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Louise Crawford papers

Identifier: IWA0007

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Scope and Contents

The Louise Crawford papers measure 12 linear inches and dates from 1914 to 1974. The papers are divided into two series: Personal files and Musical Scores. The bulk of the material consists of musical scores arranged by Crawford.

Personal files include biographical material, a radio script from station WMT of Cedar Rapids of the show "Private Citizen, USA," which paid tribute to Louise Crawford on December 4, 1947, resume, and lists of her publications, compositions, and awards. This list was published in Musical Iowana: 1838-1938. The speeches consist of two talks delivered to the Beethoven Club of Cedar Rapids. A small amount of Correspondence concerning Crawford's career and several articles on her father, Dr. George E. Crawford, a prominent and well respected Cedar Rapids physician are also included. A separate folder of letters regarding Crawford belonging to Alma Turechek accompanies the correspondence. Alma Turechek was a close friend of Louise Crawford's, and was responsible for sorting her belongings upon her death.

Musical Scores include original sketches by Crawford, notes, and correspondence regarding the works. Many of the scores are autographed.

There is one photograph of a group of American women composers, members of the League of American Pen Women, at the biennial festival of American Music in Washington, April 1932, in which Crawford is included.


  • Creation: 1914-1974


Conditions Governing Access

The papers are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright held by the donor has been transferred to the University of Iowa.

However, copyright status for some collection materials may be unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owner. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility and potential liability based on copyright infringement for any use rests exclusively and solely with the user. Users must properly acknowledge the Iowa Women’s Archives, The University of Iowa Libraries, as the source of the material. For further information, visit

Biographical / Historical

Louise Crawford was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa on July 18, 1890 to Dr. George E. and Mrs. Julia C. (Benest) Crawford. At the age of eleven she began taking piano lessons with Mrs. J. O. Baxter. Crawford continued these lessons for nine years. Her father, two brothers, two uncles, a cousin and a nephew were all doctors, but Crawford's father "feared"" for her to take zoology, so she decided to major in music. She enrolled in Wellesley College and graduated with a degree in music theory in 1914. It was here that she composed her first work for a choir of fifty female voices for a class assignment. Crawford studied at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, Massachusetts from 1914 to 1915. In 1916 she received her Master of Arts degree from Wellesley.

From 1916 until 1941 Crawford served as Professor of Theory of Music and as Assistant Professor of Piano at Coe College in Cedar Rapids. She spent her summers at the MacDonell Colony in Petersborough, New Hampshire, doing most of her composing there. In 1927, one of the prominent colonists wrote: "Miss Louise Crawford has established a record quite enviable in achievement...Those privileged to hear the works she completed felt them to be outstanding compositions of the colony."

In addition to composing, Crawford wrote articles for The Musical Observer: "Bell effects in piano compositions" (1923), "Pianistic seascapes" (1925), and "Autumnal piano music", (1926).

In 1941 Crawford retired from teaching at Coe College. She remained active writing and lecturing and participated in various organizations, including the National League of American Pen Women, The National Association for American Composers and Conductors, The Beethoven Club of Cedar Rapids, The Cedar Rapids College Club, Mu Phi Epsilon, and Phi Kappa Phi.

Her compositions include songs, anthems, works for violin and piano, duets for piano and organ, piano pieces, organ solos, and Christmas carols. Some of Crawford's best known works include Fantasy, for violin and piano; Ballet Fantasy; and two Iowa folk-songs, The Pudding and My Grandma.

Crawford died on December 16, 1973.

Additional biographical information can be found in Who's Who in Iowa, Who's Who in Music, Who's Who in American Education, Musical Iowana, Career Women of America and Who's Important in Music. A thesis on Crawford's life and works is held by the University of Iowa Music Library.


12.00 linear inches

Language of Materials



Composer and professor of Music Theory at Coe College.

Method of Acquisition

The papers (donor no. 8) were donated by Alma A. Turechek in 1980.

Related Materials

Dieman-Bennett Dance Theatre of the Hemipsheres

Louise Crawford wrote the score for the Dieman-Bennett production Ballet Fantasy. See Box 2, Production, Ballet Fantasy.

Robert J. Jett, 1993, and Special Collections Staff.
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Iowa Women's Archives Repository

100 Main Library
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City IA 52242 IaU
319-335-5900 (Fax)