In the early part of the 20th century, Cleveland, like most large cities, enjoyed a thriving entertainment industry focusing on presentations in the many theaters throughout the city. In the days before radio and records, music was provided by pianists, organists, or, in larger theaters, pit orchestras. Since there were programs almost every day frequently all-day, orchestras needed lots of music to back up singers, movies, and other entertainment.
In 1983, Culver F. Eyman, II, a Cleveland lawyer, and his wife, Margaret C. Eyman, donated a large collection of this music to Cleveland Public Library. It includes music used at the Roxy (at East 9th and Chester Avenue) and other Cleveland theaters from the turn of the century to 1965. These are complete orchestrations of popular songs, marches, and film music. There are 2252 titles including many published by Cleveland music publishers like Sam Fox. Songs are by well-known composers and Cleveland songwriters like John Zamecnik who also arranged many titles. The Eyman Collection is housed in Special Collections on the third floor of the Main Library Building. For access to the collection, contact Special Collections at 216-623-2818 or firstname.lastname@example.org.