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Carl Tollefsen Music Collection

The Tollefsen collection, purchased by Lovejoy Library in 1969, is distinguished by both scope and quality. It was assembled, beginning in 1906, by the late violinist Carl Tollefsen, founder of the Tollefsen Trio. The collection extends to more than 5000 photographs, prints, autographs, first editions, manuscripts, and ancient instruments.

The instrument collection contains both European and Oriental pieces, mainly of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. A harpsichord belonging to Marie Antoinette and a lute which was presented to Catherine the Great of Russia are notable. Many of the instruments are presentation pieces, lavishly decorated.

The extensive autograph collection is partly assembled in scrapbooks, with photographs or sketches of the artists matched to the samples of their writing -- sometimes signatures or notes, more often complete letters. In addition, there is a yet-undetermined number of original musical manuscripts including a song by Schumann and some portions of the "New World" symphony by Dvorak.

A number of framed portraits, printed scores, books and libretti are also present. Notable among the books is a small collection of ephemera of particular interest to violinists.

For more information on Carl Tollefsen please visit:


E-mail comments and inquiries about the Carl Tollefsen Collection to Therese Dickman, Fine Arts Librarian, at tdickma@siue.edu or call 618-650-2695.

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