Charles D. and A. Marleta Matheson Papers

Collection Overview

Title: Charles D. and A. Marleta Matheson Papers

Record Series: 14/09/02/01

Record Group:

14/09/02 Faculty & Staff Papers

Creator: Matheson, Charles D. and A. Marleta Blitch Matheson

Date: 1952-2000

Extent: 10 boxes (7.13 linear feet)

Repository: Special Collections & University Archives at Rod Library, University of Northern Iowa

Language: Materials entirely in English.

Information for Users

Accessing the Collection:

No restrictions. Materials are open for research.

Technical Access: Boxes 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11 each contain materials recorded on 7” reel to reel tapes, cassette recordings, and an LP vinyl record, which require special playback equipment for access and use.

Related archival materials may be found in 28/00/04 at Special Collections & University Archives at Rod Library, University of Northern Iowa.

Sensitive Materials Statement: Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy or similar laws, and the Iowa Open Records Law (see Iowa Code § 22.7). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of Northern Iowa assumes no responsibility.

Preferred Citation: [Identification of item], in the [Series Title] #[series number], [folder number or title when applicable], [Collection Name], Rod Library, University of Northern Iowa.

General Use, Reproduction, and Copyright Policies

Many items housed in the Rod Library Special Collections & University Archives, including unpublished images and manuscripts, may be protected by copyright, publication rights, trademarks, or model release rights which the library does not own and for which the library cannot grant permission or licensing. Materials currently under copyright are usually still available for research and limited reproduction under Fair Use laws. However, it is the sole responsibility of the patron to determine whether or not their use of a given material falls within Fair Use guidelines and to obtain permission for said use from the rightful copyright owner. If you are unsure where to begin, please consult the Copyright LibGuide. Please note that it is not the library's responsibility to locate or contact copyright holders for a patron, and neither the library nor library employees are responsible for copyright violations of the materials to which they facilitate research access. Please see our full General Use and Service Policies for more information

Historical Note

Charles D. Matheson and A. Marleta Blitch Matheson taught and performed music at UNI and in the Cedar Valley from the 1950s through the 1990s. They were married in Illinois in 1970.

Charles was born in 1912 in Albion, Michigan, and graduated from the University of Michigan with both his bachelor's and master's degrees in the 1940s. He later pursued additional graduate studies at the Tanglewood Music Center and the New England Conservatory. Charles joined the ISTC faculty in 1955 as an Assistant Professor of Voice and led many choirs and vocal groups, notably the A Capella Choir, on campus. He retired as a Professor of Voice in 1982. Matheson was also active in the Cedar Valley community, working as choir director at Trinity Episcopal Church, Nazareth Lutheran Church, and the Waterloo Choral Society. He was a member of the Cedar Falls Rotary Club starting in 1958, serving as president from 1980 to 1981. Charles Matheson passed away in December of 2008.

Marleta joined the UNI faculty in 1964 as a piano accompanist. She taught group piano and accompanying. She retired as an Associate Professor of Group Piano and Accompanying in 1991.

Marleta donated most of this material to University Archives in May 2006 with additional donations in following years. The collection was initially exclusive to Marleta's papers before additional donations reflecting Charles' career were added. In summer 2017, she donated additional programs and an audio cassette of the 1992 80th Birthday Celebration Concert for Charles Matheson, as well as other audio recordings.


  • Series 1: Music Programs
  • Series 2: Charles Matheson Papers
    • Subseries 1: Music Programs
    • Subseries 2: Photographs and Visual Materials
    • Subseries 3: Correspondence
  • Series 3: Sheet Music/Compositions
  • Series 4: News Clippings & Reviews
  • Series 5: Miscellaneous
  • Series 6: Artifacts
  • Series 7: Media

Scope and Content

The Charles D. & A. Marleta Matheson Papers contain materials related to their musical careers at the Iowa State Teachers College, State College of Iowa, and the University of Northern Iowa as well as some material about Charles Matheson’s education. Types of materials include print programs, reviews, photographs, clippings, plaques, correspondence, postcards, and sound recordings on both audio cassettes and 7” reel to reel tapes. The collection is arranged into seven series and spans 1952-2000.

The first series, Music Programs, is comprised of a variety of Marleta Matheson’s music performance programs dating from 1956-2000. Marleta was involved in a majority of these performances as a piano accompanist. Examples of performances include those by ensembles such as the Iowa State Teachers College Symphony Orchestra, the University of Northern Iowa Symphony, the University of Northern Iowa Concert Chorale, and the University of Northern Iowa Symphonic Band. Additional performances represented are student and faculty recitals, musical theater and operas, the UNI Artists Series, and the annual Tallcorn Music Conference.

The Charles Matheson Papers series focuses exclusively on aspects of Charles’ student and professional music career. The series has been divided into three subseries. The Music Programs subseries, dates from 1942-1980, and contains two sections. In the first are included programs related to ISTC, SCI, and UNI. Types of performances represented include faculty recitals, Christmas oratorios, the college/university choirs and orchestra, and opera performances. Oftentimes, the recitals featured other music faculty members such as Karl Holvik, Marleta Matheson, Jack Graham, David Smalley, and Caryl Becker, among others. The second group of programs focuses on performances outside of UNI. This grouping offers insight into Matheson’s performances both before and outside of UNI. Included programs are from his performances at the University of Michigan, New England Conservatory, Berkshire Music Center, Boston University, Gordon College, Grinnell College, various Bach festivals, and the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony Orchestra.

The Photographs/Visual Materials subseries within the Charles Matheson Records series is comprised of photographs of Charles Matheson performing in operas at the University of Michigan; candid images from both UNI and Gordon College, which include choir trips, rehearsals, and various performances; operas and workshops at UNI; and images of the UNI choirs and musicals. See the box and folder listing for specific folder/subject information. The third subseries within the Charles Matheson Records, Correspondence, dates from 1955-1995. It includes multiple letters from a man named George from Boston’s Trinity Church, a couple of letters from President  James Maucker, and notes from former students. Topics include praise for performances, thank yous, and general life news.

The third series in the collection, Sheet Music/Compositions, includes pieces written by Nancy Plummer Faxon as well as arrangements and pieces by Charles  Matheson.

News Clippings & Reviews, the fourth series in the collection largely focuses on Charles Matheson’s career but also contains some information about Marleta’s involvement on tours and in the department. Subjects include performances and choir trips. The series spans 1952-1966.

The fifth series, Miscellaneous, contains Charles Matheson’s Phi Mu Alpha Certificate as well as a grouping of materials related to his 80th birthday celebration.

The Artifacts series contains two plaques awarded to Charles Matheson. The first, from 1982, recognized Matheson’s 27 years of service and was presented by the School of Music faculty. The second plaque, the Robert M. McCowen Memorial Award, was given to Matheson by the Iowa American Choral Directors Association in 1973 for outstanding contributions to choral music in Iowa.

The final series, Media, dating from 1988-2002, consists of one vinyl recording for the State College of Iowa A Capella choir; roughly 50 cassette tape recordings of the Wind Symphony, Symphonic Band, and Chamber Wind Players; and 23 7” reel to reel recordings of performances by Marleta Matheson, Charles Matheson, and other UNI faculty and students.


BOX 1:

  • Folder 1: 1956; 1966-1969 [Series 1]
  • Folder 2: 1969-1970 [Series 1]
  • Folder 3: 1970-1971 [Series 1]
  • Folder 4: 1972 [Series 1]
  • Folder 5: 1972-1973 [Series 1]
  • Folder 6: 1973-1974 [Series 1]

BOX 2:

  • Folder 1: 1974-1975 [Series 1]
  • Folder 2: 1975-1976 [Series 1]
  • Folder 3: 1976-1977 [Series 1]
  • Folder 4: 1978 [Series 1]
  • Folder 5: [1979] [Series 1]
  • Folder 6: 1980-1981 [Series 1]
  • Folder 7: 1981-1982 [Series 1]

BOX 3:

  • Folder 1: 1982-1983 [Series 1]
  • Folder 2: 1983-1985 [Series 1]
  • Folder 3: 1985-1986 [Series 1]
  • Folder 4: 1986-1987 [Series 1]
  • Folder 5: 1987-1988 [Series 1]
  • Folder 6: 1988-1990 [Series 1]
  • Folder 7: 1990-1992; 1998-2000 [Series 1]

BOX 4:

  • Folder 1: Charles Matheson Records, Music Programs: ISTC, SCI, UNI, 1956-1980 [Series 2, Subseries 1]
  • Folder 2: Charles Matheson Records, Music Programs: Non-UNI [Series 2, Subseries 1]
  • Folder 3: Charles Matheson Records, Photographs/Visual Materials: University of Michigan Opera [Series 2, Subseries 2]
  • Folder 4: Charles Matheson Records, Photographs/Visual Materials: Choral & Musical [Series 2, Subseries 2]
  • Folder 5: Charles Matheson Records, Photographs/Visual Materials: Choral Photos & Slides [Series 2, Subseries 2]
  • Folder 6: Charles Matheson Records, Photographs/Visual Materials: Operas & Workshops [Series 2, Subseries 2]
  • Folder 7: Charles Matheson Records, Photographs/Visual Materials: Miscellaneous Photos/Candids [Series 2, Subseries 2]
  • Folder 8: Charles Matheson Records, Correspondence [Series 2, Subseries 3]
  • Folder 9: Sheet Music/Compositions [Series 3]
  • Folder 10: News Clippings & Reviews [Series 4]
  • Folder 11: Miscellaneous, Phi Mu Alpha Certificate [Series 5]
  • Folder 12: Miscellaneous, 80th Birthday Celebration [Series 5]

BOX 5:

  • Plaque 1: 1982, recognition for 27 years of service, presented by the UNI School of Music faculty to Charles Matheson [Series 6]
  • Plaque 2: Robert M. McCowen Memorial Award presented by Iowa ACDA to Charles Matheson on May 12, 1873, for outstanding contributions to choral music in Iowa [Series 6]

BOX 6:

  • One LP Vinyl Recording for the State College of Iowa A Capella Choir [Series 7]

BOX 7:

  • 18 cassette tape recordings for Wind Symphony, Symphonic Band, and Chamber Wind Players, 1988-1994 [Series 7]

BOX 8:

  • 18 cassette recordings for Wind Symphony, Symphonic Band,  and Chamber Wind Players, 1995-1998 [Series 7]

BOX 9:

  • 19 cassette recordings for Wind Symphony, Symphonic Band, Chamber Wind Players, and Concert Band, 1998-2002 [Series 7]

Box 10:

  • 23 7” reel to reel recordings of performances by Marleta Matheson, Charles Matheson, and other UNI faculty and students [Series 7]



  • Waterloo Courier. “Charles Daniel Matheson.” January 15, 2009.

Processing Information

Material processed and finding aid prepared by Gerald L. Peterson, June 2006. Updated by Interim University Archivist Rachael Acheson, May 2017. Updated by Library Associate Dave Hoing, January 2018. Updated with new donations by Keegan Little, May 2018. Finding aid updated by archival processor Tessa Wakefield, March 2019.