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Note-Black, White, and Otherwise

 Item — Folder: 1
Identifier: MSS 6152

Scope and Contents note

The autobiography of Werner J. Ripplinger, entitled Note- Black, White, and Otherwise. Illustrated by his wife Itha Ripplinger.


  • 1974


Conditions Governing Access note

Open for public research.

Conditions Governing Use note

It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances. Permission to publish material from the Werner J. Ripplinger autobiography must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services and/or the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Board of Curators.

Biographical History

Werner J. Ripplinger (1899-1993) was a passionate musician and music teacher that suffered from a vision impairment from birth.

Werner J. Ripplinger was born 24 November 1899 to John B. and Louisa Ripplinger in Rexburg, Idaho. He was born with a vision impairment and did not start school until 1909 after an inquiry by the county superintendent, Harriet C. Wood, was made at Bates, the local school. When discovered that he was not attending school because of his sight, Werner was sent to school at the Idaho State School for the Deaf and Blind at Boise. There he was taught to read in the "point" system, a dot system used before English Braille was established in 1917. He graduated in 1918 from the Idaho State School for the Deaf and the Blind. He then returned home to help on the farm. He had cultivated a great love for music and had became a fine fiddler and often played at many social events.

After returning home from his education, Ripplinger became discouraged at the lack of possibilities for his family on the farm. A visit from an old friend from school changed this dreary vision. In 1921 this friend informed Ripplinger that he was preparing to study at the University of Idaho. Ripplinger was energized by this announcement and began to do everything within his power to start his education there as well. After scrounging up all the money he could, Ripplinger began his studies in fall of 1921 and he began to study music as a vocalist, violinist, and pianist. He received his bachelor’s degree in 1925. Later that same year, Ripplinger headed to New York in order to try to repair his vision, a venture that ended a year later and with no better vision than before. An old professor from the university then contacted him and asked him to come pursue his master's. He started down that path, but eventually returned to his hometown and set up a music studio and began teaching. He married Itha in 1929. In 1959 he and his wife moved to San Diego where he opened a music studio and continued his teaching. Ripplinger died 16 September 1993.


1 folder (0.02 linear ft.)

Language of Materials



The autobiography of Werner J. Ripplinger, entitled Note- Black, White, and Otherwise. Illustrated by his wife Itha Ripplinger, dated 1966 and 1974.

Custodial History note

Donated by Werner J. Ripplinger in 1993.

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

Donated; Werner J. Ripplinger; 1993.

Appraisal note

Utah and American West and LDS cultural, social, and religious history (20th Century Western & Mormon Manuscripts collection development policy, 5.VII, 2007).

Processing Information note

Processed; Melissa Cowles, student processor and John M. Murphy, curator; 2008.

Register of Werner J. Ripplinger autobiography
Melissa Cowles, student processor and John Murphy, curator
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.

Repository Details

Part of the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Repository

1130 HBLL
Brigham Young University
Provo Utah 84602 United States