Menu

Guide to the Douglas MacKinnon Papers, 1917-1982

Abstract

Douglas MacKinnon was a radio program director, businessman, and music aficionado. The collection includes materials from MacKinnon's many ventures in music and radio, including his work at Harvard University, his leadership at the WQXR radio station in New York, his service in the U.S. Army during World War II, his work with Radio Free Europe, his writings for Opera News, and numerous other interests and pursuits. Also present are MacKinnon's diaries, datebooks, personal correspondence, and autobiographical writings.

Descriptive Summary

Collection Number
RL.00834
Title
Douglas MacKinnon papers
Date
1917-1982
Creator
MacKinnon, Douglas, 1903-1984
Extent
14.0 linear feet, 10500 Items
Repository
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
Language
Material in English

Collection Overview

This collection includes a wide range of materials documenting MacKinnon's many pursuits in radio and music. Collection contains diaries, correspondence, financial papers, photographs, printed materials and news clippings related to MacKinnon's radio broadcasting and business career, as well as his personal life. The collection includes materials from MacKinnon's work for WQXR radio, the Armed Forces Master Records, Radio Free Europe, Investors Overseas Services, and Career Protreptors. Also included are notes, ephemera, programs, and his personal critiques of operas he saw around the world; drafts and notes about his autobiography; an assortment of writings and article drafts; photographs from his World War II service; personal documents; extensive correspondence; and other miscellaneous items.

Restrictions on Access & Use

A majority of collections are stored off site and must be requested at least 48 business hours in advance for retrieval. Contact Rubenstein Library staff before visiting. Read More »

warning Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.

All or portions of this collection may be housed off-site in Duke University's Library Service Center. The library may require up to 48-hours to retrieve these materials for research use.

Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library to use this collection.

warning Use Restrictions

The copyright interests in this collection have not been transferred to Duke University. For more information, consult the copyright section of the Regulations and Procedures of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

Contents of the Collection

1. Autobiographical Files and Diaries, 1917-1980s and undated

2.0 box(es)

The bulk of this series consists of MacKinnon's diaries, which range in format from loose typescript pages to small bound manuscript volumes. This series also includes MacKinnon's drafts, research, and notes regarding his autobiography, which he never published.

Early schoolwork, 1917 and undated
Box 1
Programs and invitations for performances and life events, 1918-1930s and undated
Box 1
Clippings about MacKinnon, 1940s-1970s
Box 1
Miscellaneous: baby hair, photographs, advertisements, undated
Box 1
Materials re: MacKinnon's amphibious Jeep, "Duck," 1948
Box 1
Career sketches, undated
Box 1
Autobiography drafts and notes, 1950s-1970s and undated
(3.0 folder(s))
Box 1
Research and correspondence re: funding autobiography, undated
Box 1
Photographs (snapshots), 1920s-1960s

Box 20 includes loose snapshots of MacKinnon's life, including army service, European travel, his youth and college years, and formal portraits. Many of the photographs do not have captioned and have not been arranged beyond being sleeved for preservation.

Box 20
Guestbook, 1916-1920
Box 21
The University Double Quartet, Harvard University, 1926-1933 and undated
(5.0 folder(s))

Includes programs, advertisements, and other publicity materials from MacKinnon's time as manager of the campus group.

Box 21
Financial ledger, 1929-1930
Box 21
Documents re: vehicles, transportation during cancer treatment, 1980s
Box 16
Ephemera, 1945-1980 and undated
Box 16
Post card album, 1900s
Box 16
Programs/ephemera featuring Douglas MacKinnon as performer, 1923-1930
Box 16
Programs/ephemera attended by Douglas MacKinnon, 1920s-1970s
Box 16
Financial documents, 1940s-1980s
Box 16
Miscellaneous diary pages and notes, 1930s-1960s
Box 15
European diary, 1930
Box 15
Diary, 1933
Box 15
Food diary, 1934-1935
Box 15
Europe diary, 1954-1956
Box 15
Diary and to-do lists, 1956 Apr.
Box 15
Diary: Trip to Spain and Yugoslavia, 1965 July-Aug.
Box 15
Travel diary pages, 1967-1971
Box 15
Diary, 1971-1973
Box 15
Diary pages, 1975
Box 15
Diary pages, 1980 Feb.-May
(2.0 folder(s))
Box 15
Diary pages, 1980 Jun.-Nov.
Box 15
Diary, 1981 June-July
Box 15
Diaries (bound volumes), 1916-1980s
Box 17
Diaries (bound volumes), 1916-1980s
Box 19
Le Paquet au Front (address at World Theatre), 1940 Feb 26
Box 5
Letters to the Editor, 1942, 1949
Box 5
Song of Faith, by MacKinnon, 1956-1957
Box 5
Notes and corrections on WQXR article, 1979 and undated
Box 5
Opera News drafts, correspondence, 1958-1981
Box 5
Articles about opera, 1964-1969
Box 5
Work for the Geneva Weekly Tribune, 1966-1968
Box 5
Prisoner in the Congo drafts and article, 1960-1980s
Box 5
Beecham drafts, undated
Box 5
MacKinnon's notes about Rebel in Radio, by Elliott Sanger, along with DM's copy of the book, 1973 and undated
Box 5
Miscellaneous drafts and essays, undated
Box 5
Ideas and notes for articles to develop, undated
Box 16
Research notes, undated
Box 16
Miscellaneous notes, undated
Box 16

3. Name Files

2.0 box(es)

Includes files with MacKinnon's correspondence and collectibles from his relationships with various musicians, public figures, and organizations. Arranged alphabetically.

Bartok, Bela, and Georges Enesco
Box 9
Bastianini, Ettore
Box 9
Bayreuth, 1963
Box 9
Blair, David
Box 9
Bordeaux
Box 9
Bregenz
Box 9
Flueli-Ranft
Box 9
Jochum, Eugen
Box 9
Garrison (N.Y.) Art Center
Box 9
Havas, K.
Box 9
Melancon, Louis (photographs)
Box 9
National Folk Festival, 1941
Box 9
Orff, Carl
Box 9
Orr, Janice
Box 9
Ormandy, Eugene
Box 9
Rusch, Cecile
Box 9
de Saram, Rohan
(5.0 folder(s))
Box 10
Sergio, Lisa
Box 10
Stravinsky, Igor, 1925-1971
Box 10
Szasz, Tibor
Box 10
Takahara, Memore
Box 10
Vesco, Robert
Box 10
Williams, Ralph Vaughn
Box 10
Yablonskaya, Oxana
Box 10
Zander, Benjamin
Box 10

4. Radio, 1936-1958

3.0 box(es)

Photographs, correspondence (including fan mail), scripts, radio programs, press, employment information, and other miscellaneous materials relating to MacKinnon's work at various radio stations. The majority of the series relates to MacKinnon's work as music director for W2XR and WQXR in New York. The series also contains correspondence, notes, and writings by MacKinnon about his employment (and termination) from WXQR in 1941. Other stations represented include Australian Broadcasting Company and WGHF. There is some overlap between this series and the World War II series. Materials from Radio Free Europe are filed under Postwar Employment.

Columbia Concerts Corporation, 1934-1935
Box 2
W2XR reviews, 1936
Box 2
WQXR Book-of-the-Month Club concerts, 1939
Box 2
WQXR Nothing New to Music scripts, 1940
Box 2
WQXR Nothing New to Music fan mail, 1940
Box 2
WQXR radio interview transcripts, 1940-1941
Box 2
WQXR correspondence, 1937-1941
(2.0 folder(s))
Box 2
Photographs of MacKinnon, undated
Box 2
Medical problems, departure from WQXR, 1941
Box 2
WQXR correspondence, claims, disputes over employment, 1942-1950s
Box 2
Interstate Broadcasting Company/WQXR copyright disputes
Box 2
WQXR reviews, press, and clippings, 1930s-1970s
(2.0 folder(s))
Box 2
MacKinnon to Arthur Hays Sulzberger re: WQXR, 1948-1957
Box 3
WQXR maps and program schedules, undated
Box 3
W2XR and WQXR radio programs, 1936-1942, 1951
(6.0 folder(s))
Box 4
Australian Broadcasting Commission, 1944

Transcript, draft, and research for "Lincoln the Man" talk.

Box 3
WHIN Geneva inaugural broadcast transcript, 1947
Box 3
WGHF radio programs, 1958
Box 4

5. World War II/Army Life

1.0 box(es)

Includes materials from MacKinnon's U.S. Army service during and after World War II. Also includes his work with Armed Forces Master Records, Inc., an organization that distributed music to servicemen.

AFMR American Broadcasting in Sydney, Australia, 1943-1944
Box 3
AFMR correspondence, 1940s
(2.0 folder(s))
Box 3
AFMR lists of available music and proposed programs, 1940s
Box 3
Personal military documents and identification cards, 1940s
Box 6
Miscellaneous WWII writings and drafts, 1942-1945
Box 6
Clippings, 1940s
Box 6
Ephemera, 1940s
Box 6
Correspondence, 1940s
Box 6
Army printed materials, memos, 1943-1945

Includes issues of The Garble, a 5th AACS comedy newsletter.

Box 6
Photographs (snapshots), 1940s

Box 20 includes loose snapshots of MacKinnon's life, including army service, European travel, his youth and college years, and formal portraits. Many of the photographs do not have captioned and have not been arranged beyond being sleeved for preservation.

Box 20

6. Correspondence, 1922-1985 and undated

2.0 box(es)

Series includes MacKinnon's incoming and outgoing correspondence to a wide range of professional and personal contacts. Arranged in loose chronological order by five-year increments. The remainder of the collection also has correspondence filed with specific events or periods of MacKinnon's life.

Correspondence, 1921-1980
(11.0 folder(s))
Box 11
Correspondence, 1980-1985 and undated
Box 12
Christmas/New Year's letters to friends and family, 1960s-1980s
(2.0 folder(s))
Box 12
Postcards from MacKinnon to his sister, Mrs. Robert West, 1945-1970
Box 12
Correspondence with publishers, 1954-1973
Box 12
Correspondence re: autobiography, with Bernice Rodgers, 1974
Box 12
Correspondence kept by DM for autographs (photocopies), 1950s-1980s
Box 12

7. Postwar Employment

4.0 box(es)

Includes materials documenting MacKinnon's work with Investors Overseas Services Management (IOS), Career Protreptors, and his financial and other employment records following his work with the U.S. Army. His work with the Metropolitan Opera is documented in the Musical Events series.

Radio Free Europe
(3.0 box(es))

Includes correspondence, scripts, schedules, programming suggestions, publicity, and other materials relating to the operation of Radio Free Europe.

Press on RFE, 1951-1956
Box 7
Editors Bulletin Program Forecast, 1951 Sept.-Dec.

Issue numbers 10-12, 14-17, 19-20.

Box 7
Editors Bulletin Program Review: Main Polemical Programs, 1952
(2.0 folder(s))

Issue numbers 1-9.

Box 7
Listeners Research Bulletin (Czechoslovak desk), 1951 July-Sept.

Issue numbers 1-2.

Box 7
Scripts for women's programs (English versions for Czechoslovak desk), 1951
Box 7
Music programs and program preparations, 1951-1952
Box 7
Miscellaneous documents and notes, undated
Box 7
Studio schedules, 1951 Apr.-May
Box 7
Miscellaneous RFE technical and procedural documents, undated
Box 7
Clippings re: RFE, politics, and culture, 1951-1952
(3.0 folder(s))
Box 8
Radio schedules and programs (all desks: Polish, German, Czech, and Hungarian), 1951-1952
Box 8
Correspondence and interoffice memoranda, 1951 Apr.-1952 May
(3.0 folder(s))
Box 8
Crusade for Freedom materials, 1951
Box 8
Inaugural broadcast to Czechoslovakia: transcript and press, 1951 May 1
Box 9
Inaugural broadcast to Hungary: transcript and press, 1951 Oct. 6
Box 9
Inaugural broadcast to Poland: transcript and press, 1952 May 3
Box 9

European Festivals and Scenic Tours (EF+ST), 1955-1958

Contains itineraries, administrative materials, hotel and travel plans, and programs from MacKinnon's operation of a tour through Europe's music festivals in summer of 1956 and 1957.

Events and performances in Europe: programs, notes, and reviews, 1956
Box 22
Tour itineraries and documentation, 1955-1957
Box 22
Itinerary, 1956
Box 22
Hotel accomodations, 1956
Box 22
Expenses and receipts, 1956
Box 22
Travel information, 1956
Box 22
Transportation, 1956
Box 22
Festival tickets, 1956-1957
Box 22
Applicants correspondence, 1956-1957
(2.0 folder(s))
Box 22
Events and performances in Europe: programs, notes, and reviews, 1958
Box 22
Inquiries, 1958
Box 22

Investors Overseas Services (IOS)

MacKinnon worked for IOS while based in Geneva. This subseries documents his work in the financial sector, during which time he traveled widely through Europe attending opera and music performances.

Correspondence, research, 1959-1972
Box 13
Inside IOS: 12 Exciting and Agonizing Years, by MacKinnon, 1973
Box 13
Case against DM by Swiss Federal Department of Finance and Customs for smuggling a Chrysler, 1968
Box 13
IOS reports, 1969-1972
Box 13
IOS termination correspondence, 1970
Box 13

Career Protreptors

MacKinnon operated Career Protreptors, a music representation agency, for a short period of time. The subseries includes drafts and early documentation of the agency, as well as ephemeral materials from some of his clients.

Annexes, promotional material, notes, etc., 1972-1981 and undated
Box 13
IRS forms, 1972
Box 13
Miriam Burton account, 1970s
Box 13
Miriam de Saram corespondence, 1970s
Box 13
Simon Rattle account, 1980
Box 14
Kronos String Quartet account, 1980-1982
Box 14
Musical talent research/notes, 1980s
Box 14
Founding, philosophy, introduction to CP, 1967-1982 and undated
Box 14
Correspondence, 1972-1973, 1981
Box 14
Miscellaneous clippings, promotional materials, and notes, 1970s-1980s
Box 14
Agent for Balazs Nadas, 1946, 1956
Box 14
Star Broadcasting Company, 1947
Box 14
Events and performances in Europe: programs, notes, and reviews, 1958
(2.0 folder(s))
Box 15
Miscellaneous professional endeavors: tour guide, lecturer, etc.
Box 15

8. Operas, 1950s-1970s

MacKinnon's notes, programs, ticket stubs, and other ephemera from his travels to various musical events, largely operas in European cities. Files are arranged by location, either city or country, and often include MacKinnon's handwritten notes about particular operas or performances he attended. Some of these files include his drafts for Opera News articles. Some files also include MacKinnon's press copies of opera performances or theaters, usually intended for circulation and labeled with his name.

Douglas MacKinnon's schedules of European opera performances, 1963-1965
Box 23
Athens, 1969
Box 23
Baden Baden, 1970
Box 23
Basel, 1966
Box 23
Bergen, 1954-1972
Box 23
Berlin, 1959, 1972
Box 23
Bern, 1964-1966
Box 23
Bielefeld, 1961
Box 23
Brno, 1965
Box 23
Darmstadt, 1962
Box 23
Denmark, 1970
Box 23
Florence, 1964
Box 23
Freibourg, 1964
Box 23
Geneva, 1960s-1971
(2.0 folder(s))
Box 23
Great Britain, 1960-1970
Box 23
Helsinki, 1954-1970
Box 23
Karlsruhe, 1963
Box 23
Lausanne, 1961-1965
Box 23
Lisbon, 1960
Box 24
Lyon, 1964-1970
Box 24
Marseille, 1964
Box 24
Milan, 1962, 1967
Box 24
Miscellaneous opera notes, 1959-1968
Box 24
Montreal Festival, 1941
Box 24
Montreux, 1968-1970
Box 24
Munich, 1961-1963
Box 24
New York City, 1958-1967
(3.0 folder(s))

Includes two folders about the Metropolitan Opera House.

Box 24
Paris, 1952-1971
Box 24
Prague, 1963-1964
Box 18
Salzburg, 1964-1970
Box 18
Schwetzingen, 1967
Box 18
South Africa, 1956-1961
Box 18
Stockholm, 1962
Box 18
Stuttgart, 1961
Box 18
Trieste, 1967
Box 18
Venice, 1959-1966
Box 18
Verona, 1963-1966
Box 18
Vienna, 1955-1970
Box 18
Wiesbaden, 1963-1970
Box 18
Yugoslavia, 1959-1960
Box 18
Zurich, 1959-1968
Box 18

Historical Note

Douglas MacKinnon studied music at Harvard University. He was musical founder and director of New York's music station WQXR. As assistant to the National Broadcasting Company's Music Counsel, Dr. Walter Damrosch, he helped produce The Children's Hour, did research for the NBC Symphony, and wrote its scripts. In World War II he was a founder of the Armed Forces Master Records (AFMR) which sent disks of classical music to military bases. In the South Pacific he served with the Office of War Information, broadcasting to troops. He also worked as chief of music production for Radio Free Europe.

Other career ventures later in life included Career Protreptors, a music agency; he also reviewed operas throughout the world for the Metropolitan Opera's magazine, Opera News.

Subject Headings

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Douglas MacKinnon Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Provenance

The Douglas MacKinnon Papers were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as a gift in 1987.

Processing Information

Processed by Sara Reams, April 2014

Updated by Meghan Lyon, May 2015

Accession(s) described in this collection guide: 1987

Materials may not have been ordered and described beyond their original condition.