Lillian Evanti collection




Center for Black Music Research, Columbia College Chicago


0.5 Linear feet




Evanti, Lillian, 1890-1967

Biographical note

Lillian Evanti (born Lillian Evans on August 12, 1890) was an African-American soprano and composer of several songs. She received her musical education at Howard University and had additional vocal training in France and Italy. She toured widely throughout the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and South America, winning much critical acclaim for her opera performances. She died on December 6, 1967.

Scope and Contents note

The collection consists of photographs of Evanti in operatic roles and during visits to Berlin, Mexico, and Brazil; one letter from Owen Dodson to Evanti thanking her for a donation of costumes to Howard University, dated June 6, 1963; and a typescript of the prologue to her unpublished autobiography “Where My Caravan Has Rested,” with handwritten additions, given as a speech at Women's Day of the Century of Negro Progress Exposition in Chicago in 1963.

Custodial History note

Donated by Frances T. Matlock, July 1997.

Processing Information note

This collection was surveyed as part of the Black Metropolis Research Consortium's Survey Initiative on 2011 January 3 by Lisa Calahan.