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American Christian Music Collection

Identifier: CSC-039

Scope and Contents

This collection is comprised mostly of Christian songbooks published in the United States. The first item is a songbook containing two songs in Latin by J. Fischer & Bro. of New York City. The second item is a book of hymns by J. Singenberger of St. Francis, Wisconsin. The third item is a publication of Christmas songs, which features songs in French with English translations, by the H. W. Gray Co. of New York City, an agent of Novello & Co., LTD. from England. The fourth item is a songbook of “The Lord’s Prayer” by Denise Mainville, which was published by Barry College Press of Miami, Florida. The fifth item is a songbook of Polish Christmas carols with English translations, taken from a larger collection of Polish music by Polanie Publishing Co. of Minneapolis, Minnesota. The sixth item is a song book that consists of the liturgical music of Mass arranged by Rev. Russell Woolen and published by the Gregorian Institute of America of Toledo, Ohio. The seventh item is a songbook of canons by Chantry Music Press, Inc. of Springfield, Ohio. The eighth item is “The Lord’s Prayer” by Arline Ellison of Chicago, Illinois and publisher is unknown. The ninth item is the liturgical music of Mass arranged by Robert J. Schaffer, in honor of Rev. Richard H. Ackerman, S.T.D., Bishop of Covington, and published by the World Library of Sacred Music of Cincinnati, Ohio. The tenth item is a song book of Christian songs by Bruce Giffin, S.M. published by the Marianist Publications of Dayton, Ohio. The eleventh item is a songbook of Mexican songs in Spanish, some of which are Christian, by the Mexican American Cultural Center of San Antonio, Texas.


  • Creation: 1880-1980

Languages of Materials

English, French, Latin, Polish, Spanish

Restrictions on Access

This collection is open and available to the public for research in the U.S. Catholic Special Collections reading room. The materials are non-circulating.

History of Christian Music

The use of music in church services occurred in tandem with the creation of liturgy. The first types of Christian music were Gregorian chants and recitative music. The invention of the printing press caused German hymns to be introduced into Catholic traditions. The Renaissance also saw the development of polyphonic music, with Palestrina being a noted composer of Masses in this style. In England, carols became the preferred form of religious music, which despite their connotations with Advent and Christmas, were performed all year round by the laity. Church music experienced a revival in the nineteenth century, which carried over into America. In 1873, J.B. Singenberger formed the American St. Cecilia Society with the goal of reviving the traditional Catholic masses and motets of Palestrina. Christian music continued to thrive in the following century, with church choirs becoming especially popular.


0.125 Cubic Feet (11 items)


Collection of Christian songbooks from the United States, as well as a songbook of Mexican songs featuring Christian songs.

Statement of Arrangement

The items are arranged in chronological order.


U.S. Catholic Special Collections, 302 Roesch Library

Guide to the American Christian Music Collection
Olivia Hessler
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
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Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the University Libraries Repository

300 College Park Dr.
Dayton Ohio 45469-1360