Guide to the Philip Greeley Clapp Papers

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1879-1992
Creator: Clapp, Philip Greeley (1888-1954)
Extent: 34.25 linear feet.
Collection Number: RG99.0128
Repository: University of Iowa Archives
Summary: Professor of music, University of Iowa, from 1919 until his death in 1953. Composer and symphony conductor. Compositions, correspondence, and scrapbooks containing newspaper articles.

Administrative Information

Access: This collection is open for research.

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

Acquisition: These materials were transferred to the University Archives from the University of Iowa Music Library in May 1994. Guide created by Denise Anderson, June 2007. Additional oversize box contents notes provided by Amy McBeth, 2010.

Preferred Citation: Philip Greeley Clapp Papers, The University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City, Iowa.

Repository: University of Iowa Archives
Address: 100 Main Library
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City, IA 52242
Phone: 319-335-5921
Curator: David McCartney

Biographical Note

Philip Greeley Clapp was born in Boston on August 4, 1888. His mother, Florence Greeley Clapp, and his aunt, Mary Greeley James, were his first music teachers of piano. At age 11 he began to study composition under the dean of the Boston University Music Department, John P. Marshall. He continued his education at Harvard, earning his B.A. in 1908, and M.A. in 1909, while studying under Dr. Karl Muck, conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. During 1909-1911, Clapp studied in Germany under a Harvard fellowship, and took his Ph.D. in 1911. Dr. Clapp taught at Harvard University, Dartmouth College, and other colleges for the next seven years, before joining the faculty at the University of Iowa.
At Iowa, he continued as a composer, and conducted the University Symphony Orchestra, among others. He was hired to organize an official music department, because such instruction had been private since 1906. Associated with the University of Iowa as a professor and department head since September 1919, Dr. Clapp became director of the School of Music in 1932, a position he held until his retirement on July 1, 1953. Philip Greeley Clapp died of a heart attack on April 9, 1954. During his 35 years of guidance, the University of Iowa School of Music gained a reputation that attracted students from across the nation, largely for the varied experience, and due to the opportunity of graduate study, which was developed by Dr. Clapp. The University of Iowa Clapp Recital Hall was named in his honor in 1971.

Content Description

This collection contains material relating to the professional career of Professor Philip Greeley Clapp, a composer, conductor of symphony orchestras, accomplished pianist, and music instructor. Some Greeley and Clapp genealogy is included in boxes 1 and 6, as well as some documentation of Mr. Clapp's studies at Harvard in box 12.Four scrapbooks of carefully dated newspaper articles are housed in box 12. Mr. Clapp and his father, Henry Lincoln Clapp, authored many of the articles, while others announce their accomplishments. Henry Clapp was principal of Putnam Elementary School in Connecticut during the 1800s, and his theories of elementary education were highly-regarded. Articles dated 1879 to 1918 by the senior Clapp on the topic of education, and his hobby of horticulture in the Boston area, are preserved here.Correspondence in box 6 is primarily with SUI faculty and administrators. Correspondence in box 7 is primarily with administration, yet includes includes more correspondents, who are listed on the folders.

Related Materials

Biographical folder, "Philip Greeley Clapp," in Faculty and Staff Vertical Files collection (RG01.0015.003)

Biographical folder, "Himie Voxman," in Faculty and Staff Vertical Files collection (RG01.0015.003)

Calmer, Charles Edward. "Philip Greeley Clapp: The Early Years (1888-1909)." M.A. thesis, University of Iowa, 1981.

Calmer, Charles Edward. "Philip Greeley Clapp: The Later Years (1909-54)." Ph.D. dissertation, University of Iowa, 1992.

White, Dorrance Stinchfield. "A Biography of Dr. Philip Greeley Clapp, Director of Music at the State University of Iowa, 1919 -1954," in University of Iowa Historical Papers collection (RG01.0001.003)

Compositions by Philip Greeley Clapp are listed in "Philip Greeley Clapp," Holcomb, Dorothy R., Books at Iowa, November 1972

Records of the School of Music (RG06.0024.001)

Detailed Description of the Collection

Browse by Series:


This collection is indexed under the following subject terms.

Personal Names:
Clapp, Philip Greeley, 1888-1954

Corporate Names:
University of Iowa School of Music


Conductors (Music)

Geographic Names:
United States -- Iowa

Genre/Form of Materials:
Sound recordings
Writings (Document genre)
Manuscripts (Document genre)
Casts (Sculpture)

University of Iowa Faculty, Staff, Alumni and Associates' Papers