Collection 09 - Theodore Thomas collection

Identity area

Reference code



Theodore Thomas collection


  • [ca. 1970-1991] (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

60 cm of textual records and other materials (5 boxes)

Context area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Prof. Ezra Schabas was born in New York and received his Diploma in Clarinet (1943) and Bachelor of Science (1948) from the Juillard School. In 1949, he received his Master of Arts from Columbia University. He also studied at the Conservatoire de Nancy, and the Fontainebleau School for the Arts in France between 1945 and 1950. After several appointments at American universities (1948-1952), he joined the staff of the Royal Conservatory of Music as Director of Concerts and Publicity where he arranged concerts for leading young artists across Canada. During the 1950s he was active as a clarinetist and conductor and managed music at the Stratford Festival (1958 and 1961). In 1960 he joined the staff of the Faculty of Music as Special Lecturer, becoming Associate Professor in 1961 and Professor in 1968. From 1978 to 1983, he was Principal of the Royal Conservatory of Music. Prof. Schabas retired as Professor Emeritus in 1985. Prof. Ezra Schabas passed away on October 12, 2020 at the age of 96.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Acquired by the Music Library in 1991.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Collection contains correspondence, copies of sources, notes, illustrations, photographs, microfilms, and other working papers for Ezra Schabas's book Theodore Thomas : America's conductor and builder of orchestras, 1835-1905 (University of Indiana Press, 1989). The collection also contains articles and lecture notes for presentations written by Schabas about Thomas.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


System of arrangement

Original file-order and organization has been maintained. File titles transcribed from original folders.

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

The Theodore Thomas collection is stored offsite at Downsview. To access this collection, please contact the Music Library at least 2 weeks in advance of your visit.

Conditions governing reproduction

Language of material

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

Uploaded finding aid

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

Extensive Theodore Thomas collections are held by the Library of Congress, The Chicago History Museum, and The Newberry Library. Also see the Sir Ernest MacMillan collection (CA OTUFM 15), which contains materials relating to Schabas's work on his book Sir Ernest MacMillan: The importance of being Canadian. The Edward Schabas fonds (UTA 1747) is held at the University of Toronto Archives.

Related descriptions

Notes area


Previously titled "Archives Collection 09: Theodore Thomas." Reference code (09) removed from the title of the collection July 30, 2019.

Alternative identifier(s)

Access points

Subject access points

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Genre access points

Description control area

Description identifier

Archives Collection 09

Institution identifier


Rules and/or conventions used

Dates of creation revision deletion

Revised November 15, 2019.




Accession area

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