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Exhibits:  The Sheridan Libraries and Museums

About the Ponselle Collection at Peabody

Photograph of Rosa Ponselle with Director Charles Kent receiving an Honorary Degree at Peabody Commencement, 1965

Peabody Conservatory Director Charles Kent with Rosa Ponselle, who received an honorary degree in 1965.

The Ponselle Collection

Most materials featured in this online exhibit are part of the Lester Dequaine collection on Rosa Ponselle, which was donated to the Arthur Friedheim Library in 2015 by the Lester Dequaine/Frank Chiarenza Foundation. The Rosa Ponselle digital collection contains scans of more than 1,400 items, including approximately 500 photographs of Rosa or Carmela Ponselle, 200 articles, and many advertisements, record jackets, postage stamps, and other ephemeral items. A finding aid to the collection is also available online.

Selections from the Ponselle collection are on display in the Arthur Friedheim Library. These include props from Rosa Ponselle's operatic performances, a framed Columbia Records poster, and representations of Ponselle in oil paintings. An exhibit of artifacts from the collection was open in the Friedheim Library from January 2018 to December 2019. Additional materials from the Ponselle collection are on display at the Evergreen Museum and Library of the Johns Hopkins University.

This online exhibit, the digital collection, and the physical displays in the Arthur Friedheim Library were made possible through a generous financial contribution by the Lester Dequaine/Frank Chiarenza Foundation.

The Arthur Friedheim Library

The Arthur Friedheim Library is located at the Peabody Institute in the Mount Vernon neighborhood of Baltimore, Maryland. The library serves the Peabody community and the public. The archives of the Friedheim Library contain the institute's historical records and more than 200 special collections related to music, including collections on Enrico Caruso, the Baltimore Opera Company, and many notable alumni and former faculty such as Leon Fleisher.

A guide to library resources about Rosa Ponselle is online at

For more information about the Ponselle collection or Arthur Friedheim Library, please contact

Opera News issue for Rosa Ponselle's 80th birthday, 1977

Opera News issue for Rosa Ponselle's 80th birthday, 1977.

Exhibit Acknowledgments


Matt Testa, Archivist, Arthur Friedheim Library

Claire Weber, Project Archivist

Digital Exhibit Implementation

Mark Cyzyk, Scholarly Communication Architect, The Sheridan Libraries

Physical Exhibition Design and Conservation

Glenn Dellon, Dellon Design

A. Newbold Richardson, Past Crafts Textiles

Lori Trusheim, Halcyon Objects Conservation

About the Ponselle Collection at Peabody