Allan Blank and his family knew the importance of sharing and preserving their story for future researchers. Currently, the collection of papers I’m processing the scope falls mostly under musical scores. Allan Blank created over three hundred works during his career and in his own words to Style Weekly’s interview on August 9, 2011 “I’ve written for every instrument in the orchestra — the flute, the clarinet. … The clarinet is one of my fav —” He corrects himself without even taking a breath. “— They’re all favorites of mine. Maybe I haven’t written for the sarrusophone — No, maybe I have. …” The paper collection I’m processing seems small in the face of so much work. However, my collection is not the only one at ODU, or the only collection about the Blank family.
Housed in the Diehn Composers Room at Old Dominion University, is the first collection of materials donated by Allan Blank. This collection contains photographs, programs, recordings and correspondence, just to name a few. It gives a glimpse into the composer’s everyday life. ODU is not the only home for materials about the Blank family.
The Virginia Holocaust Museum is where researchers can find the Blank Family Papers. The collection primarily focuses on Margot Blank and her harrowing journey as a Holocaust survivor and artist. Aspects of the collection also include her married life with composer Allan Blank.
If you wish to start researching Dr. Blank’s life, or simply interested in his work, these collections are great places to start. I’m planning on visiting the Virginia Holocaust Museum in the near future to view the composer from a different life facet and encourage others to do the same. Just as Allan Blank tirelessly created his scores, I will now go back to processing those very works. I’m hopeful that I may one day stumble across his work for the sarrusophone.