Category Archives: Special Collections

Music has been big business in the United States for more than 150 years. Following the Civil War, the demand for pianos and parlor organs skyrocketed as more and more Americans became musically literate. Music retailers distributed thousands of scores for popular music written for piano, parlor organ, and voice — which could be played and performed at home on the instruments they sold. A new exhibition opening in Roger H. Perry Hall, drawn from materials in Champlain College’s Special Collections, features sheet music and promotional items from three Burlington music businesses in operation between the 1860s and the 1920s, including H.L. Story.

Advertisement in Burlington City Directory, 1867-1868, Local History Collection, 2014.9.1


 A native of Cambridge, Vermont, Hampton L. Story (1835-1925) published sheet   music in the 1860s to promote his College Street music store and piano factory,   Story & Powers. He later founded the Story & Clark piano company in Chicago,   Illinois. While in Burlington, he published at least 37 vocal and instrumental scores,   including the 1868 piece Chick-A-Dee Waltz by Edward M. Read, illustrated here.





Chick-A-Dee Waltz by Edward M. Read, published by H.L Story, 1868, Llewellyn Collection of Vermont History, 2010.1.13

Select Catalogue of Sheet Music Published by H.L. Story, 1866, Llewellyn Collection of Vermont History, 2010.1.34










During the 2019-2020 academic year, the Vermont sheet music in Champlain College’s Special Collections is the focus of a Humanities Research for the Public Good project funded by the Council of Independent Colleges and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. This multifaceted project provides undergraduate students the opportunity to conduct in-depth studies of the music and present their research to the public. This exhibition and blog post was developed to supplement the student work.

-Erica Donnis, Special Collections Director



The Vermont Sheet Music Collection at Champlain College

Between the mid-nineteenth and the mid-twentieth centuries, amateur performances of popular songs were a widespread pastime in the United States. Thousands of sentimental ballads, romantic waltzes, and rousing marches were composed and published as individual scores of sheet music for American consumers. The Champlain College Special Collections contains one of the largest publicly-available collections of sheet […]

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Leading Women at Champlain: Mary Sigler

Leading Women, an exhibition on view in Miller Information Commons through April 15, celebrates the achievements of nine women who played essential roles in the development and administration of Champlain College. Among those featured is Mary J. Sigler, Esq. (1947-1996): A native of Indiana, Sigler never forgot the impact of the financial aid that enabled her […]

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Victorian Typography: A New Special Collections Exhibition

In the nineteenth century, text became ornament as never before. Typeface designers produced hundreds of ornate and eclectic fonts intended to draw viewers’ attention with their artistic novelty. Sumptuous text dominated the page in everything from railroad timetables and business stationery to theater programs and almanacs. A new exhibition in Roger H. Perry Hall, on view […]

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Champlain’s Ski Team

From 1962 to the early 1990s, men’s and women’s nordic and alpine skiing was a major athletic program at Champlain College. A new mini-exhibition at the Champlain College Library, on view through spring 2019, features photos and memorabilia from the College Archives about the College’s ski team. Team members skiied at Bolton Valley, Sugarbush, Smugglers’ […]

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Happy Birthday, MIC!

The Robert E. and Holly D. Miller Information Commons opened on April 30, 1998, following more than a decade of planning and approximately eighteen months of construction. MIC is named in honor of Robert and Holly Miller, whose generosity made the building a reality. Designed in keeping with a new approach to college and university […]

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Champlain’s Newest Residence Hall: 158 South Willard Street

This fall, Champlain College added another historic building to its constellation of Victorian residence halls: 158 South Willard Street, on the corner of Main and South Willard. This gorgeous residence stands out for its architectural significance and ties to two Burlingtonians, famous in their day for their military service, business ventures, and travel adventures. Designed […]

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The Origins of Chauncey the Beaver

Ever wondered why Champlain College’s mascot is a beaver? A new mini-exhibition in Miller Information Commons, on view during the fall semester, profiles the origins and evolution of Chauncey on campus. Chauncey the beaver was born in 1960, when President C. Bader Brouilette decided the College needed a mascot. Inspiration struck when Dean Winthrop Tilley […]

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A Fanciful View of Burlington Bay

In the early 1870s, armchair travelers snapped up copies of Picturesque America, a lavishly illustrated two-volume work celebrating the natural wonders of the United States. Edited by author and poet William Cullen Bryant, Picturesque America’s oversized volumes contain evocative descriptions and gorgeous images of — as its rather grandiose subtitle suggests — “The Mountains, Rivers, Lakes, Forests, Water-Falls, Shores, Cañons, Valleys, Cities, and […]

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