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Urban Schnurr papers

Identifier: UASC-006

Scope and Contents

This collection highlights music and theater performances within the U.S. and abroad during the mid-20th century through programs and playbills, newspaper clippings, books, and photographs. Materials originating in Dayton and Cincinnati form a large part of the collection, although the geographic range is extensive, with some materials from Europe, South America, and Asia. One series is dedicated to the personal papers of Urban Schnurr, including his correspondence, military papers, photographs, and movie reviews. Particularly unique is Schnurr's collection of celebrity autographs.


  • 1886-1973


Access to Materials

This collection is open and available to the public for use in the University Archives and Special Collections reading room. All materials are non-circulating.

Copyright Notice

The materials in this collection may be protected by copyright law (Title 17, U.S. Code). The materials are available for personal, educational, and scholarly use. It is the responsibility of the researcher to locate and obtain permission from the copyright owner or his or her heirs for any other use, such as reproduction and publication.

Biography of Urban Schnurr

Urban Schnurr was born in 1906. He graduated from the University of Dayton Preparatory School in 1925. Schnurr was avidly interested in music and opera, and he amassed a large collection of books and memorabilia pertaining to those interests. Schnurr was active in bringing performances to Dayton, and it is believed, based on Schnurr's notes, that he may have seen more than 65 different operas in his lifetime, several of them more than once. For a time, Schnurr worked with the Charles McLean bookstore, which may have facilitated his collecting so many rare books. He died in May 1972.


31.2 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Posters, playbills, photographs, scrapbooks, programs, and other memorabilia of the theater and performing arts collected by Urban Schnurr (1906-1972). The collection is international in scope and covers the early to mid-20th century. Includes Schnurr's personal papers.


The Urban Schnurr collection is arranged into five series and six subseries.

Missing Title

  1. Series 1: Programs and handbills
  2. Subseries 1: Dayton
  3. Subseries 2: Cincinnati
  4. Subseries 3: Chicago
  5. Subseries 4: New York
  6. Subseries 5: Other U.S. cities
  7. Subseries 6: Outside the U.S.A.
  8. Series 2: Personal papers
  9. Series 3: Photographs and other materials
  10. Series 4: Scrapbooks
  11. Series 5: Books

Acquisition Information

Urban Schnurr bequeathed this collection of opera materials to the Dayton Opera Association. In March 1975, the D.O.A. donated it to the University of Dayton Archives. The bulk of Urban Schnurr's book collection (nearly 1,000 books) was donated to the University of Dayton Library upon his death in May 1972.

Guide to the Urban Schnurr papers, 1886-1973
Lisa Pasquinelli
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the University Libraries Repository

300 College Park Dr.
Dayton Ohio 45469-1360