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Robert Guy McCutchan papers

Identifier: H-Mss-0517

  • Staff Only

Scope and Content of the Collection

The Robert Guy McCutchan papers consist of two main parts. The first is a scrapbook chronicling his life, including news clippings, hymns and notations, and photographs. Each section of the scrapbook contains a portion of a biographical account of McCutchan's life written by his second wife, Helen, in addition to the collected papers. The second part is correspondence, including personal letters, as well as correspondence related to his educational appointments and publications. Due to his employment at several institutions, two versions of the scrapbook were made and disseminated. The original, in 2 volumes bound in binders, was donated to Claremont. One of several abbreviated copies was also included in the gift to Claremont.


  • Creation: 1898-1968



Languages represented in the collection: English


This collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

All requests for permission to reproduce or to publish must be submitted in writing to Special Collections.

Biography/Administrative History

Robert Guy McCutchan (1877-1958) was a noted musician, educator, and hymnologist. McCutchan studied at Park College in Parkville, MI, and Simpson College in Indianola, IA. He went on to teach voice at Baker University in Baldwin, KS, founding their conservatory of music in 1910. After further musical study in Europe, in 1911 he became Dean of Music at DePauw University in Greencastle, IN, where he remained for 26 years. McCutchan's career as an educator was rivaled only by his lifelong interest in hymnology. He assembled a vast hymn library over the course of his life, and also authored several publications and pieces of music, including assisting with the compilation of the Methodist Hymnal of 1935. Other notable works include but are not limited to: "Our Hymnody" (New York: The Methodist Book Concern, 1937), and "Hymns in the Lives of Men" (New York: Abingdon Cokesbury Press, 1943). He also published several pieces of music under the pseudonym "John Porter".

Robert Guy McCutchan retired from education and moved to California, where he continued an active musical presence, authoring publications and continuing to build his hymnal collection. Close relations with the Claremont colleges community led to the donation of his vast hymnal collection to the Claremont collections in 1957. After his death in 1958, his second wife, Helen, also donated his papers and a biographical scrapbook chronicling McCutchan's life to the Claremont Colleges.


2 boxes


Robert Guy McCutchan was an educator, noted hymnologist, and a collector of hymnals. This collection of papers includes miscellaneous correspondence in addition to his biographical scrapbook.

Organization and Arrangement

This collection is arranged into two series:

Series I: Biographical scrapbook, 1898-1966

Series II: Miscellaneous documents, 1929-after 1958

Physical location

Please consult repository.

Provenance/Source of Acquisition

Gift of Helen Cowles McCutchan, early 1970s.


No additions to the collection are anticipated.

Related Material

Robert G. McCutchan Collection of Hymnology, Seymour Hymnal Collection of the Honnold Mudd Library, Claremont University Consortium.

Robert Guy McCutchan Papers (Collection MSD.0000.046 ). Archives of DePauw University and Indiana United Methodism, DePauw University School of Music.

McCutchan, Helen Cowles. Born to Music. New York: Hymn Society of America, 1972, Paper XXVIII, monograph series.

Items Removed from the Collection

The original brown leatherette binder covers with gold embossing were deaccessioned at the time of processing, as the materials were removed from these binders to better preserve them. Photocopies of the original covers are included in the Box 1, Folder 1.

Processing Information

Processed by Charla DelaCuadra for Arch 311, Claremont Graduate University, Spring 2011.

Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the 01 - Special Collections & Archives, The Claremont Colleges Library Repository

800 North Dartmouth Ave
Claremont CA 91711 United States