Lawrence Welk Manuscript Collections

Through the generous donation by various individuals a number of manuscript collection have been made part of the Lawrence Welk Collection and are available for public research use. Listed below are those collections for which a finding aid has been developed. A link to the finding aid is provided. A listing of Welk photograph collections is also available.

Manuscript Collections

  • Brechtel, Elmira (Welk Collection 1)
    The Elmira Brechtel Collection consists of correspondence from performers with the Lawrence Welk Orchestra sent to Ms. Brechtel in response to letters and cards that she sent to various members of the Lawrence Welk Show. Sending birthday cards has been a hobby of Mrs. Brechtel for over sixty years.
  • Jules and Lois Herman Papers (Welk Collection 6)
    The Jules and Lois Herman Papers document their musical careers, particularly the music used by the Jules Herman Band that performed for some thirty-five years at the Prom in St. Paul, Minnesota. It also includes the music playbooks with some music arrangements that were used by the Minnesota Vikings Football Band that Jules Herman directed. Of general interest is a scrapbook documenting their lives.
  • Hogue, Rolly And Pat (Welk Collection 2)
    The Rolly and Pat Hogue Lawrence Welk Collection documents the close friendship between the Hogues and Lawrence Welk as well as the Hogue’s making of arrangements for Welk for his visits back to North Dakota.
  • Lawrence Welk Scrapbooks Collection (Welk Collection 5)
    The Lawrence Welk Scrapbook Collection is perhaps the single, most comprehensive collection documenting the career of Lawrence Welk from 1938 to 1981. The scrapbooks from 1938 to 1953 have been photocopied and are available in a bound volume at the Institute Research Room. This was done due to the fragile condition of the originals.
  • Lawrence Welk Sheet Music Collection (Welk Collection 4)
    The Lawrence Welk Sheet Music Collection includes single sheet music titles and a number of music books that either feature Lawrence Welk or members of his musical family on the cover or were composed and published by them. The vast majority of the titles are from the 1930s through 1950s. A photograph of Lawrence Welk is featured on many of the covers and often the phrase ‘Featured by Lawrence Welk and his Champagne Orchestra’ is printed on the cover also.
  • Norma Zimmer National Fan Club (Welk Collection 3)
    The Norma Zimmer National Fan Club records consist of its quarterly newsletters which are complete from 1978 to date.  They vary as to length; however they consistently include a message from Frances Young (president/director) and from Norma Zimmer. In more recent years several color photographic prints of Norma Zimmer are enclosed with each newsletter. (These snapshots are preserved in the Institute’s general Welk Photograph Collection.)

Access

The manuscript collections are available for research in the Institute for Regional Studies Archives & University Archives Research Room, and reference staff is available to assist in your research needs. Copying facilities are also available. All the collections are in off-site storage. A 24-hour notice is needed to make these collections available for use at the Institute’s main Research Room.