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Henry Wilson Music Collection

Identifier: Henry Wilson Music Collection

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of eighty-five pieces of manuscript music (sixty-one pieces are probably unpublished) written by Henry Wilson, along with memorabilia, including pictures, memorial services, and newspaper clippings. The manuscript music is mainly church music with a scattering of secular pieces.

Includes a list of Henry Wilson's manuscript works.


  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1850-1878


Conditions Governing Access

Digital surrogates may be provided in accordance with the duplication policy of the Watkinson Library. Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs unless otherwise specified. It is the researcher's responsibility to secure permission to publish materials from the appropriate copyright holder. Archival materials may contain sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal and/or state right to privacy laws or other regulations. While we make a good faith effort to identify and remove such materials, some may be missed during our processing. If a researcher finds sensitive personal information (e.g. social security numbers) in a collection, please bring it to the attention of the reading room staff.

Conditions Governing Use

This collection is open to the public and must be used in the John M.K. Davis Reading Room of the Watkinson Library, Trinity College Library, Hartford, Connecticut. Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws when using this collection.

Biographical / Historical

Henry Wilson, a Hartford composer, music teacher, and organist was born in Greenfield, Massachusetts, on December 2, 1828. After traveling to Europe to study with musicians there, he returned to the U.S. in 1855 and settled in Hartford where he was appointed church organist and choirmaster at Christ Church on Main Street. In 1857, he married Miss Eugenia Josephine Baldwin (1835-1923) of Middletown, Connecticut. He served Christ Church in this capacity until 1877, when he was called to Park Street Church, also in Hartford, Connecticut. His first service was Easter Morning 1877. Wilson died suddenly on January 2, 1878.

His friend Charles Dudley Warner wrote of his personality in the Hartford Courant in January 1878: “One of the gayest comrades with a nimble Wit; always ready in repartee—his heart so kind, that the object of his sharpest thrust of fun could never take the slightest offence.” And of his music, Warner said; “We have no space to make an estimate of Wilson as a composer. The value of his anthems and chants is fully recognized by musicians. He arranged and composed the whole [church] service of a day, exactly as an artist paints a picture, with the keenest artistic feeling for the total impression.”

A few of his published musical compositions were “Shout the Glad Tidings,” “Alleluia," and “There Were Shepherds Abiding in the Field.”


1.5 Cubic Feet (5 flat archival containers) : 1/3 ft. clam-shell

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Source Unknown

Processing Information

The collection was arranged prior to 2016.

Guide to the Henry Wilson Music Collection
In Progress
Henry Arneth
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Watkinson Library - Archival Collections Repository

Trinity College Library
300 Summit St.
Hartford Connecticut 06106