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Lowell M. Durham papers

Identifier: MSS 8150

Scope and Contents

Contains sheet music, drafts, and clippings by Durham. Includes sheet music for his pieces, as well as compositions by composer Crawford Gates. Collection also contains several materials related to Durham's book on Maurice Abravanel, his research as well on Latter-day Saint musicians, and many newspaper and magazine clippings with news on the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Utah Symphony, and music programs at the University of Utah. Some personal papers are also included, such as notes, personal report cards, and documents on his children. Materials date from between 1920 and 1994.


  • 1920-1994


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 History

Lowell M. Durham (1917-1992) was an Mormon composer and author in Utah, and professor at the University of Utah.

Lowell Marsden Durham was born on March 4, 1917 to George H. Durham and Nellie Marsden in Utah. In 1941, he received his Bachelor's degree from the University of Utah. He also married Betty Dee Divers that year, on April 26, 1941. He then received a Master's degree from the University of Iowa in 1942, and a Ph.D. from there in 1945. His post-doctoral work was completed at Columbia University and New York University. He returned to the University of Utah in 1946 as a faculty member. He served in executive positions on the Music Critics Association and the American Musicological Society, was a music critic for the Salt Lake Tribune, the musical director of KSL, and then Dean of the College of Fine Arts at the University of Utah in 1955. He retired in 1964. He and his wife Betty had three children: Lowell M., Jr., Susan, and Thomas L. Durham died on November 10, 1992 in Salt Lake City.


7 cartons (7 linear ft.)

1 oversize box (1.66 linear ft.)

Language of Materials



Arranged in seven series: 1. Lowell M. Durham sheet music, 1945-1990. 2. Lowell M. Durham papers on Utah musicians, 1940-1991. 3. Lowell M. Durham papers on Latter-day Saint music, 1920-1993. 4. Lowell M. Durham clippings, 1945-1991. 5. Lowell M. Durham articles and drafts, 1925-1992. 6. Lowell M. Durham academic and personal papers, 1925-1992. 7. Lowell M. Durham ephemera, 1934-1994.

Other Finding Aids

A more detailed inventory is available in the case file.

Custodial History

Donated by Thomas Durham in 2012 and 2014.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated; Thomas Durham; 2012, 2014.


LDS scholarship and historiography (20th Century Western and Mormon Manuscripts collection development policy 5.V, August 2007.)

Durham was an LDS composer and author, who wrote on many subjects relating to Mormon music and participated in work with the Utah Symphony and Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

Processing Information

Processed; Kelsey Samuelsen, student manuscript processor, and John M. Murphy, curator; 2013. Processed; Catie Freedman; 2015; Materials added and finding aid updated.

Register of the Lowell M. Durham papers
Kelsey M. Samuelsen, student manuscripts processor, and John M. Murphy, curator
19 February 2013
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