Hardin-Simmons University: Smith Music Library

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P.O. Box 16230, Abilene TX, USA 79698
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Music Librarian

The Thurman Lee and Lucialis Morrison Collection of Early American Hymnody was acquired for the Smith Music Library by the HSU School of Music Foundation in 1991. Thurman Morrison was a long-time professor of piano and music history at Hardin-Simmons. The collection of more than 1,000 items spans from the mid-seventeenth century to the early twentieth century. The earliest item in the collection is a Sternhold and Hopkins psalter bound with Holy Bible dated 1647. Several collections of eighteenth-century psalmody are also a part of the collection and a few items from the First New England School, notably a tunebook apparently owned by William Billings’s daughter. The bulk of the collection consists of tunebooks from the nineteenth-century New England reformers: Lowell Mason, George Webb, William Bradbury, etc. This includes a number of Sunday school collections. Much of Morrison’s collecting was done during vacations in New England, so the collection is oriented toward the round-note tradition. Very few examples of shape-note hymnody. The collection extends to the early period of gospel hymnody through to Stamps Baxter gospel collections of the early twentieth century. The Morrison Collection continues to be cataloged and is therefore only partially accessible through the Abilene Library Consortium (ALCON) database. The Sims Hymnal Collection started as a gift from W. Hines Sims, an HSU alumnus and editor of the 1956 edition of the Baptist Hymnal. His donation was a core collection of denominational hymnals from the first half of the twentieth century. The library has continued to add hymnals from all denominations published since 1960 as well as hymnal companions and other hymnological reference works. The collection is fully accessible through the Abilene Library Consortium (ALCON) database. Date range: 17th-early 20th c.