Inside the Archives


The GASF archives houses materials selected for their enduring value to the Songbook. Materials such as original music, lyrics, correspondence, rare recordings, film, video and photos all have value to our user community. Visit our Archive collections online, access our online library or read a short list of highlights below.


The GASF Special Collections and Archives house the following:


40,000+ pieces of sheet music from the turn of the 20thcentury to the 1970s; the bulk of it ranges from the 1920s to the 1960s and consists of music from Broadway and Hollywood musicals


500+ arrangements written for Bob and Dolores Hope, singing duo Sandler & Young, Dinah Washington, Bing Crosby, and more.


3,000 books; 7,000 LPs; 1,000 DVDs; 6,000 CDs


The most comprehensive collection of Andrews Sisters memorabilia available. The collection includes recordings, publicity photos, letters, news clippings and more.


Meredith Willson Papers include the early drafts of Willson’s hit musical The Music Man and 3 other musicals, 40+ scrapbooks, journals, scripts, correspondence with Mamie and Dwight Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, and Ronald Reagan, photos, recordings, film, and video. The collection provides an in-depth look at this multi-talented individual who began his career as a flautist in John Philip Sousa’s band, and went on to work as a conductor, radio show host, songwriter, and TV host.


Hy Zaret Papers include Zaret’s original lyrics to “Unchained Melody,” one of the most performed songs of the 20th century. The collection also includes Zaret’s popular songs from the 1940s, his military music written during World War II, jingles, PSAs, and Little Songs on Big Subjects 


Rudy Vallée Radio Show Recordings - One of the first modern pop stars of the teen idol type (a 1920s Justin Timberlake), Vallée was a saxophone player, band conductor, and host of several radio shows, including NBC’s pioneering radio program, The Fleischmann Hour. The top-rated program, with Vallée as host, introduced many future stars to a national audience. The collection, donated by his widow, consists of 150+ recordings on aluminum disc.


Gus Kahn Papers - Kahn wrote many lyrics to the great hits of the 1920s and 1930s that endure today. His masterpiece, “It Had to Be You,” is a perennial favorite, but others are equally well-known such as “Carolina in the Morning,” “Dream a Little Dream of Me,” and “I’ll See You in My Dreams.” The Kahn Papers include lyric sheets, unpublished compositions, family photos, publicity photos, correspondence, scripts, and one of the archivist’s favorite items, a Christmas card from the Jolson family with a photo of Al, wife Ruby, and son, Al, Jr.


Ray Charles Papers includes material written or arranged by the Other Ray Charles, well-known as the music director for the Ray Charles Singers who backed Perry Como for nearly 30 years on television and his recorded albums. Charles also served as the music director for the Kennedy Center Honors. The highlight of this collection is the unique binders created for each variety show Charles worked on including several Perry Como shows, but also Bing Crosby, Mac Davis, the Kennedy Center Honors, and more.