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Roland Jackson Papers

Identifier: H-Mss-0435

  • Staff Only

Scope and Contents of Collection

The collection consists of correspondence, research materials, teaching materials, newspaper clippings, sheet music, photographs, newsletters, and memorabilia from the life and academic career of Roland John Jackson. The bulk of the collection is comprised of professional and personal correspondence (1949-2013) between Jackson and his students, colleagues, friends, and family. They cover Jackson’s work as creator and editor of the Performance Practice Review, as well as his involvement with the Pacific Southwest Chapter of the Musicological Society and the Southern California Chapter of American Music Society. In addition, the collection covers Jackson efforts to expand the Music Department at Claremont Graduate School. Professional correspondence includes letter from his colleagues Gilbert Reaney, Mark Lindley, and John Koegel. Personal correspondence includes letters from Jackson to his wife, Brenda Montiel; children, Martin, Karen, and Ruth Jackson; and grandchildren, Sara, Jaimie, Michael and Judy Jackson.

The rest of the collection contains Jackson’s published and unpublished writings, with topics related to musicology, music history, and various composers. Teaching materials Jackson used in lectures and in the classroom are also found within the collection.

Jackson's student life is shown in newspaper clippings, photographs, and ephemera from when he was at Northwestern and Northland College. There is also handwritten sheet music (1945-1948) composed by Jackson when he was attending Northwestern University.


  • Creation: 1943 - 2015


Language of Materials

Languages represented in the collection: English, German, Italian, and Spanish.


Collection is open for research.

Biographical Information

Roland John Jackson was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1925. His mother was an amateur pianist and his father was a public-school teacher. As a child, Jackson was attracted to music, books, and learning. This continued into adolescence, where his experiences revolved around playing the piano and traveling weekly to Chicago for lessons. He continued studying piano music at Northwestern University where he received his Bachelor and Master of Music in 1947 and 1948, respectively. After graduating he taught music history at Northland College (1948-1950) where he developed the desire to become a musicologist.

Jackson spent the next two years in Europe on a research fellowship studying in Paris, Freiburg, Basel, and Florence. He received lessons and teachings from Olivier Messiaen, Genevieve Thibault, Willibald Gurlitt, and Jacques Handschin. After Europe, Jackson entered the doctoral program in musicology at the University of California Berkeley, and completed his Ph.D. in 1964. He taught at the University of Arkansas (1958-1960), Ohio University (1961-1962), and Roosevelt University (1962-1970), before his appointment at the Claremont Graduate School (1970-1994).

Jackson introduced new curriculum to the Claremont Graduate School, and organized three new doctoral programs. In 1988, Jackson established the scholarly journal Performance Practice Review and served as the founding Editor-in-Chief until his retirement. Jackson's research and publications in this journal, among others, ranged from computer music studies, early music, 19th century music, film music, music analysis, and performance practice.

Jackson met his wife Brenda, a musician and music educator, when she was studying at the Claremont Graduate School; they married in July 1975 and were married for 39 years. Together the couple traveled extensively throughout Europe researching topics related to music. Jackson passed away June 4th, 2015 in Fallbrook, California.


9 Linear Feet ((6 record boxes + 5 document boxes + 1 oversized document box) )


The collection contains correspondence and personal papers relating to the academic research, teachings, and career of Roland John Jackson. Jackson was a professor at Claremont Graduate School (CGS) from 1970 to 1994. During the 1980s, Jackson contributed to expanding the graduate music curriculum and organizing three new doctoral programs. In 1988, Jackson founded the scholarly journal Performance Practice Review and was editor until 1997. Jackson was an active member of the Pacific Southwest Chapter of the Musicological Society and the Southern California Chapter of American Music Society; attending chapter meetings and presenting at their conferences and seminars. As a music historian, Jackson’s research, teachings, and publications ranged from computer music studies, early music, 19th century music, film music, music analysis, and performance practice. In addition, the collection contains personal correspondence between Jackson and his wife, children, and grandchildren, colleagues, and close friends. They contain discussions related to current events, religion, literature, poetry, music, and film.

Organization and Arrangement

This collection has been arranged in the following series:
Series 1: Correspondence, 1949 September - 2013 December
Series 2: Memorabilia, 1943 - 2015
Series 3: Published Works and Writings, 1944 - 2012, undated
Series 4: Research and Teaching Materials, 1952 - 2013, undated
Series 5: Sheet Music, 1945 - 1948

Technical Access

The collection contains video cassette tapes and the reading room does not have access to a VHS player. The materials may be digitized upon request.

Physical Location

Please consult repository.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Roland Jackson between 1995 – 2015.


No additions to the collection are anticipated.

Related Materials

Performance Practice Review in Scholarship at Claremont

Processing Information

Processed by Natalie Rocha in 2017 in the Claremont Center for Engagement with Primary Sources (CCEPS), with assistance from Lisa Crane. Overall the collection is in good condition. Newspaper clippings were photocopied onto acid free paper, and the originals were discarded. Damaged and rusty staples were removed, and photographs were placed in mylar sleeves. Materials in binders were placed into acid free folders, and the binders were discarded. Duplicates of correspondence and published writings were removed from the collection. Jackson’s academic materials did not have an arrangement prior to being received by Honnold/Mudd Library Special Collections, therefore an arrangement was created by the processor. Correspondence were kept in their original chronological arrangement. Books were removed from the collection and cataloged online for the Claremont Colleges Library. Materials of a personal and private nature were deaccessioned from the collection.

  • Correspondence
Roland Jackson Papers
Natalie Rocha, CGU
September 2017
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the 01 - Special Collections, Honnold/Mudd Library Repository

800 North Dartmouth Ave
Claremont CA 91711 United States