Skip to main content

Howard R. Thatcher papers

Identifier: PIMS-0044

  • Staff Only
  • No requestable containers

Scope and Contents

The Howard R. Thatcher papers (1905-1968) contain scores and personal papers from Thatcher’s career as a musician and music educator. Series 1 contains manuscript scores of Thatcher's compositions, while Series 2 contains published music by Thatcher. Series 3 contains professional and personal documents, including teaching material and miscellaneous items such as notes, correspondence, clippings, and one reel-to-reel audio recording.


  • Creation: 1905-1973


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for use at the Peabody Archives. Contact for more information.

Conditions Governing Use

Single copies may be made for research purposes. Researchers are responsible for determining any copyright questions. It is not necessary to seek our permission as the owner of the physical work to publish or otherwise use public domain materials that we have made available for use, unless Johns Hopkins University holds the copyright. All requests for permission to publish or perform materials in this collection must be submitted in writing to the archivist of the Arthur Friedheim Library.

Biographical / Historical

Howard Rutledge Thatcher (1878-1973) was a composer, organist, pianist, and professor at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore. A Baltimore native, Thatcher attended Peabody in 1895 on a violin scholarship. There he studied violin, organ, harmony, counterpoint, orchestration, and composition. Thatcher earned a certificate in harmony and a diploma in composition.

He then began his career teaching advanced harmony, counterpoint, orchestration, and composition at Peabody, continuing as a member of the faculty for over 40 years. He also taught at Hood College, the Tome Institute, and the Maryland College for Women in Lutherville. Thatcher was also an organist of First Church of Christ Scientist and an organist and choir director of Eutaw Place Synagogue. He was also the organist and choir master at Temple Oheb Shalom for 55 years.

As a composer, Thatcher wrote several works for large ensembles, such as his Concert Overture, Legend for Orchestra, Symphonic Fantasy, and Violin Concerto. He wrote various chamber music compositions and numerous smaller pieces, including a Prelude and Fugue for organ, various anthems, songs, compositions for violin and for piano, and original services for synagogue. In addition, Thatcher served as a guest conductor for the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and authored many reminiscences, book reviews, and articles on music. He was an honorary member of the Baltimore Music Club and received an honorary degree from the Peabody Institute in 1972.


7.29 Cubic Feet (12 medium flat boxes, 4 large flat boxes, 1 oversize flat box, 2 full-size legal boxes, 1 large card file)

Language of Materials



Howard Thatcher was a pianist, organist, composer, and teacher in the Baltimore area. He was an alumnus of Peabody who taught harmony, counterpoint, orchestration, and composition for the Peabody Conservatory. The Howard R. Thatcher papers contain his manuscript and published scores as well as personal papers.

Other Finding Aids

A earlier version of this finding aid containing additional details on folder contents is available offline. Contact the Arthur Friedheim Library Archives for more information.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of the Howard Thatcher estate in 1973, Mr. and Mrs. Eisenberg in 1973, Mrs. Henry Naylor in 1973, Mr. Scheper and Ms. Lawler in 1973, Leon Lerner in 1988, and Stephen Knipp in 1990.

Processing Information

Processed by Scott A. Miller in 2015.

Guide to the Howard R. Thatcher papers
Kerri Sheehan
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Peabody Archives Repository

Peabody Institute
1 E. Mount Vernon Place
Baltimore MD 21202 USA