Guide to the William Marvin Spencer papers

Collection Title: William Marvin Spencer papers
Dates: 1962-1996
Identification: Spencer
Creator: Spencer, William Marvin, 1892-1984
Burke & Koretke
Garvin, Suzanne Spencer, 1930-
Ryterband, Roman
Spencer, Edson W.Spencer, William M. (William Marvin), 1929-
Extent: 2 Boxes
Language of Materials: English
Processing Information: Finding aid written by Morris S. Levy, 2012.
Conditions Governing Access: Open to researchers under library restrictions. All access to these materials is strictly controlled.
Preferred Citation: William Marvin Spencer Papers, Northwestern University Music Library
Repository: Music Library
Deering Library
1970 Campus Drive
Evanston, IL,
Phone: 847-491-3434

Biographical/Historical Information

William M. Spencer was born in 1892 in Erie, Pennsylvania. He graduated from Princeton in 1915 and enlisted as an officer in the 165th Infantry Regiment, the former "Fighting 69th" made famous by Col. William Donovan and Father Francis Duffy. As a 2nd Lieutenant, Spencer participated in the Second Battle of the Marne (1918), engaging the enemy on the heights near Villes sur Fere, France. His actions while wounded earned a Distinguished Service Cross. After the war in Chicago, Spencer worked at the Hamerhill Paper Company and served as the chairman of North American Car Company from 1941 until his retirement in 1959. He also served as the Chief of Staff of the Illinois Militia, 1940-1942. Spencer married Gertrude White, daughter of F. Edson White, president of Armor and Company. Spencer was a trustee of Northwestern University, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Latin School Foundation, Children's Home & Aid Society and the Chicago Boys Club and was an amateur composer. Spencer died in 1984 at the age of 92.

Scope and Content

Manuscript scores (some photocopied), plot synopses, photographs, and a printed biography.

Container List / Contents

  • Russian rhapsody, 1962
      Note:  "Arr. and orch. by R. Ryterband"--Caption on parts.
    • [Full score], 1962Box 1, Folder 1
        Physical Description: Photocopy of manuscript with every 2 leaves pasted to cloth back-to-back (69 p. ; 41 cm)
    • [Parts for violin and viola], 1962Box 1, Folder 2
        Physical Description: Photocopied manuscript parts with performance markings in pencil and blue and red crayon and corrections using pasteovers (28 parts ; 32 cm)
    • [Parts for the rest of orchestra], 1962Box 2, Folder 1
        Physical Description: Photocopied manuscript parts with performance markings in pencil and corrections using pasteovers (36 parts ; 32 cm)
  • Der Glockenspieler, 1973, n.d.
    • Orchestral suite from Der Glockenspieler, 1973Box 2, Folder 2
        Physical Description: Manuscript score in a copyist's hand in pencil with annotations and conductor's markings in black and red ink and red crayon, signed with initials "JY" and dated Jan. 22, 1973 in black ink on last page; in gray board portfolio (86 p. ; 50 cm)
    • Der Glockenspieler [plot synopsis], n.d.Box 2, Folder 3
        Physical Description: Typeset synopsis with a few annotations and corrections in black ink ([10] leaves ; 28 cm)
    • Der Glockenspieler [plot synopsis], n.d.Box 2, Folder 4
        Physical Description: Photocopy of alternate version of typset synopsis with a few annotations in black ink (7 p. ; 28 cm)
  • Photographs, n.d.
    • [Photographs of a large mixed chorus in formal dress, a female pianist sitting at a grand piano, and a male conductor wearing a tuxedo in front of the proscenium arch in the Women's Club of Evanston], n.d.Box 2, Folder 5
        Creator: Photographs taken by Burke & Koretke, Chicago. Physical Description: 2 photographs : B&W ; 28 x 35 cm.
  • Biography, 1996
    • Opa's Opus, 1996Box 2, Folder 6
        Physical Description: Printed biography by Spencer's children (75 p. : ill. (some col.), music ; 28 cm)