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The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the Alberta Powell Graham Papers

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1945-1955
Creator: Graham, Alberta Powell (1875-1955)
Extent: 2.00 linear feet.
Collection Number: MSC0615
Repository: University of Iowa Special Collections
Summary: A writer of biographies for children (on Columbus, Clara Barton, Lafayette and LaSalle, among others), Mrs. Graham also published more than 300 songs and Strike Up the Band! (1949), a collection of short biographies of American band musicians. Both her books and songs are represented in her papers.

Alternate Extent Statement: Photographs: Box 2

Access: This collection is open for research.

Use: Copyright restrictions may apply; please consult Special Collections staff for further information.

Acquisition: This collection was given to the University of Iowa in 1973 by Mrs. Graham's nephew, William C. Powell.

Preferred Citation: Iowa Authors Mss. Alberta Powell Graham Papers, The University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City, Iowa.

Repository: University of Iowa Special Collections
Address: Special Collections Department
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City, IA 52242
Phone: 319-335-5921
Curator: Greg Prickman

Alberta Powell Graham was born in Harrington, Delaware, but moved to Ottumwa, Iowa, with her family when she was just a child. A musician and composer of note, she is a graduate of the American Conservatory in Chicago. She has also had special training along many lines including public school music, poetry, education, and literature. She studied at Columbia University, Northwestern University, Cornell University, and with private teachers. She was Supervisor of Music in the public schools of Iowa, and she has had more than two hundred songs for children published.

Alberta Graham made her home in Washington, D.C., since 1939, where she engaged in writing and in historical research in the Library of Congress. She regularly contributed stories, poems, articles, plays, as well as songs to numerous magazines. She also served as president of the Washington Children's Book Guild. Many honors came to her in connection with her work in the fields of music education and historical writing. She died in Washington, D.C. on March 12, 1955.

The papers of Alberta Powell Graham date from 1945 to 1955 and document her writing and musical career. Included are manuscripts of her biographies written for children such as Chrisptopher Columbus, Discoverer and Clara Barton, Red Cross Pioneer, as well as manuscripts of songs that she composed. Also included are copies of magazine articles written by Graham.

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