Guide to the Douglas MacKinnon Papers, 1917-1982
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.
- Collection Number
- Douglas MacKinnon papers
- MacKinnon, Douglas, 1903-1984
- 14 Linear Feet, 10500 Items
- David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
- Material in English
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.
Access to the Collection
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.
Use & Permissions
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.
How to Cite
[Identification of item], Douglas MacKinnon Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.
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.
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.
Includes programs, advertisements, and other publicity materials from MacKinnon's time as manager of the campus group.
3. Name Files
Includes files with MacKinnon's correspondence and collectibles from his relationships with various musicians, public figures, and organizations. Arranged alphabetically.
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.
Transcript, draft, and research for "Lincoln the Man" talk.
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.
Includes issues of The Garble, a 5th AACS comedy newsletter.
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.
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.
Includes correspondence, scripts, schedules, programming suggestions, publicity, and other materials relating to the operation of Radio Free Europe.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Includes two folders about the Metropolitan Opera House.
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.
Click to find related materials at Duke University Libraries.
- MacKinnon, Douglas, 1903-1984
- MacKinnon, Douglas, 1903-1984
- Metropolitan Opera (New York, N.Y.)
- Radio Free Europe
- United States. Army
- WQXR (Radio station : New York, N.Y.)
The Douglas MacKinnon Papers were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as a gift in 1987.
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.