Contents and Arrangement Expanded View

Collection Overview

Lewin, Frank
Frank Lewin Papers
Manuscripts Division
Permanent URL:
1938-2016 (mostly 1951-2007)
70 boxes, 5804 digital files, and 57.4 linear feet
Storage Note:
  • ReCAP (scarcpxm): Box 1-70


This collection contains the musical manuscripts, musical sketches, correspondence, teaching materials, business files, and other personal papers of American composer Frank Lewin (1925-2008), who resided in Princeton from 1951 until his death. Audio and video recordings on optical media and a hard drive include music, films, and interviews; digital materials also include photographs, documents, production information, scores, parts, copyright forms, and contracts.

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of papers related to Frank Lewin's career as a composer, including sheet music, sound and video recordings, research notes, publicity and programs, correspondence, and digital files.


The collection is arranged into the following series, reflecting the arrangement scheme of the materials as they arrived at the library. Gaps in series and subseries enumeration reflect the arrangement scheme imposed by the donor. Materials listed in the donor inventories that reside at other institutions are not represented in this finding aid; as a result, there is no Series 3.

Collection Creator Biography:

Lewin, Frank

Frank Lewin was born March 27, 1925, in Breslau, Germany. He and his family escaped from Germany in 1939, spent a year in Cuba, and came to New York in 1940. Lewin studied composition with Felix Deyo at the Baldwin Conservatory (Long Island, New York); with Jack Frederick Kilpatrick and Hans David at Southern Methodist University; with Roy Harris in Logan, Utah; and with Richard Donovan and Paul Hindemith at the Yale School of Music, where he received his Bachelor of Music degree in 1951.

Lewin composed and edited music for feature, documentary, and television films, including dozens of original scores for The Defenders and The Nurses. He wrote incidental music for plays from Shakespeare to Tennessee Williams, and composed scores for historical outdoor dramas. His cantata Music for the White House was performed in 1965 at a state dinner hosted by President Lyndon B. Johnson. His Requiem for Robert F. Kennedy (Mass for the Dead, in English) was first performed in 1969, in the Princeton University Chapel, a year after Kennedy's death. Among Lewin's other concert compositions are the opera Burning Bright, based on the novel and play of the same name by John Steinbeck; plus song cycles, choral music, and instrumental works.

Lewin was a professor at the Yale School of Music from 1971 to 1992, teaching composition for film; and at the Columbia University School of the Arts from 1975 to 1989, where he taught the course "Music in Modern Media." He received two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, and two from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, including a Distinguished Artist Award. He was a member of BMI, the American Composers Alliance, and the Composers Guild of New Jersey. Lewin lived in Princeton, New Jersey, from 1951 until his death on January 18, 2008.

Collection History


Gift of the Frank Lewin Estate in 2014 and 2016 (AM 2014-109).


No materials were separated from the collection during 2016 processing.

Processing Information

This collection was arranged and described by Miriam Lewin, Literary Executor, and Eva Lewin Radding, prior to donation to Princeton University. All materials were rehoused by Fiona Bell '18 and Rachel Dubin '17 in 2016. A finding aid, based on inventories provided by Miriam Lewin and Eva Lewin Radding, was produced by Kelly Bolding in 2016, with assistance from Fiona Bell '18 and Rachel Dubin '17. While intellectual arrangement and series and subseries enumeration from donor inventories were maintained during 2016 processing, materials were physically rehoused based on size.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Single copies may be made for research purposes. To cite or publish quotations that fall within Fair Use, as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission is required. For instances beyond Fair Use, it is the responsibility of the researcher to determine whether any permissions related to copyright, privacy, publicity, or any other rights are necessary for their intended use of the Library's materials, and to obtain all required permissions from any existing rights holders, if they have not already done so. Princeton University Library's Special Collections does not charge any permission or use fees for the publication of images of materials from our collections, nor does it require researchers to obtain its permission for said use. The department does request that its collections be properly cited and images credited. More detailed information can be found on the Copyright, Credit and Citations Guidelines page on our website. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us through the Ask Us! form. The following information has been supplied by the Frank Lewin Estate: Publication and Duplication: Researchers may make single photocopies for scholarly use. Photocopies for use in performance and recording are permitted under Performance and Recording guidelines below. Recorded sound and video may be used for study and educational purposes. Excerpts may be used in audio/visual presentations of a documentary nature. Performance and Recording: Subito Music/Notevole is the publisher of three works: Burning Bright , Concerto on Silesian Tunes, and Concerto Harmonico (Concerto for Harmonica and Orchestra); they should be contacted for performance and recording rights. Rights to two collections of recorded cues, the Demeter Music Library and Demeter Production Music Library, were sold in 2007 and 2008, respectively, to Carlin Recorded Music Library Limited (England). Music composed for The Defenders and The Nurses television series, also referred to as the DN Library, may be performed and recorded, but existing recordings may only be used as indicated above under Publication and Duplication. For all other works, including works published by Demeter Music, Inc., and Parga, Lewin's own companies, contact Miriam Lewin, Literary Executor for Frank Lewin, or her successor. In the event a good faith effort to make contact is not successful, permission is granted for performance and recording of these works.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

For preservation reasons, original analog and digital media may not be read or played back in the reading room. Users may visually inspect physical media but may not remove it from its enclosure. All analog audiovisual media must be digitized to preservation-quality standards prior to use. Audiovisual digitization requests are processed by an approved third-party vendor. Please note, the transfer time required can be as little as several weeks to as long as several months and there may be financial costs associated with the process. Requests should be directed through the Ask Us Form.

Consult staff for access to recordings and digital files. Due to technology considerations for providing access, advance notice is required.

Credit this material:

Frank Lewin Papers; Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Permanent URL:
Firestone Library
One Washington Road
Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
(609) 258-3184
Storage Note:
  • ReCAP (scarcpxm): Box 1-70

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Related Materials

Musical cues, correspondence, business materials, show master recordings, and related materials from the production of Frank Lewin's historical outdoor dramas are housed at the Institute of Outdoor Theatre, formerly the Institute of Outdoor Drama, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina. (These materials were described as Series 3: Outdoor Dramas in inventories provided by the donor.)

Subject Terms:
Composers -- United States -- 20th century.
Composition (Music) -- United States -- 20th century.
Television music -- United States -- 20th century.
Genre Terms:
Sheet music.
Sound recordings.
Lewin, Frank