Special Collections and Archives
researched by Music Librarian Christopher Popa
On January 22, 1954, Miller’s widow, Helen, gave to The Library of Congress in Washington, DC some of her husband’s “manuscripts and arrangements of popular songs, correspondence and related material.”
Newsreel footage shows Mrs. Miller handing a notebook containing the manuscript of Moonlight Serenade, her husband’s composition and theme song, to Acting Librarian of Congress Verner W. Clapp.
She also presented to the Library a gold-plated disc of Chattanooga Choo Choo, which Emanuel Sacks, Vice-President and General Manager of the RCA Victor record company, had given to her earlier in the day, as well as a copy of the famous Glenn Miller “Limited Edition” album (RCA Victor LPT-6700). It was reported that RCA planned to “re-press other disks not now available from the master copies to complete the collection.”
Actor Jimmy Stewart, who portrayed Glenn Miller in Universal-International’s motion picture biography of him, is also shown in the newsreel footage, displaying a special cabinet containing the “case history” of the making of “The Glenn Miller Story” film.
The following day, an Associated Press news report observed, “The staid old Library of Congress got in the groove yesterday. It accepted a collection of Glen [ sic ] Miller’s renowned swing classics to stack alongside its wealth of longhair stuff.”
In 1969, Alan Cass, an employee of The University of Colorado at Boulder, which Miller had attended in 1923, wanted to revitalize student awareness of the bandleader by creating a display in the University’s ballroom. He placed a request through the University’s Alumni Association newsletter, asking for suitable articles and items. Recordings, photographs, clippings, and other materials began coming in, eventually growing, in part with the official backing of Miller’s family, into The Glenn Miller Archive, with Cass as its Founder and Curator.
The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force at The Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, OH has a permanent exhibit about the Miller’s WWII service, including photographs, a music stand, and a jacket worn by Tech. Sgt. Ray McKinley while he was a member of the Miller AAF band. An especially memorable reunion of the band’s alumni was held at Wright-Patterson in August 1986.
Materials about one of the musicians in Miller's AAF band, Murray Kane, including "notes for his comedy routine" with the group, are held by the University of Wyoming's American Heritage Center in Laramie, WY.
At the present time, Miller’s music library remains in use by Glenn Miller Productions, Inc., formed in 1956 by Miller’s former attorney, David Mackay, to operate a touring band bearing Glenn Miller’s name. After decades operating out of New York City, the company is now based in Lake Mary, FL.
Other memorabilia, such as the time schedule shown below for Miller’s vocalists while they participated in one of Miller’s two Hollywood motion pictures, is in the hands of private collectors.
Alan Cass. “About the GMA: Reflections On The Archive,” music.colorado.edu/
departments/amrc/gma/about-the-gma. Retrieved Sept. 15, 2012.
Entertainment Industry Resources, http://ahc.uwyo.edu/documents/ use_archives/guides/
“Fact Sheets: Maj. Glenn Miller Army Air Force Band,” nationalmuseum.af.mil/
factsheets/factsheet.asp?id=1124. Retrieved Sept. 15, 2012.
The Library of Congress Quarterly Journal of Current Acquisitions (Washington,
DC: US Government Printing Office, 1954).
“On Miller,” Billboard, Jan. 30, 1954, p.23.
“Sideshows: Library Of Congress In Groove With Glenn Miller’s Classics,”
Daytona Beach [ FL ] Morning Journal, Jan. 23, 1954, p.11.
WPA Film Library, clip number 512490-1 [ original film 027-539 ].