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College Archives: Faculty & Administrator Papers

Mary E. English Papers, 1930-2005

Collection Summary

Mary E. English papers, 1930-2005

Collection Number: CA-50003
Collection Size: 2.10 cubic feet

Access & Arrangement

The Mary E. English papers are open to all users and available in the reading room of the SUNY Potsdam College Archives & Special Collections. The collection is currently minimally processed, and divided into three series (1. Personal Papers, 2. Professional Papers, 3. Awards and Honors).

The researcher assumes full responsibility for observing all copyright, property, and libel laws as they apply. Questions concerning rights should be addressed to the College Archivist.


Mary E. English was born in Ilion, NY. She attended Potsdam State Normal School, where she was a member of the original 1932 Crane Chorus and a student of Helen Hosmer. She graduated from the Four Year Music Supervisors course in 1935. Following this she received a Master’s degree in teaching from Columbia University’s Teachers College.

English taught in New York public schools and then at SUNY Cortland before returning to Potsdam and joining the Crane School of Music as faculty in 1951, where she was a Professor of Music and Coordinator of Vocal Music Education. She taught at Crane for 22 years until her retirement in 1973. She directed the Phoenix Club for the duration of her career at Potsdam. She was named Professor Emerita in 1978.

In addition to her career at Potsdam, English participated in musical programs as a guest conductor, and taught many workshops around the country. She organized the Potsdam Children’s Choir in 1967. She also coauthored a two volume series of music books called “Living with Music” with Allen L. Richardson. She also served on the board of the Julia E. Crane Alumni Association, including a term as President.

She founded the Catherine A. English Scholarship for Excellence in Student Teaching in honor of her sister, who also taught at Crane. English was also instrumental in the projects for Wakefield Recital Hall and Minerva Plaza at Potsdam. She was honored with many awards, and in 2002 she was the recipient of the Minerva Award, the most prestigious award presented by the Alumni Association. Mary E. English died in 2005.

Scope and Content

Series consists of biographical information, articles, correspondence, and photographs. There is also a collection of papers relating to Mary English’s contributions to the community, including her involvement with the Catholic Church at Ogdensburg and St. Francis Parish at the Newman Center in Potsdam. These documents cover a wide range of dates, from 1937 to 2004.

This series comprises documents relating to Mary English’s professional activities throughout her life. Documents include performance programs, publications, speeches, and course syllabi and materials. There are several copies of the book Mary English authored in conjunction with Allen L. Richardson called Living With Music, including an early copy for editing. Also included in this series are documents relating to Wakefield Recital Hall and Minerva Plaza. In addition this series houses several music materials, including copies of the Crane Centennial Album and some guest conducting by Mary E. English.

This series contains information on the various awards and honors Mary English received throughout her career. There is material about the Minerva Award, various awards received from the Alumni Association, and several other honors including her degree of Professor Emerita. In addition there is a collection of materials from Mary English’s 90th Birthday Celebration in 2003.

Container Listing

Series 1. Personal Papers.
Box Folder Description Dates
1 1 Biographical Information, 1930-2005
  2 Articles, 1966-1995
  3 Personal Correspondence, 1967-1991
  4 Community Involvement Papers, 1968-1992
  5 Photographs – Mary E. English, 1958-2001
  6 Previously Framed Photographs, undated
  7 Photographs from Album, undated
  8 Miscellaneous Photographs, 1973, 1980, undated
2   Photograph,  
Series 2. Professional Papers.

Subseries A. Papers.
Box Folder Description Dates
1 9 Crane Performance Programs, 1951-1975
  10 Publications, 1950-1958
  11 Speeches, 1970
  12 Course Syllabi and Related Materials, 1955-1975
  13 Professional Correspondence, 1953-2004
  14 Crane Alumni Association, 1979-1986
  15 Wakefield Hall Project, 1997-1998
2   Wakefield Recital Hall Poster, undated
1 16 Minerva Plaza Project, 2003
  17 Professional Activities Beyond Potsdam, 1966-1982
Subseries B. Music.
Box Folder Description Dates
2   Crane School of Music Centennial Album (2), 1986
    Massachusetts Music Educators Association Vinyl Record Album, 1961
    9 Unidentified Cassette Tapes (3 lecture, 6 music), undated
Series 3. Awards and Honors.
Box Folder Description Dates
1 18 Minerva Award, 2002
1   Minerva Award Plaque, 2002
2   Minerva Award Information (Framed), 2002
1 19 Alumni Association Awards, 1976-1996
  20 90th Birthday Celebration, 2003
2   90th Birthday Memory Book, 2003
1 21 Miscellaneous Awards, 1962-1996
1   Phoenix Club Award Plaque, 1994
2   Music Educators National Conference Award, 1995
1 22 Previously Framed Awards, 1967-1995
2   Campaign for Potsdam’ and ‘SUNY Potsdam’ pins, undated


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