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John and Seymour Rennolds collection

Identifier: M135

Scope and Content of the Collection

The John and Seymour Rennolds Collection covers the time period from 1933 to about 1992. The manuscript portion of the collection includes materials that the Rennolds gathered on twentieth-century lyricist and composer Johnny Mercer (1909-1976). Included in the collection are a brief history of the collection itself, general files, correspondence, clippings and programs, music and lyrics, song magazines, one photograph, and three videotapes.

A significant part of the manuscript collection is made up of various handlists and catalogues of the songs, recordings, and movies of Johnny Mercer. These are found in the general files. The correspondence documents the Rennolds' collecting of the sound recordings and sheet music of Mercer. The music and lyrics in the collection include numerous copies of Mercer's music in both manuscript (arrangements, piano-vocal scores, lead sheets) and printed (sheet music, arrangements, songbooks) forms.


  • Creation: 1933-circa 1992
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1970 - 1985


Restrictions on Access

Collection is open for research use.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

Georgia State University is the owner of the physical collection and makes reproductions available for research, subject to the copyright law of the United States and item condition. Georgia State University may or may not own the rights to materials in the collection. It is the researcher's responsibility to verify copyright ownership and obtain permission from the copyright holder before publication, reproduction, or display of the materials beyond what is reasonable under copyright law. Researchers may quote selections from the collection under the fair use provision of copyright law.

The videotapes in Series VII may not be copied.

Biographical Note on John and Seymour Rennolds

John (1926-circa 1995) and Seymour Rennolds (d. circa 1995) were a Richmond, Virginia, couple with a lively interest in popular music, particularly jazz and the music and lyrics of Johnny Mercer. In 1944, John Rennolds graduated from Woodberry Forest School, the same school that Mercer had attended from 1922 to 1927. Rennolds went on to complete a B.A. at the University of Virginia. Seymour Rennolds, a native of Pulaski, Virginia, completed her education at Stuart Hall and Sweet Briar College (graduated in 1951). The couple settled in Richmond and raised a family that included three daughters, Caroline, Amelie, and Margaret.


3 Linear Feet (in 8 boxes)

Language of Materials



The collection has been arranged into seven series

  1. Series I: History of the Collection, 1977
  2. Series II: General files, 1944-1985, bulk: 1970-1983
  3. Series III: Correspondence, 1970-1985, bulk: 1973-1978
  4. Series IV: Clippings and programs, 1943-1992
  5. Series V: Music and lyrics of Johnny Mercer, 1933-1972
  6. Series VI: Song magazines, 1934-1953
  7. Series VII: Audiovisual Materials, 1987-1990

Off-Site Storage

Collection is stored offsite. Allow at least 2 working days for retrieval.

Acquisition Information

Donated by Caroline Milbank, Amelie Rives Rennolds, Margaret Rennolds Chace, 1996.

Separated Materials:

During processing various materials were separated to other Popular Music and Culture Music Collections. Please contact Special Collections for access.

The three videotapes in Series VII have been housed in the Popular Music and Culture Video Collection. See catalog for access.

Over 800 pieces of printed sheet music by Johnny Mercer and his contemporaries have been placed in the Popular Music and Culture sheet music Collection. Consult the University Library's online catalog or contact Special Collections for access to sheet music.

More than 50 printed songbooks have been added to the Popular Music Songbooks. Consult the University Library's online catalog or contact Special Collections for access to sheet music.

Approximately 800 45s, 78s, and LPs of Mercer's music have been entered in the Popular Music Sound Recordings Collection. Contact archivist for access.

Selected ASCAP magazines from the 1970s through the early 1990s have been added to the Popular Music and Culture Periodicals Collection. See finding aid for access..

Numerous books on the Great American Songbook are stored with the Special Collections Books. Please consult Georgia State University Library catalog for Access.

Processing Information

Processed by Christine de Catanzaro at the file level, 2003.

John and Seymour Rennolds:
A Guide to Their Collection at Georgia State University Library
Georgia State University Library
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

100 Decatur St., S.E.
Atlanta, Georgia 30303
404-413-2881 (Fax)