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Josephine W. Shinholser Collection of Sheet Music

Identifier: MS 00308

  • Staff Only
  • No requestable containers

Scope and Contents

Although this collection spans 1890 to 1997, most of the sheet music was copyrighted before the 1940s. Also included is a photograph of a piece of music and a small music book with no copyright. Roughly half of the songs are related to the moon in some way. There is a variety of different types of dances, such as fox trots, two steps, or waltzes, but not much variety in theme. Most pieces are love songs, with a few comic ones interspersed.

Series 1: Romantic songs – separated by year, then categorized alphabetically.

Series 2: Moon songs – because there is such a large quantity of these, they are separated from the other pieces. Like the other songs, the are categorized by year, followed by alphabetical ordering.


  • Creation: 1890 - 1997

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open to all researchers. Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, such as the Virginia Public Records Act (Code of Virginia. § 42.1-76-91); and the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (Code of Virginia § 2.2-3705.5). Confidential material may include, but is not limited to, educational, medical, and personnel records. If sensitive material is found in this collection, please contact a staff member immediately. The disclosure of personally identifiable information pertaining to a living individual may have legal consequences for which the College of William and Mary assumes no responsibility.

Conditions Governing Use

Before publishing quotations or excerpts from any materials, permission must be obtained from the Curator of Manuscripts and Rare Books, and the holder of the copyright, if not Swem Library.

Biographical / Historical

Josephine Walls Shinholser, a Williamsburg, VA resident, was born on December 18, 1934 and for over fifty years was married to Jack Wilson Shinholser who passed away in 2011.


4.25 Linear Feet




This collection is phenomenal for anyone who is looking into romantic music from this time period, especially songs about the moon. The cover art is particularly fascinating because it demonstrates major changes over time. Changes exist not just in style, but also in beauty standards for both men and women. Also, quite a few of the songs are fairly racist. Many of these pieces are about the South, but songs concerning other countries can be racist as well.

Genre / Form

Guide to the Josephine W. Shinholser Collection
In Progress
Jenna Hershberger, SCRC Graduate Apprentice
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Research Center Repository