The Ernst Bacon collection consists of manuscripts, correspondence, photographs, printed material, audio recordings, and personal memorabilia.
Manuscripts in the collection by Bacon include the writings "A Fairer Land Than Prose," the Commencement Address at New England Conservatory (1961); "Satires"; "Standing on One's Own Feet"; and "Final Imaginary Dialogues" (1990). This series also includes scores by Bacon (1985-1990) and a 7-page biography of Bacon from 1990.
Manuscripts of music by Bacon in the collection consist of copies of Bacon's original scores. Titles include the collections A Few Songs, Nature (Nov. 1965) and Piano Duets (1980); as well as individual scores for various songs and hymns. Also present is Nixie's Party, a "political burlesque with words and music" written and composed by "N. O. Cable" [Bacon] and "J. Heron" [John Edmunds] (1972).
Correspondence in the collection includes letters from various individuals. Notable musical figures include Leonard Bernstein, Henry Pleasants, Ned Rorem, George Szell, Joseph Szigeti, and Virgil Thompson. Other notable correspondents include Ansel Adams, Arthur Bliss, Herb Caen, Malcolm Cowley, Rouben Mamoulian, H. L. Mencken, Pierre Monteux, Eleanor Roosevelt, Carl Sandburg, and Alex Waugh. Also included are several letters to and from pianist Allan Sly, dating from 1938 to 1990. There is also general correspondence in the series, dating from 1979 to 1997.
Photographs in the collection include several prints of Bacon and his family, black and white, sepia, and color. There is also a color print of Bacon with an inscription from Bacon to Virginia Adams (1990).
Printed material in the collection includes printed scores of several of Bacon's musical pieces, including Ten Songs (1928); Songs from Emily Dickinson (1930); Songs at Parting (San Francisco, 1930); Five Hymns (Birchard, 1952); Maple-Sugaring (Schirmer, 1955); Golden Rules (Peer, 1956); Velvet People (Carl Fischer, 1958); Sassafras (Lawson-Gould, 1960); The Battle of Jericho (American Music Edition, 1962); The Animals' Christmas Oratorio (Presser, 1964); Byways (Schirmer, 1965); Pilgrim Hymn (Schirmer, 1965); Babe of Bethlehem (Gray, 1971); Nature (Schirmer, 1971); Two Hymns for the Bicentennial (World Library, 1975); and Tributaries (Musical Offering, 1978).
Also included in the printed material are a few of Bacon's writings, including "Advice to Music Patrons" (undated, signed by Bacon); "Poetry in Search of Music," The Sewanee Review (Oct. 1941); and "Native Soul," Miniscale University Press (Winter 1987).
Other printed items include bibliographies of Ernst's works; publicity posters; and three concert programs.
Audio recordings in the collection consist of long-playing records and audio cassettes. Records include Bacon's Songs from Emily Dickinson (Cambridge, CRM 707) with Helen Boatwright, soprano, and Bacon on Piano; Bacon's Sonata for Cello and Piano (CRI 201); Marian Ruhl Metson (organist) playing Bacon (Raven Recordings, OAR-130); and Twentieth Century Folk Songs for Violin, includes Bacon's Tumbleweeds ; Dorothy Bales on violin, Allan Sly on piano (Orion, ORS 84465).
Audio cassettes include recordings of various pieces by Bacon, including Aspects, Emily Dickinson Songs, Frolic, Last Invocation (texts by Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman), Parliament of Fowls, Pilgrim Fling, Trio, and Tumbleweeds (the last two performed at the National Gallery, May 11, 1980).
Personal memorabilia in the collection consists of a citation for Bacon from the National Institute of Arts and Letters, May 24, 1962, signed by Malcolm Cowley.