Skip to main content

Charles Henry Meltzer papers

Identifier: Mss 0009

Collection Overview

Collection contains correspondence (1839-1928), clippings, and a typescript transcription of Meltzer's biography taken from the National Cyclopedia of American Biography (1938).

Letters and notes to Meltzer include a letter (1928 August 3) from George Gershwin regarding Gershwin's taste in opera, an undated picture postcard from Gustave Charpentier, an undated letter from C.C. Chaminade (with an autographed photo) regarding a visit to the United States, and a letter (1916 April 14) from Edward Elgar concerning a libretto entitled The Garden of Allah. Other correspondents are Alphonse Daudet, Claude Debussy, Jules Massenet, Felix Mendselssohn-Barthody, Giacomo Puccini, and Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari. Correspondence also includes a letter (1839 December 14) in German from Felix Mendelssohn to F. Tretbar.

Clippings concern Charles Henry Meltzer, Vernon Weston, and the donation of the Meltzer papers to the College of Charleston. Collection includes typewritten transcripts and translations of foreign language letters.


  • Creation: 1839-1940


Language of Material

Materials in English. Some letters in French and German.

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research.

Copyright Notice

The nature of the College of Charleston's archival holdings means that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even impossible to determine despite reasonable efforts. Special Collections claims only physical ownership of most archival materials.

The materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. copyright law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source.

Biographical Note

Dramatist and critic. Born in London in 1853, Charles Henry Meltzer studied at Oxford University, where he won a scholarship at the age of fourteen. Meltzer also studied music in London and Paris. Meltzer became a correspondent for several newspapers, including the Chicago Tribune and the New York Herald, and was also a music critic and writer for magazines. From 1912 to 1916, Meltzer was librettist for the Chicago Opera Company. He was the author or adaptor of a number of plays, and founder of Criterion Magazine (1903) and the American Society for the Promotion of Opera in English (1907). A linguist, Meltzer was proficient in seven languages. Meltzer died in New York City in 1936.


0.2 linear feet (1 slim document box)


Collection contains correspondence to dramatist Charles Henry Meltzer from well-known composers (1839-1928), including Cécile Chaminade, Gustave Charpentier, Alphonse Daudet, Claude Debussy, Edward Elgar, George Gershwin, Jules Massenet, Felix Mendelssohn-Barthody, Giacomo Puccini, and Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari. Also includes newspaper clippings relating to Meltzer, and a typescript transcription of Meltzer's biography.

Collection Arrangement

Materials are described at the folder level.

Acquisitions Information

Donated by Harold Meltzer, son of Charles Henry Meltzer, 1939.

Alternate Form of Materials

Digital reproductions available online in the Lowcountry Digital Library.

Related Material

See also: Meltzer, Harold, All the world's a stage: the lively recollections of an actor who never became a star bt played with some of the greatest in England and America, Chicago: Adams Press, 1976. Call Number: PN2287.M44 A3 1976.

Processing Information

Originally processed by Special Collections staff, date unknown. Reprocessed by Cara McHugh, March 2013.

Inventory of the Charles Henry Meltzer Papers, 1839-1940
Processed by: Special Collections staff; machine-readable finding aid created by: Cara McHugh
Description rules
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

Special Collections
College of Charleston Libraries
66 George Street
Charleston South Carolina 29424
(843) 953-8016
(843) 953-6319 (Fax)