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William Edward Newton Papers

Identifier: Wing-Modern-MS-Newton

Scope and Content of the Collection

The collection consists chiefly of art and design work, musical compositions and transcriptions, and unpublished writings. There are also some autobiographical writings and a few correspondence files, mostly relating to family members.


  • Creation: 1914-1994
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1960 - 1994



Materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

The William Edward Newton Papers are open for research in the Special Collections Reading Room; 1 box at a time (Priority III).

Ownership and Literary Rights

The William Edward Newton Papers are the physical property of the Newberry Library. Copyright may belong to the authors or their legal heirs or assigns. For permission to publish or reproduce any materials from this collection, contact the Roger and Julie Baskes Department of Special Collections.

Biography of William Edward Newton

Chicago musician, artist, and designer.

William Edward Newton was born in Williston, North Dakota, in 1914, and attended but did not complete high school in Minot, North Dakota. He played in the school band, but was otherwise a self-taught musician. He began working with dance bands in 1933, playing trumpet and trombone. He married Ethyl McKeough (1915-1983) in 1934. The couple moved to Chicago in 1937, where he continued his musical career both as a band musician and playing solo piano in bars, nightclubs, and restaurants. He served in the U.S. Army in 1945 as band leader at Fort Lee, Virginia; subsequently he studied for one year at the School of the Art Institute. He worked as a graphic designer, first for the Summy-Birchard publishing company, then in the Chicago offices of Harper & Row. He also did a variety of free-lance projects for local clients, among them the Candy Manufacturing Co. and Replogle Globes, Inc. He started composing and arranging music in the 1950s, and he created music in many styles and for many combinations of instruments. William Edward Newton died in 1994.


10 Linear Feet (24 boxes, 1 oversize folder)


Correspondence, original design work, and music by Chicago musician, artist and designer William Edward Newton.


Papers are organized in the following series

Series 1: Correspondence, 1983-1991
Box 1
Series 2: Art and Design Work, approximately 1947-1994
Boxes 1-5
Series 3: Writings, 1961-1994
Boxes 6-11
Series 4: Music, approximately 1971-1994
Boxes 11-20
Series 5: Biographical, approximately 1914-1969
Boxes 20-24

Collection Stack Location

4a 30 9


Gift of Judith Hendershot, 2007.

Processed by

Mette Shayne, 2011.

Inventory of the William Edward Newton Papers, 1914-1994, bulk 1960-1994
Mette Shayne
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the The Newberry Library - Modern Manuscripts and Archives Repository

60 West Walton Street
Chicago Illinois 60610 United States