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Ruth Overholser papers

 Collection 0422-SCPA-OVERHOLSER

Ruth Schell Overholser (1918-2020) earned a degree in Music Education from the University of Maryland in 1961. Overholser was a vocalist, elementary school teacher, an active member of the Washington Alumnae chapter of the Sigma Alpha Iota (SAI) International Music Fraternity, and a donor to the University of Maryland School of Music. Overholser's personal papers and memorabilia.


  • 1931-2016
  • Majority of material found in 1955-1961

Use and Access to Collection

The collection is open for research use. Materials from this collection must be used in the Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library's Irving and Margery Morgan Lowens Special Collections Room during SCPA’s operating hours. Please contact the curator for an appointment or if you have questions related to digital access of the materials.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright was not transferred to the University of Maryland with the gift of any copyrighted materials. All rights remain with the creators and rights holders. The University of Maryland Libraries is granted permission for the use in scholarly research by the Libraries’ patrons under fair use in Section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Act.

To inquire about duplication of materials for research or for publication, please contact SCPA’s curator.


1.25 Linear Feet

Scope and Contents

This collection contains the personal papers of Ruth S. Overholser. Her papers include diplomas, teacher certifications, graduation paraphenalia, yearbooks, personal and professional correspondence, a scrapbook, recital recording and photographs, and class photos of her students.

Biographical / Historical

Ruth S. Overholser (1918-2020) was born and raised in North Dakota. After graduating high school in 1931, she received various teaching certifications in North Dakota, as well as Minnesota, before moving to Maryland to attend the University of Maryland, College Park. Overholser graduated from the Music Education program in 1961 and proceeded to teach elementary school music in the Prince George's County area until her retirement. During her years at the University of Maryland, Overholser became a member of the Sigma Alpha Iota (SAI) International Music Fraternity and remained an active member in the District of Columbia alumnae chapter after her graduation. The Overholser family is a donor of the University of Maryland School of Music. Ruth Overholser and her husband have a chamber music ensemble room in the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center named after them - the J. Spencer and Ruth S. Overholser Ensemble Room, as well as a vocal scholoarship available to graduate students entitled the Ruth Schell Overholser Graduate Scholarship.


This collection consists of a single series.

  1. Ruth Overholser papers
Ruth Overholser papers
Jada Twitty
November 2021
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Library Details

Part of the Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library

University of Maryland Libraries
8270 Alumni Drive
College Park MD 20742 United States