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Atlanta Chapter American Guild of Organists Records

Collection number: ahc.MSS367

Scope and Contents of the Records

The collection contains chapter minutes, membership rolls, programs, correspondence, yearbooks, and a series of scrapbooks. The scrapbooks primarily document chapter activities between 1935 and 1980. The contents of each scrapbook generally include recital programs, newspaper clippings, convention materials, photographs, brochures, church programs, etc. In addition, the collection contains the chapter newsletter, Organizer, which reports information and activities relative to the pipe organ. Most of the correspondence deals with chapter business and activities; however, a series of letters, written in the early 1990s, expresses the need for long-term health care for chapter members due to the increased incident of AIDS related illnesses. Of special interest is a catalogue published in 1992 documenting pipe organs in the state of Georgia. The catalogue documents the owner and the specifications of each organ. The chapter minutes are normally brief and include the most recent treasurer’s report.


  • 1914-2006

Restrictions on Access

The collection is open for research.

Restrictions on Use

Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright. All requests to publish, quote, or reproduce must be submitted through the Kenan Research Center.

Administrative History

The American Guild of Organists began its history in 1896 as a national organization of academic, church, and concert organists in the United States. Two significant American composers, George Whitefield Chadwick and John Knowles Paine founded the Guild. The Guild, headquartered in New York City, endeavored “to promote the organ in its historic and evolving roles, to encourage excellence in the performance of organ and choral music, and to provide a forum for mutual support, inspiration, education, and certification of Guild members.” Membership is not limited to music professionals but is open to any individual interested in organ music. The organization of the Guild, as set forth by the charter and bylaws, is geographically divided into nine regions and multiple chapters. A chapter consists of local Guild members and at the request of twelve voting members or prospective members of the Guild initiates the formation of a local chapter. The bylaws also set forth the classes of membership, organization and governance, meetings, and elections. Membership is divided into voting and non-voting members and numerous sub-classes within each class. In addition, the bylaws specify the creation of several committees and councils to oversee the governance of the Guild: National Council, Executive Committee, National Nominating Committee, and other committees appointed by the National Council. The National Council is the main governing body and voting members elect the officers every two years. The National Council consists of four National Officers, four Councillors, and nine Regional Councillors. The National Officers include the President, a Vice President, a Secretary, a Treasurer, and a Chaplain. The Guild supports educational programs to introduce schoolchildren to the organ and publishes a monthly journal, The American Organist. The Atlanta Chapter of the American Guild of Organists was founded in 1914.


9.5 linear ft.



Arrangement of the Papers

This collection is arranged alphabetically according to titles supplied by staff.

Acquisition Information

Atlanta Chapter American Guild of Organists, 1978, 1979, 1990, 1993, 1999, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007 (1978.327, 1979.448, 1990.197, 1993.125, 1999.138, 2003.164, 2004.133, 2006.72, and 2007.17)

General Physical Description note

Extent: 9.5 linear feet (7 documents boxes, half document box, and 6 oversize boxes

Processing Information

Collection reprocessed in 2009

Atlanta Chapter American Guild of Organists Records ahc.MSS 367
An Inventory of Their Records at the Kenan Research Center of the Atlanta History Center
Inventory prepared by Melanie Stephan
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Kenan Research Center at Atlanta History Center Repository

130 West Paces Ferry Road
Atlanta GA 30305