Isidore Witmark Papers

Finding Aid Prepared by William Stingone
February 2001

Date Range: 1903-1939
Size of Collection: 121 items (2 boxes)
Date of Acquisition: Bequest - Isidore Witmark - 1941
Terms of Access: Available for faculty, students, or researchers engaged in scholarly or publication projects.
Restrictions on Use or Access: None.
Location in Stacks: In sequence. Box 2 in vault.
Associated Material: Isidore Witmark Collection of Autographed Books and Muscial Scores. Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University.


       Isidore Witmark (1869-1941), prominent American music publisher and composer, was born in New York City. In 1886, Witmark and his two brothers, Julius and Jay, established the music printing and publishing firm, M. Witmark & Sons, of which Isidore Witmark was president. The Witmarks' acting as their own printer proved a competitive advantage, and they soon began purchasing other publishing houses; the firm eventually absorbed ten of its competitors. Because the brothers were involved in the world of music as singers and composers, the Witmarks enjoyed a special rapport with other composers and performers. The brothers pioneered the national marketing of sheet music of popular numbers. By 1900 the firm had branches in Chicago, San Francisco, London, Paris, and Melbourne. Witmark married Viola Cahan in 1909, and they had two daughters, Marian and Carolyn. Witmark sold the company to Warner Brothers in 1928, but stayed on as an executive in the firm. He died of pneumonia at the age of seventy-two in New York City.


       The collection comprises 43 letters and notes to Isadore Witmark and clippings and other material that were removed from autographed books given to Columbia University by Witmark. (The Isidore Witmark Collection of Autographed Books and Musical Scores is also held by the Rare Book and Manuscript Library.) It includes letters from several notable authors and artists, including John Kendrick Bangs, Harry B. Smith, and Frederick Kummar. The papers also contain eight manuscript music scores by various composers, including one by Victor Herbert, mostly written and dedicated to the Witmarks in honor of their wedding.

Laid in Correspondence and Clippings

1  Ade, George
       [v.p.] 8 February 1937

     Note: Laid in his Forty modern fables

1  Adler, Felix
        27 April 1935

     Note: Laid in his Creed and deed

1  Bangs, John Kendrick
     The word, No. 30

1  Baum, Lyman Frank.
     To Isidore Witmark
       Chicago 19 April 1903
       1 a.l.s.

     Note: Laid in his By the candelabra's glare

1  Bloom, Sol
     To Isidore Witmark
       Washington D.C. 12 October 1938

     Note: Laid in his The story of the constitution

1  Burke, Thomas
     To Isidore Witmark
       London 27 May

     Note: Laid in his Limehouse nights

1  Burnett, Frances Hodgson
     Re Production of Little Lord Fauntleroy
       1 program
       2 clippings

     Note: Laid in his Little Lord Fauntleroy

1  Carvalho, David N.
     To Isidore Witmark
       New York 16 May 1908
       1 t.l.s.

     Note: Laid in his Forty centuries of ink

1  Dunbar, Paul Lawrence
     To a golden girl

     Note: Laid in his The uncalled, a novel

1  Fagan, Barney
       [n.p.] [n.d.]

     Note: Laid in William Devere's Jim Marshall's new planner

1  Frohman, Daniel
     Prospectus for his book Encore
       [n.p.] [n.d.]

     Note: Laid in his Encore

1  Grossman, Ethel B.
       [n.p.] [n.d.]

     Note: Laid in her Poems

1  Harrison, Mrs. Constance (Cary)
     [To Isidore Witmark]
       [n.p.] [n.d.]
       1 a.n.s.
       1 signed picture

     Note: Laid in her A Virginia cousin and Bar Harbor tales

1  Haydt, Herman A.
     Re Poems
       [n.p.] 26 October 1933
       1 clipping

     Note: Laid in his Collected poems

1  Holley, Marietta
     Marietta Holley's Books
       [n.p.] [n.d.]
       1 leaflet

     Note: Laid in her Samantha

1  Houdini, Harry (Ehrich Weiss)
     Portrait, autographed
       [n.p.] [n.d.]

     Note: Laid in his Miracle mongers and their methods

1  Kennedy, Charles Rann
     We are all brothers
       [n.p.] [n.d.]
       1 clipping

     Note: Laid in his The servant in the house

1  Klein, Hermann
     At home card and leaflet
       [n.p.] 2 December 1906

     Note: Laid in his Thirty years of musical life in London

1  Kummer, Frederic Arnold
     To Isidore Witmark
       [n.p.] 5 July & 13 Sept 1930
       2 t.l.s.

     Note: Laid in his Gentlemen in Hades

1  Leavitt, M. B.
     From Sylain A. Lee
       [n.p.] 9 Jan 1906
       1 t.l. (copy)

     Note: Laid in his Fifty years in theatrical management

1  Lowell, Juliet
     To Isidore Witmark
       [n.p.] 10 Jan 1936
       1 a.n.s.

     Note: Laid in her Dumb belles-lettres

1  Markham, Edwin
       [n.p.] [n.d.]

     Note: Laid in his The man with the hoe and his Gates of Paradise

1  Morgenthau, Henry
       [n.p.] [n.d.]

     Note: Laid in his All in a life-time

1  Nobles, Milton
     A Blue Grass Widow.
       [n.p.] [n.d.]
       1 promotion booklet

     Note: Laid in his Milton Nobles' shop talk

1  O' Connor, T.P.
     To Isidore Witmark
       New York [1906]
       1 a.l.s.
       3 clipping
       1 dinner menu
       1 t.l. (copy) from Pedgrift to Charles Warren

     Note: Laid in his Lord Beaconsfield

1  Oursler, Fulton
     To Isidore Witmark
       New York City 5 Aug 1929 & 12 May 1931
       2 t.l.s.

     Note: Laid in his The world's delight

1  Oursler, Mrs. Grace (Perkins)
     To Isidore Witmark
       [n.p.] 10 Oct 1929 - 10 Oct 1929
       3 t.l.s.

     Note: Laid in her Angel child and her Personal maid

1  Perkins, Ray
     To Al Jolson
       [n.p.] [n.d.]
       1 a.n.s.

     Note: Laid in Arline De Hass's The Jazz Singer

1  Riley, James Witcomb
       [n.p.] 9 February 1935

     Note: Laid in his The boys of the Old Glee Club

1  Roma, Caro
       [n.p.] [n.d.]

     Note: Laid in his Poems

1  Romberg, Sigmund
     To Isidore Witmark
       New York 30 December 1930
       1 t.l.s.
       1 program

1  Ryan, Millie
     Prospectus for her studios
       [n.p.] [n.d.]

     Note: Laid in her What every singer should know

1  Smith, Harry Bache
     To Isidore Witmark
       New York City 1931-1935
       3 a.l.s.
       2 t.l.s.

     Note: Laid in his First nights and first editions, his Lyrics and sonnets, and his Stage lyrics

1  Sonneck, O.G.
     To Isidore Witmark
       [n.p.] 26 Feb 1927
       1 t.l.s.
       1 clipping

     Note: Laid in his Beethoven letters in America

1  Sousa, John Philip
     To Isidore Witmark
       [n.p.] 30 Nov 1945
       1 a.l.s.

     Note: Laid in his Pipetown Sandy

1  Springer, Thomas Grant
     To Isidore Witmark
       [n.p.] 1938-1939
       1 t.l.s. from Herman Heydt
       1 typed poem signed
       1 p.c.

     Note: Laid in his Rodeo, and his The Red Cord

1  Taylor, Deems
     The Kings Henchmen
       [n.p.] 1927 & 1931
       1 libretto
       1 program
       several clippings

     Note: Laid in his The kings henchman

1  Thomas, Lowell
       [n.p.] 1930

     Note: Laid in his Count Luckner, the sea devil

1  Tyler, George C.
     To Isidore Witmark
       [n.p.] 13 March 1934
       1 t.l.s

     Note: Laid in his Whatever goes up

1  Valeria, Julie, and James Young
     To Isidore Witmark
       [n.p.] [n.d.]
       1 a.p.c.s.
       1 program
       1 clipping

1  Weber, Joe and Lew Fields
       [n.p.] 4 September 1938

     Note: Laid in Isman's Weber and Fields

1  Weeks, Edward
     This trade of writing
       [n.p.] [n.d.]
       1 review

     Note: Laid in his This trade of writing

1  Wilder, Marshall Pinckney
     To Isidore Witmark
       New York City [n.d.] & 15 Jan 1909
       2 a.l.s.

     Note: Laid in his The people I've smiled with

1  Wilson, Francis
       [n.p.] 1 November 1925

     Note: Laid in his Joseph Jefferson

1  Wilstach, Paul
     To Isidore Witmark
       Ginston, VA & New York 1909-1912
       3 a.l.s.

     Note: Laid in his Richard Mansfield, the man and the actor

1  Wister, Owen
       [n.p.] 21 June 1935

     Note: Laid in his The Virginian

1  Columbia University Libraries
     Catalog of the Isidore Witmark Collection of Autographed Books and Musical Scores
       New York March 1942

Autograph Musical Scores

2  Ball, Ernest R.
     To the end of the world with you
       [n.p.] [n.d.]

2  Edwards, Julian
     Love's harmony
       [n.p.] [n.d.]

2  Herbert, Victor
     Wedding music composed for Witmark and Viola Cahn
       [n.p.] 24 December 1908

2  Klein, Manuel
     Serenade to Viola
       New York 14 Dec 1908

2  Klein, Manuel
     The proud prince
       [n.p.] [n.d.]

2  Luders, Gustav
     Waltz, wedding bells
       [n.p.] [n.d.]

2  Mann, Nathaniel D.
     The bride's dream waltz
       [n.p.] [n.d.]

2  Northrup, Theodore
     March canopy
       Omaha, Nebraska 18 Januray 1909

2  Witmark, Isidore
     Little woman of the west
       [n.p.] [n.d.]