This collection were created, compiled and organized by Beverly Soll in preparation for the writing of her book, I Dream a World: The Operas of William Grant Still (University of Arkansas Press, 2005). The collection consists primarily of copies pertaining to Still’s operas from the William Grant Still and Verna Arvey Papers at the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville, but also includes material from the Library of Congress and other sources, as well as material generated by Soll. Her arrangement of copies of original documents reflects the order of the originals. The index in Series 1 is Soll’s description of the collection, and includes the box numbers and reel numbers of the archival materials copied. Two identical Compact Discs hold all of Soll’s Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, and digital images. The images are of materials at other repositories with few exceptions. The CDs were kept for electronic public access.
Series 1. Index, Bibliography, and Electronic Files, n.d.
The first series holds Beverly Soll’s index to the materials, a bibliography, two identical Compact Discs with electronic files, and a screenshot of the directory on the CDs. The electronic files and images are represented in copies throughout the papers.
Series 2. General Archival Research Documents, ca. 1921-81, n.d.
Series 2, General Archival Research Documents, is subdivided into five subseries: Diaries, Correspondence, Scrapbooks, Writings and Music Research Files, and Additional Archival Files. The first four subseries comprise copies of materials from the William Grant Still Papers at the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville. The diary files include references to Still’s operas, transcribed from the composer’s original diaries, from 1930 to 1959. The correspondence copies represent all correspondence in the Still Papers referencing Still’s operas, as well as transcriptions of particularly relevant sections. The scrapbooks of William Grant Still and Verna Arvey are accessible on microfilm at the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville. These files include print-outs from microfilmed scrapbooks, fliers, programs, and newspaper articles about the composer and performances of his operas. Subseries 4 holds copies of writings and music research in the Still Papers. Finally, subseries 5 holds copies and research notes from the holdings on Opera South at Jackson State University, and miscellaneous writings by Still and Verna Arvey, his wife and collaborator, collected from various sources.
Series 3. Opera-Specific Files, ca. 1920s-1980s
Series 3 holds files specific to William Grant Still’s eight operas. The files fall under three categories: archival documents, Soll’s data files, and William Grant Still source materials. The archival files include sketches, drafts of plots, general notes, and other materials that Still compiled during the composition of the eight operas. All are from the University of Arkansas collection with the exception of the Library of Congress files relating to Blue Steel, Still’s earliest opera. The documents relating to Highway 1, U.S.A. and A Southern Interlude have been grouped together in the same subseries and folder; Soll notes in the Index that the first is only a revision of the latter.