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MC 266

Daniels, Mabel W. (Mabel Wheeler), 1878-1971. Papers of Mabel Wheeler Daniels, 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 Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University
Cambridge, Mass.
May 1978

© 1978 President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Call No.: MC 266
Repository: Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute
Creator: Mabel W. (Mabel Wheeler) Daniels, 1878-1971
Title: Papers of Mabel Wheeler Daniels, 1884-1971
Quantity: 2.79 linear feet (5 + 1/2 file boxes, 1 card file box) plus 1 folio+ folder, 1 folio folder, 2 audiotapes
Location: Collection stored off site: researchers must request access 36 hours before use.
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.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research. An appointment is necessary to use any audiovisual material.

Use Restrictions:

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Mabel Wheeler Daniels as well as copyright in other papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns.
Copying. Papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures.

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. Daniels 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.
Daniels 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 (Daniels 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. Daniels 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 collection is arranged in six series:


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 Daniels'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 Daniels and others; and newsclippings about Daniels, her friends and her compositions. The small group of photographs consists mainly of portraits of Daniels. 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

The following catalog entries represent persons, organizations, and topics documented in this collection. An entry for each appears in the Harvard On Line Library Information System (HOLLIS) and other automated bibliographic databases. THIS IS NOT AN INDEX.
Arnold, Sarah Louise, 1859-1943
Beach, H. H. A., Mrs., 1867-1944
Bernstein, Leonard, 1918-1990
Blackall, Dorothy Brewer, 1890?-1949
Boston Symphony Orchestra
Boulanger, Nadia
Boult, Adrian, 1889-1983
Briggs, Le Baron Russell, 1855-1934
Bunting-Smith, Mary, 1910-1998
Cabot, Hugh, 1905-1967
Cannon, Cornelia James, 1876-1969
Carter, Morris, 1877-1965
Choral music
Coes, Mary, 1861-1913
College musicals
Comstock, Ada Louise
Copland, Aaron, 1900-1990
Cronkhite, Bernice Brown, 1893-1983
Damrosch, Walter, 1862-1950
Daniels family
Davison, Archibald T. (Archibald Thompson), 1883-1961
Dickson, Harry Ellis
Hill, Edward Burlingame, 1872-1960
Hull, Josephine, 1877-1957
Jordan, Frances Ruml, 1899-1980
Jordan, W. K. (Wilbur Kitchener), 1902-1980
Kerby-Miller, Wilma Anderson, 1897-1990
Koussevitzky, Olga, 1901-1978
Koussevitzky, Serge, 1874-1951
Low, Juliette
Lowell, Amy, 1874-1925
MacDowell Colony (Peterborough, N.H.)
MacDowell, Marian, 1857-1956
McCord, David Thompson Watson, 1897-1997
McCormick, Katharine Dexter, 1875-1967
Morse, Frances Rollins, 1850-1928
Morse, Samuel Finley Brown, 1885-1969
Music--Scholarships, fellowships, etc.
Musical scores
Ormandy, Eugene, 1899-1985
Park, Marion Edwards, 1875-1960
Park, Rosemary
Piston, Walter, 1894-1976
Pusey, Anne Woodward
Radcliffe College--Alumni and alumnae
Radcliffe College--Funds and scholarships
Rich, Adrienne, 1929-2012
Robinson, Edwin Arlington, 1869-1935
Sarton, May, 1912-1995
Schelling, Ernest Henry, 1876-1939
Sherman, Mildred Percival, 1898-1961
Solomon, Barbara Miller
Sousa, John Philip, 1854-1932
Taubman, Howard, 1907-1996
Thompson, Randall, 1899-1984
Thomson, Virgil, 1896-1989
Ullian, Frieda Silbert, 1900-1982
Wessell, Nils Yngve
Wilder, Amos N. (Amos Niven), 1895-1993
Wilder, Isabel
Wilder, Thornton, 1897-1975
Women composers
Woodworth, G. Wallace
Yarnall, Sophia


A selective index of writers of letters. Information about individuals is not indexed; nor are subjects. The numbers refer to the folder unless otherwise indicated.


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:
Mabel Wheeler Daniels was on the following mailing lists; general printed matter has been removed from the collection: