Skip to main content

Arthur Olaf Andersen manuscripts and personal papers

Identifier: COU-AMRC-2

Scope and Contents

Manuscripts and personal papers of Arthur Olaf Andersen (1880-1958), music educator, theorist, and composer, professor at the American Conservatory of Music (1908-1929), Chicago Musical College (1929-1934) and University of Arizona, including manuscript musical compositions, essays, articles, fictional writings, correspondence, photographs, family memorabilia, and compositions by Andersen's wife, Helen Somerville Andersen (1892-1968).


  • Creation: 1880-1958


The collection is open for research

Publication Rights

All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the American Music Research Center.

Biographical Sketch of Arthur Olaf Andersen

Arthur Olaf Andersen was an American college music educator and administrator, music theorist, and composer. He was Dean of the College of Fine Arts and Head of the Department of Music Theory at the University of Arizona when he retired.

Dr. Andersen was born January 30, 1880, at Newport, Rhode Island. In1896, he graduated from Newport High School and studied in Boston with Charles Martin Loeffler. From 1899 to 1909 he studied in Europe with Alexander Guillmant, George Guiraud and Vincent d’Indy at Paris; Hermann Durra at Berlin; and Giovanni Sgambati at Rome.

In 1934, Andersen was awarded the honorary degree of Mus.D. by the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago. From 1908 to 1929 he was a member of the faculty and then head of the Theory Department at the American Conservatory of Music. From 1929 to 1934 he was a member of the faculty of the Chicago Musical College. He joined the Music faculty of the University of Arizona in 1934 as Head of the Theory Department and Dean of the College of Fine Arts until he retired in 1951. He died Jan. 11, 1958.

Dr. Andersen has authored several music textbooks and composed more than 160 works. He was married to Helen Somerville, composer and pianist, on July 12, 1947.

The collection consists of musical works for orchestra, chamber, solo instruments, keyboard, musical theatre, TV skits, choral and vocal. There are also works by Helen Somerville Andersen, music history and theory texts, personal papers, and original pencil manuscripts.


38 linear feet

Language of Materials



Collection is arranged by musical works and genre, writings, personal papers, oversize and pencil manuscripts.

Physical Location

Located at offsite storage (PASCAL). Allow at least 5 days for delivery. Contact for questions and requests

The Arthur Olaf Andersen manuscripts and personal papers
An inventory of holdings at the American Music Research Center
Conversion Draft
Benjamin Riggs, Cassandra Volpe
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written inEnglish.

Repository Details

Part of the University of Colorado Boulder Libraries, Rare and Distinctive Collections Repository

1720 Pleasant Street
184 UCB
Boulder Colorado 80503 United States