Measure by Measure

The collection consists of materials relating to the publication of the book Measure by Measure: a History of New England Conservatory from 1867 by Bruce McPherson and James Klein. This book was published by the Trustees of New England Conservatory in 1995 in conjunction with the restoration of Jordan Hall.  

Bruce McPherson
Bruce McPherson came to New England Conservatory in 1984 to chair the liberal arts department, and remained here until his retirement in 2007. Shortly after his arrival, NEC secured a $182,780 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to support McPherson's work on restructuring and upgrading NEC's liberal arts curriculum, with core courses in the humanities and sciences, and an academic skills program focusing on writing, thinking, and computing.
McPherson grew up and was educated in Australia. In North America, he taught at Simon Fraser University and Boston University. He has published books and articles on a wide range of subjects including intellectual history, educational policy, social policy, psychoanalysis, film, and Australian history. He was a Mellon Fellow at the Aspen Institute for Humanistic Studies and was awarded major grants from the NEH and the Lilly Foundation.
B.A., M.A., Australian National University; Dip. Ed., Sydney University; Ed.D., Harvard

James A. Klein
James A. Klein graduated from Kenyon College summa cum laude with highest honors in English literature and the philosophy of history. As recipient of the American Association of Colleges Oxford Fellowship, he then took a second baccalaureate in modern history from Oxford University, then a master’s in modern history (also from Oxford). He then returned to the United States to complete his education at Harvard University, where he took a second master’s and a doctorate in English history. His dissertation, "Politics and Publicity: A Study of Victorian Conservatism," won Harvard University’s DeWitt Prize in History, given for outstanding contribution to the field of Constitutional Politics.  Since coming to NEC, Klein has written and lectured extensively on late Victorian politics, on political corruption, and on modern electoral reform. Klein has received numerous National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowships, as well as several awards for teaching excellence, including Who’s Who of American College Faculty and Harvard University’s Fellowship for Outstanding Teaching from the Derek Bok Institute. After holding positions as assistant dean of freshmen at Harvard College and associate dean of the Extension School at Harvard University, Klein has twice served as dean of students at NEC.At Commencement 2000, James Klein received NEC's Louis and Adrienne Krasner Teaching Excellence Award.
B.A., M.A., Oxford; A.M., Ph.D., Harvard University

Physical Description

This collection consists of 8 manuscript boxes containing paper materials and photographs (7 boxes) and one box of electronic records- floppy disks and audio recordings in various formats.


Bruce McPherson donated this collection to the NEC library in 1992, upon completion of this book.


Access to the Measure by Measure Collection is granted by the NEC Archivist. Appointments must be scheduled in advance.


For restrictions pertaining to copyright, consult with the Archivist or Director of Libraries.


Scope & Content

The Measure by Measure collection is organized into the following five series:

  1. Reference Sources
  2. Notes
  3. Additional materials
  4. Drafts
  5. Electronic records

The sources used to write this book date from NEC's founding in 1867 up until 1991. These include both sources from within NEC and also external sources. Included among the NEC sources are years worth of articles from NEC publications, books about NEC such as Chester Williams’ Indeed Music and Wallace Goodrich’s Recollections, a promotional booklet entitled “Tribute to Jordan Hall” and other NEC sources such as programs, a catalog/calendar from 1890-1891, and accumulations of information from other NEC sources. External sources include various articles from publications such as The Boston Globe, The Boston Herald, Harpers, The Musical Herald, and The Musical Quarterly. Other publications used as sources include excerpts from: Edward Fitzpatrick’s dissertation, The Music Conservatory in America;  The Boston Symphony Orchestra by M.A. DeWolfe Howe; The Life and Letters of Henry Lee Higginson; “Music in America” by Antonin Dvorak; 100 Years of the Boston Pops;”Chadwick and the New England Conservatory of Music” by Allan Lincoln Langley; and “An Amazing Career: The Life of Eben Tourjee” by Elizabeth I. Samuel. Also included as reference sources are biographical sketches (mainly from Baker’s and Grove’s Dictionaries) and bibliographic listings.  Lastly there are prints of photographs used in the book as well as photo credits information.

The second series, Notes, consists of pages of Notes used in the writing of this book. The Notes are divided into those originating from NEC sources and those taken from external sources. They are further divided into handwritten and typewritten. In some cases, the typewritten notes duplicate the handwritten notes. Also among the handwritten notes are 3 pages of printed color photos depicting various NEC properties

The third series only contains two folders – correspondence pertaining to Measure by Measure and some planning/outlining materials.

The fourth series consists of manuscript drafts of the book. There is one folder of handwritten chapter drafts and then several folders of typewritten drafts organized by chapter. There are two complete manuscript drafts included in this collection.

The fifth series includes two types of electronic records: file storage and audio recordings. The floppy disks contain materials from various stages of the composition of this book. The 3 ½ disks are all labeled. The audio recordings originally consisted of 6 cassette tapes and one microcassette tape. The six tapes contain interviews with Hankus Netsky, Peter Row, Laurence Lesser, Ran Blake, Chester Williams, and an NEC alumni group that included Frances Brockman Lanier ’37, Franklin Taplin ’42, Joan McConnell Pierce ’52 Eileen Dusio ’52, Bill Sano ’72. The microcassette was supposed to have recorded an interview with Mrs. Eunice Alberts Nicholson, who attended NEC from 1946-1948, and later in 1967. Unfortunately, the process of having the microcassette transferred revealed it was blank but we do have a transcript of the interview. Also, the recording of the interview with Andy Falendar is blank but we do have the transcript. All of the other tapes have been transferred onto compact discs and also DAT tapes.


Container List

Series 1: Reference Sources

Box 1
NEC Publications, NEC Quarterly, 1886-1899
NEC Publications, Catalog, 1887-1888
NEC Publications, NEC Magazine, 1900-1903
NEC Publications, NEC Magazine, 1904-1913
NEC Publications, NEC Magazine and Alumni Review, 1914-1916
NEC Publications, NEC Magazine-Review, 1917-1922
NEC Publications, NEC Bulletin, 1922-1927
NEC Publications, Conservatory Bulletin, 1928-1947
NEC Publications, Alumni Opus, 1951
NEC Publications, Bulletin and Catalog, 1967-1969
NEC Publications, Wallace Goodrich’s Personal Recollections of the New England
NEC Publication, Chester Williams’ “Indeed Music”
NEC Publications, Other

Box 2

NEC Programs
NEC- Other Sources
Biographies, A-L
Biographies, M-Z

Box 3
Other Publications, A-L (by title of publication or journal)
Other Publications, M-Y (by title of publication or journal)
Bibliographic Sources
Photographs and photo credits

Series 2: Notes

Notes compiled from NEC Sources, handwritten
Notes compiled from NEC Sources, typewritten

Box 4

Notes compiled from Other Sources, handwritten
Notes compiled from Other Sources, typewritten
Notes, Miscellaneous

Series 3:  Additional Materials

Planning Materials

Box 5

Series 4: Drafts

Handwritten drafts of chapters
Typewritten drafts, Introduction and Chapter 1
Typewritten drafts, Chapter 2
Typewritten drafts, Chapter 3

Box 6

Typewritten drafts, Chapter 4 and 5
Typewritten drafts, Chapter 6
Typewritten drafts, Chapter 7
Typewritten drafts, Chapter 8
Typewritten drafts, Chapter 9
Typewritten drafts, Afterword/Coda

Box 7

Typewritten draft, Complete manuscript
Typewritten draft, Complete manuscript, with list of additions/changes/suggestions

Box 8

Series 5: Electronic records

1 5 ½ in floppy disk, unlabeled
13 3 ½ in floppy disks, labeled
7 cassette tapes
6 compact discs and 6 dat tapes
1 microcassette
Transcriptions, notes, permission forms