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Florence Levin Lockshin papers

Identifier: SSC-MS-00405

Scope and Contents

The Florence Levin Lockshin Papers consist of 6.25 linear feet of biographical material, subject files, photographs, student notes, speeches, writings, publicity, memorabilia, musical scores, and recordings.

The papers contain limited biographical and personal information, focusing primarily on Lockshin's musical compositions. The bulk of the papers consists of scores, dating from 1959 to 1982. In addition there are recordings of several of her works and files of correspondence, publicity, and memorabilia related to performances of the works. There is also a file which demonstrates Lockshin's tireless efforts to interest various musicians in performing her pieces. Subject files on music attest to the sudden interest in women composers fired by the women's movement.

Later in life, Lockshin turned to the written word, producing a series of poems. In addition to manuscript and typescript versions of the poems there is material related to Lockshin's efforts to find publishers for these works.

Dates of Materials

  • Creation: 1924 - 1995


Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research use without restriction beyond the standard terms and conditions of Smith College Special Collections.

Conditions Governing Use

The Sophia Smith Collection owns copyright to the papers of Florence Levin Lockshin. Copyright to materials created by others may be owned by those individuals or their heirs or assigns. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights. Permission must be obtained from the Sophia Smith Collection to publish reproductions or quotations beyond "fair use."

Biographical / Historical

Florence Helen Levin was born March 24, 1910 in Columbus, Ohio, the daughter of Samuel M. and Jennie (Klein) Levin. Levin had an early interest in music, winning competitions in concert piano in her teen-age years. She majored in music at Ohio State University, where she met, and in 1933 married, Samuel D. Lockshin. The couple had twin sons, Richard and Michael. After earning a B.S. in music in 1931, she continued to perform and was a founder of the Four Piano Quartet in Mansfield, Ohio. Most of Lockshin's early compositions were for the piano. She wrote and often arranged works to be played by the Quartet. In 1951, the Four Piano Quartet represented Ohio at the 26th Biennial Convention of the National Federation of Music Clubs.

In 1952, Lockshin moved to Northampton, Massachusetts, where she studied composition at Smith College (1952-55) under the tutelage of composer Alvin Etler. From this point, Lockshin turned her attention to larger ensembles, composing primarily for orchestra or chorus and orchestra. Her first such work was The Cycle (1956-57), a ballet commissioned by the Smith College Dance Department.

In 1959, Lockshin began to incorporate folk themes into her work in Annie Bradley's Tune, a piece based on a short melody sung to Lockshin's twin sons by their African-American nurse. Paean Santa Maria de Guadalupe (1962) is based on a hymn Lockshin heard penitents sing as they approached the basilica in Mexico City. When her husband's work as a management consultant took them to Arizona in the late 1960s, Lockshin's response to the music she heard there was the orchestral suite Scavarr (1969), based on Yuma and Mojave themes. After retirement, Samuel Lockshin worked for the International Executive Service Corps as a volunteer business consultant in Columbia, Venezuela, and Panama. ¡Cumbia! Fantasy on a Columbian Folk Dance (1977) was inspired by music heard during the Lockshins' many trips to various countries in Central and South America.

Interest in women composers spurred by the women's movement, plus interest in all things American connected with the country's bicentennial in 1976, led to a series of performances of Lockshin's work during the 1960s and 70s. Annie Bradley's Tune was the most-performed, both in the U.S. and in concerts of American music in Venezuela and Panama.

Florence Levin Lockshin died in Naples, Florida, on September 26, 1997.


19.792 linear feet (16 containers)


Composer and pianist. The papers focus mainly on Lockshin's musical compositions and include scores; recordings of performances; plus files of correspondence, publicity and memorabilia related to performances of her work. There are also a series of unpublished poems written by Lockshin in her later life. Materials include writings, speech notes, correspondence, musical scores, and audio recordings.


This collection is organized into three series:

  1. I. Biographical and Miscellaneous Materials
  2. II. Speeches and Writings
  3. III. Muscial Compositions
  4. Florence Levin Lockshin Musical Compositions

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The Florence Levin Lockshin Papers were donated to the Sophia Smith Collection by Richard and Zahra Zakeri Lockshin and Michael and Jane Roberts Lockshin in 2000 and 2023.


During the accessioning of the 2023 addition to the collection, related ephemera and artifacts were separated for return to the donor

Processing Information

Processed by Maida Goodwin, 2002.

2023 addition accesioned by Raia Gutman and Bailey Herbert, September 2023



Florence Levin Lockshin papers
Finding Aid
Maida Goodwin
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Processed with funding from the Lockshin family. Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Revision Statements

  • 07/26/2017: This resource was modified by the ArchivesSpace Preprocessor developed by the Harvard Library (
  • 2005-09-23: mnsss126 converted from EAD 1.0 to 2002 by v1to02-5c.xsl (sy2003-10-15).
  • 2017-07-26T17:48:11-04:00: This record was migrated from InMagic DB Textworks to ArchivesSpace.

Repository Details

Part of the Sophia Smith Collection of Women's History Repository

Neilson Library
7 Neilson Drive
Northampton MA 01063