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David Dalton papers

Identifier: MSS 7891

Scope and Contents

Collection contains the professional papers of David Dalton during his time at BYU and as a violist, papers from before and during his mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, materials from his undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate studies, performance materials, records from his dealings with the International Viola Congress, American and International Viola Societies, papers concerning William Primrose and the Primrose International Viola Archive (PIVA), and audio recordings of his perfomances and interviews, 1954-2010.


  • 1954-2010


Conditions Governing Access

Open to public research.

Conditions Governing Use

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

Biographical / Historical

Dr. David Dalton is professor emeritus of viola at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah (USA).

David Dalton took BM and MM degrees in violin at the Eastman School of Music where his interest in viola was awakened by Francis Tursi. After meeting William Primrose, he switched to viola and received his doctorate in performance at Indiana University. Dalton collaborated with Primrose in writing his memoir Walk on the North Side and Playing the Viola: Conversations with William Primrose by Dalton and published by Oxford University Press. He also produced two documentaries, "A Violist's Legacy," and "William Primrose, Violist." Primrose and he were co-founders of the Primrose International Viola Archive (PIVA) at BYU, the largest and most important repository of materials related to the instrument.

Dalton's editions for viola have been published by C.F. Peters, Oxford, G. Schirmer, Eschig, Doblinger, and Rarities for Strings. His numerous articles have appeared in professional journals, such as STRAD. Dalton served as president of the American and International Viola Societies, as well as editor of the Journal of the American Viola Society. Retired, he no longer performs as soloist or chamber musician, but teaches, lectures, researches in PIVA, and pursues family history.


65 boxes (32.5 linear ft.)

9 media boxes (4.5 linear ft.)

Language of Materials



This collection has retained its original order but has been intellectually arranged into 7 series: 1. David Dalton professional papers, 1954-2010; 2. David Dalton personal and professional papers, 1954-1970; 3. David Dalton performance papers, 1970-1994; 4. International Viola Congress records, 1975-2010; 5. American and International Viola Societie's records, 1983-2002; 6. William Primrose papers, 1971-2001; and 7. David Dalton audio recordings, 1954-2000.

Custodial History

Donated by David Dalton in 2002.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated; David Dalton; 2002.


Professor and prominant violist (Section IV Primrose International Viola Archive Collection Development Policy January 2011).

Processing Information

Processed; Elizabeth West; June 2011.

Register of the David Dalton papers
Elizabeth West
2011 June 20
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