Guide to the Database

Download the spreadsheet

This Excel spreadsheet was created during the 2016-17 academic year by Patrick Burke with the assistance of interns Logan Busch and Courtney Kolberg. We conducted research in the collections of the Missouri History Museum Library and Research Center, Washington University Libraries’ Department of Special Collections, and the vertical clipping file at Washington University’s Gaylord Music Library, looking for archival sources related to the project’s theme: “Music and Racial Segregation in St. Louis History.” We focused specifically on sources produced during the twentieth century.

As virtually any source on music in St. Louis reflects, if only indirectly, the city’s history of racial segregation, we found it necessary to refine our search terms. For the most part, only those items that explicitly reference a connection between music and racial segregation are noted in the database. In some cases, sources demonstrating racial stereotypes in music (advertisements for blackface minstrel shows, for example) are included because of their direct relevance to the justification and maintenance of racial segregation. Although the vast majority of the sources we found deal with segregation of African Americans, the database also includes some information about St. Louis’s Jewish and German communities. When in doubt about the relevance of a source, we tended to err on the side of inclusion.

This database records only those sources that we were able to examine during the period of the grant, and it does not exhaust the possible sources at the archives we explored. We hope that it provides a useful starting point for further research on music and segregation in St. Louis history.


The spreadsheet includes 554 entries, each cataloging an archival source (either a box, a folder, or an individual item). It is organized into nine columns that provide a complete citation and a synopsis for each source.

When an entry refers to an entire box, “box” is entered in the Folder Name and Item columns.

When an entry refers to an entire folder, “folder” is entered in the Item column.

GML: Gaylord Music Library, Washington University
MHM: Missouri History Museum Library and Research Center
NR: not relevant. This label indicates sources that were examined but were not germane to the project.
WUA: Washington University Libraries’ Department of Special Collections