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Jonathan Elkus Opera Manuscripts, Collection II

Identifier: SC MS 0223

Scope and Contents

The collection has musical scores in both the creative stage as well as the finished official printed score for several of Elkus’ compositions made during his time at Lehigh. The compositions include primarily short operas but there is also the score for a composition especially written for Lehigh’s band, “Fanfare: Salute to Lehigh University” in 1968) by Sir Arthur Bliss. The operas by Elkus include “Medea,” “Outcasts of Poker Flats,” “Treasure Island.” Many of the scores are dedicated to Lehigh Library. One score includes an original letter from James A. Michener, the American novelist, who found the score and donated it to Lehigh University Library.


  • Creation: 1931-1996


Conditions Governing Access

Collection housed remotely. Users need to contact 24 hours in advance.

Conditions Governing Use

Collection is open for research.

Biographical / Historical

Jonathan Britton Elkus, composer, arranger, teacher, bassoonist, editor was born in San Francisco in 1931. He graduated from University of California Berkeley in 1953 with a BA having studied composition with Charles Cushing and William Denny. He continued his studies at Stanford University studying with Leonard Ratner and Ernst Bacon getting his Masters in 1957. He continued studies with Darius Milhaud at Mills College in 1957. From 1957-1973 he was on the music faculty of Lehigh University. He developed Lehigh’s student band, the Marching 97, into the foremost university band on the East Coast. He became director of the Cape Cod Academy in 1979. As a great proponent of Charles Ives’ music, he serves as editor with the Charles Ives Society. He retired in 2007 from University of California – Davis and continues to manage with his wife, Mickey, Overland Music Distributors. He is guest conductor with concert bands.


2 Linear Feet (2 boxes) ; 2 linear feet

Language of Materials



The collection includes the creative manuscripts for musical compositions made by Jonathan Elkus during his tenure in Lehigh’s Department of Music from 1957 to 1973.


The collection is generally arranged alphabetically by title of score and format size.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Various dates from as early as 1961 to 1996 presented in most cases by Jonathan Elkus to the Lehigh University Library.

Related Materials

SC MS 0021 Opera Manuscripts by Jonathan Elkus, Collection 1 Elkus, Jonathan (Lehigh Collection Vertical File)

“Three Medieval Pieces for Organ Solo” by Jonathan Elkus, edited by Robert Cutler SCR 782.8 E43muth

Separated Materials

If any material has been removed from the collection, for cataloging, or for other reason, mention it here, such as books, maps, photographs, posters, etc.


Jonathan Elkus Opera Manuscripts, Collection II
Ilhan Citak and Eleanor Nothelfer
September 18, 2013
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Code for undetermined script
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Repository Details

Part of the Lehigh University Special Collections Repository

Lehigh University
Linderman Library
30 Library Drive
Bethlehem PA 18045 USA
610-758-6091 (Fax)