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Women’s History Month: Amelia Earheart

The Libraries has some wonderful digital collections, including the Bella C. Landauer Collection of Aeronautical Sheet Music. The collection features music about ballooning, aviation, and popular subject of aviation theme music, Amelia Earheart.

Lady Lindy We're all for You

From the introduction, by librarian Paul McCutcheon:

Early development in aeronautics has been accompanied by great popular interest and media coverage. This widespread fascination with flight has inspired an enormous output of historical drawings, paintings, advertisements and illustrations for publications. Some of the most colorful illustrations are those which adorn sheet music. In the Bella Landauer collection, you can find illustrations that range from the bizarre to the commonplace, from the humorous to the mundane. But most are colorful and interesting.

The earliest known aeronautical song was published in 1785. Entitled Chanson sur le Globe Aerostatique, it depicts a Montgolfier balloon ascending from the Tuilleries in Paris. This piece was followed by countless musical compositions dealing with all phases of aeronautics. "Wrong-Way" Corrigan had his bard, no less than Lindbergh. And there was always someone to opine musically about such disasters as the wreck of the dirigible Shenandoah or the Hindenburg.

The importance of music as a mirror of the times has largely been overlooked in aeronautics. It remained for Bella Landauer, a veteran collector whose son was a pilot, to recognize it. She started collecting sheet music in the early 1920's, scouring music shops, publishing houses, auctions and private collections for sheet music with an aeronautics theme.

You can read more here… —Elizabeth Periale

One Comment

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