Scope and Content of Collection
The Arthur Wise Papers cover the period from 1861 to 1972; the bulk of the materials date from 1946 to 1970. The collection consists of both personal and professional papers including correspondence, photographs, musical scores, and book drafts. The collection contains materials primarily related to the conductor and author's research interests. Notes for his two books, both written with Francis A. Lord, Bands and Drummer Boys of the Civil War (New York: T. Yoseloff, 1966) and Uniforms of the Civil War (South Brunswick: T. Yoseloff, 1970), are an important part of the collection.
The significance of this collection for the ABA Research Center is materials Wise collected while doing research for an unpublished book on Willow Grove Park, including original programs for such bands as those of Arthur Pryor, Patrick Conway, John Philip Sousa, and the Banda Rossa, as well as the orchestras of Wassili Leps, Theodore Thomas, Nahan Franko, Walter Damrosch, and Victor Herbert. These programs span the years from 1901 to 1925. A draft of this book is included in the papers.
Wise was also active as an arranger and composer. Dozens of manuscripts of compositions (mostly for band) comprise a significant portion of the collection. Most of these works were never published.
The Wise Papers also contain materials related to Wise's career as a music educator, primarily at Lisbon (Ohio) High School and Philadelphia's Lincoln High School.
There was no prescribed original order for the documents, so the order as it appears here was imposed by the original processor. Therefore, not only is the overall organization of the collection that of the processor's own device, but the sequence of documents within folders and the titles of said folders are also artificial to the collection.