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Donald Sur Papers

Call Number: MS133

Scope and Contents

This collection contains original musical compositions, concert programs, correspondence and manuscripts of the Korean-American composer and musicologist, Donald Sur.


  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1970 -- 1999
  • Creation: 1965 -- 1999


Language of Materials




This collection is open for research. This collection may require review before it is available for use. Please contact DCA for further details.

Conditions Governing Use

Some material in this collection may be protected by copyright and other rights. Please see “Reproductions and Use” on the Digital Collections and Archives website for more information about reproductions and permission to publish. No documentation is available regarding the intellectual property rights in this collection.

Biographical / Historical

Donald Sur (1935-1999) was a Korean-American composer and musicologist and a graduate of Harvard. Sur was born in Honolulu, Hawaii on February 1, 1935 to parents of Korean descent. His family moved to Los Angeles shortly after World War II. He completed his undergraduate studies at the University of California at Berkeley after transferring from UCLA. He completed graduate degrees at Princeton University and later at Harvard University in 1972 (PhD in composition). Sur is most well known for his composition the "Slavery Documents." In addition to musical composition, Sur also taught music courses at several universities in the Boston area, including Harvard, MIT, Tufts, Wellesley College and Boston University. He died of cancer on May 24, 1999 at the age of 64.


13.2 Linear Feet (10 boxes)


This collection is not arranged.

Custodial History

Box 9 and 10 were added in March 2009 when found uncatalogued in the Special Collections ranges. Containing largely Slavery Documents material, two envelopes found separately were labeled accordingly and were added to box 9. These boxes were removed from Tisch 002 in January 2010 and placed in front of the first row of the DCA stacks.

Related Materials

MS006 T. J. Anderson papers. Digital Collections and Archives, Tufts University, Medford, MA.

Processing Information

When the boxes were moved, materials were re-housed for preservation purposes. Boxes were re-numbered in an attempt to indicate the original contents of individual boxes in Tisch 002. If the original box number was know, it was indicated in Collection Documentation. It is impossible to differentiate boxes 001-004 because the materials were all housed upright in records cartons, but inventory list indicates general content of boxes. A comprehensive finding aid exists for this collection.

Processing status

This collection is minimally processed.


Repository Details

Part of the Tufts Archival Research Center Repository

35 Professors Row
Tisch Library Building
Tufts University
Medford Massachusetts 02155 United States