1898-1961
Solomon, Barbara (Miller), 1919-
Sousa, John Philip, 1854-1932
Taubman, Hyman Henry, 1907-
Thompson, Randall, 1899-
Thomson, Virgil, 1896-
Ullian, Frieda (Silbert), 1900-
Wessell, Nils Yngve, 1914-
Wilder, Amos Niven, 1895-
Wilder, Isabel
Wilder Thornton, 1897-
Woodworth, George Wallace, 1902-1969
Boston Symphony Orchestra
College operas, revues, etc.
Harvard University professors
MacDowell Colony--Peterborough, N. H.
Radcliffe College



The following item has been catalogued with the regular library collection:
The following items and duplicates were transferred to the Radcliffe Archives:
The following printed materials were sent to the Andover-Harvard Library:
The following bulletin was sent to the Harvard Archives:
The following newspaper articles were removed from the collection:
MWD was on the following mailing lists; general printed matter has been removed from the collection: