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Louise Steiner Elian papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 2166

Scope and Contents

The Louise Steiner Elian papers consist of photographs, letters, programs, music, sound recordings, motion pictures, and personal memorabilia that document both the life of Elian, her husband Max Steiner, and their son Ronald Steiner.


  • 1919-1986


Conditions Governing Access

Open for public research.

Conditions Governing Use

It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances. Permission to use material from this collection must be obtained from Reference Services at

Biographical / Historical

Louise Elian was born June 3, 1906, in Buchanan, Missouri to Edward Klos and Mary Francis Seick. Louise married famous film music composer Max Steiner in 1936, and they had one son, Ronald, who died at age 22. Max and Louise divorced after ten years of marriage, and Louise eventually remarried to floral designer Frederick Elian.

Louise was a well-known harpist, featured in original film music scores of "Gone With the Wind" and "Casablanca." She played harp in symphonies into her 80s. Louise died in West Palm Beach, Florida, on July 7, 2002.


7 cartons (7 linear ft.)

4 oversize boxes (13.66 linear ft.)

Language of Materials



These papers document Elian's life and career as a harp soloist from the 1910s onward, her year as a musician in Hollywood studio orchestras (1926-1954), and significantly her marriage (1936-1946) to film composer Max Steiner. Also covered is Elian's concert career as a member of symphony orchestras and ballet companies as well as soloist appearing worldwide (1950-1986).


Arranged in four series: 1. Louise Steiner Elian assorted papers, undated; 2. Louise Steiner Elian home movies, undated; 3. Louise Steiner Elian phonographs, undated; and 4. Louise Steiner Elian restoration prints of home movies, undated.

Other Finding Aids

A more detailed finding aid is available in print in the repository.

Other Finding Aids

File-level inventory available online.

Custodial History

Donated by Louise Steiner Elian.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated; Louise Steiner Elian.


Film Music Archives.

Documents the history of music composed and recorded for motion pictures.

Processing Information

Processed; James V. D'Arc and John N. Gillespie; 2002.

Register of the Louise Steiner Elian Papers
James V. D'arc and John N. Gillespie
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English in Latin script.
Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant, 2007-2008

Repository Details

Part of the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Repository

1130 HBLL
Brigham Young University
Provo Utah 84602 United States