May Garrettson Evans scrapbooks
Scope and Contents
The May Garrettson Evans scrapbooks (1896-1985) contain two scrapbooks and photographs created or collected by the Evans family. Both scrapbooks outline the Evans family history, including May Garrettson Evans's work as founder and superintendent of the Peabody Preparatory Department, using newspaper clippings, letters, and photographs. The scrapbook in box 1 traces the genealogy of the Evans family back nine generations to the 17th century, when their ancestors first arrived in the colony of Maryland. The scrapbook in box 2 contains materials about May Garrettson Evans and her career as a reporter for the Baltimore Sun and the founder and director of the Peabody Preparatory. It also contains a letter from German conductor Hans von Bülow to Evans in 1890.
Box 3 contains photographs of May Garrettson Evans and her sisters Marion Evans and Bessie Evans, both of whom also worked at the Peabody Preparatory Department. Box 4 contains preservation copies of the scrapbooks and additional clippings, concert programs, and essays related to Evans and the history of the Peabody Preparatory.
- 1896 - 1995
- Majority of material found within 1896-1947
- Evans, May Garrettson, 1866-1947 (Person)
Conditions Governing Access
Access to the original scrapbooks may be limited because of their fragile physical condition. Preservation copies and other materials deemed to be in acceptable condition are open for use at the Peabody Archives. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org 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
May Garrettson Evans began her professional career covering news for the Baltimore Sun in 1888. Her brother Henry Ridgely Evans, a newspaperman himself, would often ask for her help with stories when he was pressed for time. As a student of Peabody Conservatory, May Garrettson Evans would often be asked to cover concerts or musicals. Evans was officially brought on as a general reporter for The Sun in 1888 as a music and drama critic. She was considered the first woman reporter for The Sun, working for the Baltimore newspaper until 1895.
Looking for an interesting story to cover for the paper, Evans was drawn back to the Peabody Conservatory. She believed there was a need for a preparatory school as a means to prepare future students for the rigorous curriculum offered by the Conservatory. She interviewed the director and wrote the story, sparking serious interest in the project.
Though the Conservatory director, Asger Hamerik, was interested in the idea, there were no steps taken to begin the project. Evans then took it upon herself, along with her sister Marion, to open the Peabody Graduates' Preparatory and High School of Music in 1894. Evans enlisted the help of fellow graduates of the Conservatory to teach the several hundred pupils who applied for admission that year. The school’s success was overwhelming, and was officially incorporated into the Peabody Conservatory in 1898 as the Peabody Preparatory Department. Evans stayed on as superintendent of the department until 1930. Evans was passionate about bringing music to the people of Baltimore, inviting people of all ages, backgrounds, and musical ability to study at the Preparatory. Dance was incorporated into the Preparatory in 1914.
Evans continued to write, acting as editor of the Peabody Bulletin. She also published one of the first academic articles on the song and dance traditions of the Pueblo and Navajo Indians.
May Garrettson Evans is one eight children of Henry Cotheal Evans and Mary Elizabeth Garrettson. Their ancestry is traced back to the 17th century and includes notable figures in Maryland history such as Edward Dorsey, Nicholas Greenberry, Henry Ridgely, John Worthington, and John Hammond.
1.95 Cubic Feet (3 large flat boxes and 1 half-size letter box)
Language of Materials
May Garrettson Evans was a writer for The Baltimore Sun who founded the Peabody Preparatory Department in 1898 and served as its superintendent until 1930. Her collection includes personal scrapbooks and photographs of Evans and her family, including items from her time at the Peabody Preparatory Department.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Gift of the Evans family in 1993.
- Guide to the May Garrettson Evans scrapbooks
- Kerri Sheehan
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note