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May Valentine Opera Photograph Collection

Identifier: Midwest-MS-Valentine

Scope and Content of the Collection

Mainly professional photographs of opera singers and conductors, most of them undated. Also, a miscellaneous collection consisting of a few informal individual and group pictures, two stills of ballet dancers, scenes from operas staged in Chicago, and three reproduced portraits of composers.


  • Creation: approximately 1910-1972



Materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

The May Valentine Opera Photograph Collection is open for research in the Special Collections Reading Room; 1 box at a time (Priority III).

Ownership and Literary Rights

The May Valentine Opera Photograph Collection is 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 May Valentine

Chicago chorus conductor and music librarian.

May L. Valentine was the chorus conductor and music librarian for the Chicago Civic Opera and then the Lyric Opera of Chicago for many years. After touring the world with her own comic opera troupe, she settled down to train choruses, accompany singers, and act as curator for the Chicago Lyric Opera Library.

Miss Valentine retired from the opera company in 1973 and died the following year at the age of 84.


1 Linear Feet (1 box and 1 oversize folder)


Photographs of opera singers and conductors, collected by May Valentine, chorus director and music librarian for the Chicago Lyric Opera for 44 years. Mostly undated professional stills of individuals, plus a few stage scenes and miscellaneous group shots.


Arranged by occupation and gender, then alphabetically by name of performer.

Collection Stack Location

1 35 7


Gift, May Valentine, 1973.

Processed by

Virginia Hay Smith, 2007.

Inventory of the May Valentine Opera Photograph Collection, approximately 1910-1972
Virginia Hay Smith
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