The papers of Frances Densmore consist mainly of letters, notes,
and sketches created during Miss Densmore's student years at the
Oberlin College Conservatory of Music from 1884 to 1887. The letters
are actually portions of letters written to her parents which she
subsequently pasted on sheets of paper, numbered, and transcribed.
Letters cover such topics as life in Ladies Hall, her organ lessons,
recitals attended, and music she studied. She describes the fire
which destroyed the Second Ladies Hall in 1886. Oberlin professors
mentioned in the letters include Adelia A. Field Johnston (d. 1910),
Celestia Wattles (1849-1933), Howard Carter (d. 1930), Fenelon
B. Rice (d. 1901), Henry Giles (d. 1905), Charles Doolittle (d.
1928)0, William Breckenridge (d. 1956), Grace Fairchild (1857-1893),
Henry Churchill King (1858-1934), and President James Harris Fairchild
Miss Densmore's notebooks include an exercise book used in Fenelon
B. Rice's harmony class, a record book listing music studied, and
a notebook containing favorite quotations and "Memories of
Many Lectures".The ten sketches, many of which reveal a decided
talent for drawing, are accompanied by descriptions provided by
Densmore, linking the sketches to her letters.
Miss Densmore's professional papers are held by the National
Anthropological Archives of the Smithsonian Institution, and her
library was donated to Macalester College.