Opening a composer’s manuscripts collection: A rare opportunity for research

After years of research and travel, Dr. Alfredo Colman curated and arranged for a donation to the Baylor Libraries of a digital collection of composer manuscripts belonging to Florentín Giménez Martínez. image of mapDr. Colman visited Florentín Giménez in Paraguay many times to digitize original manuscript scores to provide broader awareness of this music. As a professor in musicology and ethnomusicology at Baylor University School of Music, Dr. Colman continues his research on issues related to cultural identity and nationalism as illustrated in the traditional, folk-style, and concert musics of Paraguay.

To complete this digital collection, Dr. Colman received help from individuals like Ben Johansen (Baylor School of Music) who offered creative expertise in capturing the digital images. Darryl Stuhr and his team who work with digital preservation in the Baylor Libraries helped preserve the images and create an online portal to this new digital collection of manuscripts. To assist with accessibility, Jon Snyder and Bruce Evans (both at Baylor Libraries) provided metadata, and Clayton Crenshaw helped coordinate the donation.

You can visit the collection here:

Florentín Giménez Martínez (1925-2021) was a composer, conductor, performer, researcher, educator, recording artist, writer, and advocate for the promotion of Paraguayan culture in general. Mr. Giménez was the last representative of a 20th century generation of Paraguayan musicians desiring to illustrate through their compositions a Paraguayan sound.

What is important about these original manuscripts? Remember that music is an ‘language’ without borders. Music researchers from all over the world can study these documents without learning multiple languages. In addition, research questions may include:

  • How did the composer’s ideas evolve throughout a single piece or throughout their career?
  • What was the process for composing? Can you see revisions or corrections?
  • When comparing with a published version, were there changes from the original?
image of music score
Misa Folclórica Paraguaya (Mass of Paraguayan Folk Music)

On April 20, 2023, the University Libraries and Baylor University School of Music hosted an event to celebrate the official opening of the new digital collection of music manuscripts by Florentín Giménez Martínez. Dr. Colman highlighted his research and curation of this collection and presented on the background and works of Giménez. The event was particularly blessed with the presence of his widow Gloria de Giménez, who joined in via Zoom from her home in Paraguay. Other family, friends, and members of various institutions were able to join in the celebration virtually and in person.

If you are interested in more information about the collections or would like to visit the Arts and Special Collections Research Center, please send us an email at

image of event
Baylor Libraries event / Dr. Colman, speaker

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