The finding aids for the Camilla Williams Papers and an addendum to her papers are now online with an expanded description of the numerous photographs in the collections. Ms. Williams papers document her career as an acclaimed operatic singer and concert artist in the United States and abroad. She has been credited with being the first African American woman to hold a regular position with a leading United States opera company, and Williams’ other accolades include: two-time winner of the Marian Anderson Award; prominent performer of the title role in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly and protégé of the creator or the role, Geraldine Farrar; “Bess” in the first complete phonographic recording of Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess; performer of the title role in the Vienna premiere of Menotti’s Saint of Bleeker Street; recitalist; cultural ambassadress for the U.S. State Department; and college teacher of voice.
Amistad is also pleased to announce that Ms. Williams’ autobiography, The Life of Camilla Williams: African American Classical Singer and Opera Diva, was recently published by Edwin Mellen Press. Additional online finding aids for the papers of African American classical and operatic singers housed at the Center include those for William Warfield and Anne Wiggins Brown. The John Wesley Dobbs Family Papers also include material related to Mattiwilda Dobbs Janzon, and finding aids for the papers of Carol Brice and Thomas Carey will be online in the near future.
Posted by Christopher Harter
(Image from the Camilla Williams Papers. May not be reproduced without permission.)