Madison Männerchor Historical Documents

Thanks go to Tim Hughes for continuing the archiving tradition for the MMC.

The Madison Männerchor historical documents from 1871-1978 can be found in the Wisconsin Historical Society records, under call number Mss 496. The compilation consists of 4 boxes of archives. You can reach the “Finding Aid” at this link.

Scope and Content Note [from Wisconsin Historical Society text]

The collection documents the Madison Maennerchor’s activities for the years 1871 to 1978. Composed primarily of correspondence, proceedings, financial records, and subject files, the records are incomplete, in part as a result of the 1940 fire.

The HISTORICAL FILE contains duplicate copies of the programs of the Maennerchor’s 75th, 100th, and 125th anniversary concerts, which contain brief historical overviews of the organization. A 1977 article from This Is Madison offers additional historical information. The Treasurer’s Report, 1871-1920, filed under Financial and Membership Records, contains an historical overview of these years, written by a Maennerchor member. Also included is the constitution of the Maennerchor.

The chronologically arranged CORRESPONDENCE series contains letters written in English and German. Correspondence for the years 1947 to 1966 is scattered; the majority of items present fall within the years 1967-1977. General correspondence includes invitations to perform, thank-you notes, letters regarding membership matters, and business letters. Filed under Memos and Announcements are memoranda to Maennerchor members and sponsors from the Regional Office of the Wisconsin Saengerbezirk to all member choruses, and from other member choruses of the Saengerbezirk.

There is some overlapping between the following two series (Proceedings and Financial and Membership Records), due to the fact that many of these records were kept in bound volumes which contained different types of records from volume to volume.

PROCEEDINGS contain committee reports, including the report on the centennial celebration and the report of the social chairman of the 1966 festival, other concert reports, social calendars, clippings pasted into the bound volumes pertaining to concerts and other chorus activities, an occasional letter, several annual reports, and treasurer’s reports for the years 1927-1939, 1947-1949, and 1952-1978. Additional Annual Reports and the Treasurer’s Reports for the earlier period 1871-1920 are filed under the Financial and Membership Records. The Proceedings are arranged chronologically and date from December 1927 to 1978 with several sizeable gaps. The records to 1939 are written in German; those from 1947 to 1949 in German or English; after 1952 exclusively in English.

The FINANCIAL AND MEMBERSHIP RECORDS series contains the annual reports which are not integrated into Proceedings; the Treasurer’s reports for 1871-1920, written in German; and the financial records for the years 1937-1947, kept in English or German, which include information concerning expenditures, income, and dues, as well as lists of active and passive members and rehearsal attendance. Supplemental membership information can be found in the file on membership records also located in this series. Also filed here are the records of the Social Committee; concert reports; a trustee report from 1966 and confirmation of the sale of stock owned by the Maennerchor; financial accounts from the Wisconsin Saengerfest of 1881, predominantly in German; and membership records, including lists of officers and members, and membership applications.

The SUBJECT FILES document various aspects of Maennerchor activities. The WHA-TV file contains materials relating to a 1977 television program about the Maennerchor, including the program script. The 125th anniversary celebration file includes correspondence, publicity, and financial materials. The Bezirk (Regional) file is comprised of the Bezirk constitution, newsletters of the Regional Office and member choruses, and membership lists. Also included in this subject series are materials pertaining to concerts, and several songbooks and an index to a file of music sung by the Maennerchor.

The PROGRAMS series includes programs of special anniversary concerts, such as the 75th, 100th, and 125th, and a fairly complete chronologically arranged sequence of fall and/or spring concert programs from 1949 to 1957 and from 1960 to 1977. There are also programs from concerts held jointly with other Madison choruses, programs from Wisconsin Saengerbezirk concerts in which the Maennerchor participated, and several programs from concerts given by other member choruses of the Saengerbezirk.

CLIPPINGS contains newspaper clippings from the years 1952-1977. The majority deal with the centennial celebration of 1952 and the 125th anniversary in 1977; others concern concerts and other activities of the Maennerchor. Also included are several obituaries and an article on Robert Niemann, World War I flying ace and member of the Maennerchor. Clippings are in English or German. Arrangement is chronological.

The MISCELLANY file contains various certificates and documents on tax-exempt status.

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