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Leo Karczag papers

Identifier: Coll 172

Scope and Contents note

The Leo Karczag Papers consist of music manuscripts, composition and lyric notebooks, Karczag's indices to the lyric notebooks, programs and publicity, and 78 r.p.m. records.

Music manuscripts are comprised of musicals, songs, instrumental works, scripts, and lyrics. Musicals, because they are the largest segment in this series, appear first. Of these, Oregon, My Oregon! is the most significant work and all related material--songs, instrumental parts, vocal score, scripts, lyrics, and publicity--are found under this title. Songs for this show are arranged according to the order of their appearance in the program. Instrumental parts with more than one song are arranged by instrument. Songs for two other musicals appear in performance order. Miscellaneous songs and instrumental works are alphabetically arranged by title. Compositions written by Karczag under pseudonyms have been interfiled with his other works, the pseudonyms indicated in parentheses next to the song title. Works having two titles or two sets of lyrics are cross-referenced in the inventory to the final version.

The composition notebooks comprise the bulk of the collection and have been retained in Karczag's own arrangement, which is nearly chronological. They span over thirty years of Karczag's life, documenting his early career until almost the year of his death in 1985.


  • Creation: 1928-1984


Conditions Governing Access note

Collection is open to the public. Collection must be used in Special Collections and University Archives Reading Room. Collection or parts of collection may be stored offsite. Please contact Special Collections and University Archives in advance of your visit to allow for transportation time.

Conditions Governing Use note

Property rights reside with Special Collections and University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries. Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs. All requests for permission to publish collection materials must be submitted to Special Collections and University Archives. The reader must also obtain permission of the copyright holder.

Biographical/Historical note

Composer Leo Karczag was born in Budapest, Hungary on April 24, 1897. He earned a master of music from the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music in Budapest and a juris doctor and doctor of philosophy at the Hungarian University of Science, also in Budapest. Karczag toured Europe, Asia, Africa, and South and Central America as a concert pianist during his early years. He lived in Costa Rica for some time (composing under the name Leo or Luis Oscar de la Silva) before settling in the United States in 1938.

In 1946 Karczag married Edna Manrose with whom he had two children, Paul and Shari. The family moved to Klamath Falls, Oregon in 1964 where they resided until Karczag's death in 1985. It was during this time that Karczag composed his most extensive work Oregon, My Oregon! which premiered in 1968. His works include over 70 songs, three musicals, and several instrumental works.


4.5 linear feet (9 containers)

Language of Materials



Leo Karczag was a Hungarian composer and concert pianist who settled in the United States in 1938 and moved to Klamath Falls, Or. in 1964. There he composed the musical Oregon, My Oregon! which premiered in 1968. Collection comprises music manuscripts of musicals (including Oregon, My Oregon!), songs, instrumentals, scripts, and lyrics, some written under the pseudonyms Leo de la Silva or Luis Oscar de la Silva; composition and lyric notebooks, 1948-1983; programs and publicity; and two 78 r.p.m. records.

General Physical Description note

9 boxes

Processing Information

Collection processed by staff.

This finding aid may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.

Guide to the Leo Karczag Papers
Complete Description
Finding aid prepared by Mary Spohrer, Manuscript Processor
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Repository Details

Part of the University of Oregon Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives Repository

1299 University of Oregon
Eugene OR 97403-1299 USA