Top of page

Stars and Stripes and Sousa…Forever! Music Division Acquires the Christopher Dodrill – John Philip Sousa Papers

Share this post:

The following is a guest post by Senior Music Specialist Loras John Schissel.


Studio portrait of Sousa, about 1905. Christopher Dodrill – John Philip Sousa Papers, Music Division, Library of Congress.

We are pleased to announce the acquisition of a collection of rare John Philip Sousa materials donated by the well-known educator and Sousa researcher Christopher Dodrill. The collection includes many first editions of Sousa’s marches and concert works in mint condition. Researchers and Sousa enthusiasts will also find many rare European editions of Sousa’s works—published in Amsterdam, Berlin, Rome, etc.  Of particular note, Sousa’s elusive song “Lonely” (published in 1877 with words by Jefferson H. Nones) will now become part of the Music Division’s extensive holdings of Sousa’s compositions.

John Philip Sousa IV, great-grandson of the composer, was delighted with this new acquisition.  “It is through the kindness and generosity of people such as Mr. Dodrill, that the Library of Congress has become the great repository of my great-grandfather’s work. Mr. Dodrill is a great friend of both Sousa and of our family. We thank him for making this great collection available to all.”

The collection has been fully processed and a searchable finding aid will be on-line shortly. Those wishing to view materials related to the life and work of Sousa may visit our website.

Lonely. Music by John Philip Sousa. Words by Jefferson H. Nones. 1877. J. M. Stoddart & Co. Christopher Dodrill-John Philip Sousa Papers, Music Division, Library of Congress.
The Stars and Stripes Forever March. Arranged for saxophone and piano by Bob Haring. 1928. Irving Berlin Standard Music Corp. Christopher Dodrill – John Philip Sousa Papers, Music Division, Library of Congress.

Comments (4)

  1. My congratulations to the Library on this most singular acquisition. Prof. Dodrill has spent his life bringing Sousa to the forefront of American composers by sharing his singular understanding of The March King with students and colleagues. It is most exciting that now, and forever, the country will be able to draw on Prof. Dodrill’s curated collection as well. Bravo!

  2. Congratulations to the Library of Congress for attaining this pot of gold! Through the generosity of the esteemed Professor Dodrill, the foremost authority on Sousa, the LOC has a collection that will inform, educate, and entertain the masses for generations to come!
    Congrats once again to the LOC and to Professor Dodrill for hitting the high note!

  3. The generosity of Professor Dodrill is to be commended. As a former student of his I only came to appreciate the brilliance of Sousa through his teaching. Those not lucky enough to have sat in his class can now benefit from his expertise and passion. Congratulations to the Library of Congress on acquiring this unique and necessary gift.

  4. Without doubt, the most magnificent collection of John P. Sousa sheet music and other extraordinary artifacts.
    David A Jasen, author of The Encyclopedia of Tin Pan Alley, and the Encyclopedia of Ragtime.

Add a Comment

This blog is governed by the general rules of respectful civil discourse. You are fully responsible for everything that you post. The content of all comments is released into the public domain unless clearly stated otherwise. The Library of Congress does not control the content posted. Nevertheless, the Library of Congress may monitor any user-generated content as it chooses and reserves the right to remove content for any reason whatever, without consent. Gratuitous links to sites are viewed as spam and may result in removed comments. We further reserve the right, in our sole discretion, to remove a user's privilege to post content on the Library site. Read our Comment and Posting Policy.

Required fields are indicated with an * asterisk.