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Ted Fagan Collection.



At the Library

  • Archive of Recorded Sound - Locked Stacks: ask at circulation desk
    1. ARS0008 in-library use only
Fagan, Ted.
Earliest date:
Latest date:
  • Manuscript/Archive
  • 72 linear ft. (55 boxes)
Title Variation:
Fagan Collection
Theodore Fagan Collection
Open for research; material must be requested at least two business days in advance of intended use. Contact the Archive for assistance.
Throughout his life and multiple travels associated with his UN work, Ted Fagan collected music memorabilia, and over a thousand reel to reel recordings, which are primarily operatic. Fagan recorded several compilations of selected opera singers, often organized by voice range. Among the open rell tapes are the annual UN Human Rights Day concerts and some intriguing tapes such as the contested recordings of Richard Wagner conducting a passage of Act II of Tristan und Isolde, presumably from 1880, and possibly of soprano Jenny Lind singing Ah! non giunge, from Bellini?s Sonnambula, from 1883. Among the music memorabilia are two Medieval manuscripts, a notated missal leaf with musical notation, from about the late 10th and early 11th century and a leaf from the church canon from the 12th or 13th century; a British engraved vocal piece from the 18th century; a letter by Gaspare Spontini from 1847 and a program autographed by Aaron Copland. Among the art works are two engravings depicting Fryderyk Chopin and Marie Falcon, a lithograph of Jenny Lind, and about a dozen etchings by the Spanish artist Vicente Gandía. The collection also includes over fifty photographs, most of which are autographed; Fagan?s multiple writings; and a large body of documents relating to the United Nations and interpreting.
Theodore Fagan, of Jewish-English background, was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina on Feb. 21, 1921. His early education included five years at a boarding school in England. Back in Argentina he completed a degree in Civil Engineering (1943). Two years later he came to New York, and within months was hired as a United Nations Spanish, French and English interpreter. One of his earlier assignments included the Nuremberg War Trials (1946), and through his thirty-year long involvement with the UN he interpreted speeches from leaders such as Prime Minister Fidel Castro and President Léopold S. Senghor of Senegal. Fagan was an indefatigable writer; his many writings include two historical novels --on Evita Perón, and on the famous 19th century Parisian lawsuit of La Roncière-- a historical drama, Elizabeth Rex, produced in Los Angeles (1963), and his memoirs on his long association with the United Nations. Fagan had a life-long passion for music and collected music memorabilia and recordings. After retiring form his work at the UN at age 55, he collaborated with William R. Moran on The encyclopedic discography of Victor recordings. Matrix series 1 through 4999: the Victor Talking Machine Company, 24 April 1903 to 7 January 1908, published by Greenwood Press in 1986. Fagan died in New York in 1987.

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