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Aldine S. Kieffer letter

 Collection — Box: BW 43, Folder: 1
Identifier: MSS 16663

Content Description

This collection contains a single letter from Aldine S. Kieffer to an E.M.[?]dder on Kieffer's business letter head in Dayton, Virginia. Kieffer was a publisher, music teacher, and promoter of the use of Shape Note music. The letter states that he likes the tune and will place it in the Musical Million, a publication that was a leading tool to promote Shape Note music, that was edited by Kieffer. He also mentions a rude communication from a Mr. Robertson.


  • Creation: 1 August 1881


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research use.

Biographical / Historical

Aldine Silliman Kieffer (August 1, 1840 – November 30, 1904) was a leading 19th century proponent of shape note musical notation, music teacher and publisher. He was born near Miami, Saline County, Missouri and died in Dayton, Virginia.

Kieffer was the grandson of Mennonite musician Joseph Funk. After Funk's death, he and Ephraim Ruebush took over Funk's publishing company. With Ruebush and John W. Howe, Kieffer founded the Kieffer, Ruebush, & Company music company circa 1873, which was moved from Singers Glen to Dayton, Virginia in 1878. Kieffer was editor of the Musical Million and Fireside Friend periodical. The Musical Million, published from 1870 until 1914, was one of the leading tools promoting shape note music for almost a half century. It helped link teachers and students across the country, and published many songs in its pages.

Kieffer taught singing schools and used his songbooks in the schools. One of Kieffer's most popular song books was The Temple Star, published at Singer's Glen in 1877. One of his most popular songs was his poem Twilight is Stealing, set to music by B. C. Unseld in 1877 and published in the Temple Star.

Source: "Aldine Silliman Kieffer" Wikipedia. Accessed 2/08/2022.


0.03 Cubic Feet (1 letter folder)

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

This collection was purchased from DeWolfe & Wood by the Small Special Collections Library at the University of Virginia Library on September 22, 2020.

Condition Description


Aldine S. Kieffer letter
Ellen Welch
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library Repository

Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library
P.O. Box 400110
University of Virginia
Charlottesville Virginia 22904-4110 United States