Taube PMC Digital Archives


The Dianne and Tad Taube Polish Music Center Digital Archives at the USC Thornton School of Music is now available online. Thanks to a transformational gift from Dianne and Tad Taube of Taube Philanthropies (pictured at center above, during the Taube gift celebration in 2022), the PMC initiated a partnership with the USC Digital Library to create this online portal. Using state-of-the-art digitization technology and industry standards, the rare and unique materials that have been entrusted to the PMC will now be able to be viewed and studied by scholars around the globe.

Currently the Taube PMC Digital Archives includes two of the PMC’s most interesting collections: the Manuscript Collection, which established the importance our archival holdings with gifts from Lutosławski and Skrowaczewski at the founding of the PMC, and the Kaper Collection, which highlights the extraordinary life and career of Poland’s first Oscar winner for his score to the 1953 musical Lili. Due to copyright concerns, only 30% of each archival item is available for open viewing, however those interested in full items may email us at polmusic@usc.edu to be granted access.

The Dianne and Tad Taube Polish Music Center Digital Archives is an ongoing digitization project. We encourage you to revisit the site for frequent updates as new materials are uploaded regularly. If you would like contribute to this exciting project, please visit our Donation page and thank you for your interest.

View the Taube PMC Digital Archives at digitallibrary.usc.edu.

Archival Collections at the PMC: Description and Brief History

8H/2P by Bogusław Schaeffer [signed manuscript]

The PMC Archives began when the Polish Manuscript Collection was established in 1985 with a gift of five original manuscripts from Witold Lutosławski (with Mi-Parti, Paroles tissées, Preludes and Fugue, and Novelette). Works by Grażyna Bacewicz, Tadeusz Baird, Joanna Bruzdowicz, Marta Ptaszyńska and Stanisław Skrowaczewski created the core of the collection, enlarged in 2000-2002 by gifts from over 30 Polish composers (Rafał Augustyn, Zbigniew Bujarski, Krzysztof Knittel, Zygmunt Krauze, Hanna Kulenty, Szymon Laks, Roman Maciejewski, Krystyna Moszumanska-Nazar, Krzysztof Meyer, Krzysztof Penderecki, Elżbieta Sikora, Edward Sielicki, Aleksander Tansman, Romuald Twardowski, Tadeusz Wielecki, Lidia Zielińska, and many others).

From the core of the Manuscript Collection, the PMC Archival Collection has grown with the addition of full collections held by several important composers. Encompassing not only original musical manuscripts, but also rare printed scores, letters, photographs, books, personal items and much more, these collections include:

  • Henryk Wars [Henry Vars] Collection (donated by the Vars family in 2005) – featuring the composer’s newly discovered symphonic music
  • Zygmunt and Luisa Stojowski Collection (donated by Alfred and Henry Stojowski in 2006) – featuring Zygmunt Stojowski’s manuscripts and first editions of scores, as well as articles, personal notes and a portion of his private library
  • Bronisław Kaper Collection (donated by his former Hollywood agent in 2007) – featuring his film scores and popular songs
  • Paderewski Archive—the Paso Robles Collection (donated by private collectors and members of Paderewski’s extended family since 2008) – featuring items relating to his travels in the US, visits in California, and his life in Switzerland, illustrated by rare photographs, documents and personal memorabilia
  • Roman Ryterband Collection (donated by the Ryterband and Eisele families in 2016) – featuring manuscript scores, drafts of compositions, correspondence, photographs, artwork and personal items
Sample program from the Zygmunt & Luisa Stojowski Collection

The PMC’s decades-long track record in preserving and promoting Polish music has also encouraged a number of individual donors and Polish cultural organizations in the U.S. to entrust the PMC with smaller collections of historically important documents related to Polish cultural history and Polonia’s cultural activities—be it rare recordings of classical and folk ensembles, concert programs and other publications, books and scores (including unique musical arrangements), correspondence, photographs and other, similar materials. This is how the PMC became the recipient of the Ciejka Family Collection (folk music materials), the Walter Martin Collection (songs and vocal arrangements), the Słomiński Collection (vocal and church music, including original arrangements and compositions), the Ossowski Collection and Polish Arts and Culture Foundation materials (books on music and history, tape recordings of radio broadcasts, and music scores), the Reiss Collection (rare books on music theory) and the Różycki Collection (photographs and correspondence).

State Archive preservationist Anna Czajka and archivist Wojciech Kowaluk working at the PMC in December 2017
Preservationist Anna Czajka and archivist Wojciech Kowaluk from the State Archives working at the PMC, December 2017

The historical and cultural significance of our Archives has led to a very fruitful collaboration with the State Archives (NDAP) in Warsaw, wherein the PMC has received annual visits from archivists and preservationists from Poland. Since 2014, specialists have been sent by the NDAP at least once a year to share their knowledge and skills for 2-8 weeks at a time, with the goal of preserving and cataloging our archival collection in preparation for making it available online. As seen above, the process of properly packaging our materials in archival-grade boxes and envelopes is ongoing, and is made possible by the generous contribution of archival enclosures from Poland’s Beskid Plus Company by the NDAP.

In late 2019, the Polish Music Center received a transformational $2 million gift from Dianne and Tad Taube of Taube Philanthropies, to support the digitization of the Center’s most fragile and important rare archival materials. Despite several years’ delay due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Dianne and Tad Taube Polish Music Center Digital Archives at the USC Thornton School of Music was established in 2022. This digital portal continues to be updated as our archival materials are scanned with the latest digitization technology and highest industry standards by our partners at the USC Digital Library.