Irene Britton Smith papers




Center for Black Music Research, Columbia College Chicago


18.0 Linear feet




Smith, Irene Britton

Biogrpahical note

Irene Britton Smith (1907–1999) was born and educated in Chicago, where she attended Wendell Phillips High School and the Chicago Normal School. Music and music composition were her avocation. Professionally, she taught reading in the Chicago Public schools for forty years. During her summer vacations she studied music in Chicago, receiving a BM from the American Conservatory in 1946, and a MM from DePaul University in 1956. She also studied composition at Juilliard, at Tanglewood, and with Nadia Boulanger at the American Conservatory in Fontainebleau, France. Smith herself played violin, piano, and organ, and served as a church musician. After her retirement from teaching, she was active as a docent for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s youth concerts.

Scope and Contents note

The Irene Britton Smith Papers include manuscripts of her musical compositions and composition exercises, plus a scrapbook reflecting her musical and professional careers, and correspondence.

Custodial History note

Donated by Eva S. Butler on behalf of Irene Britton Smith, August 1998.

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.