Collection inventory

Special Collections home page
printer friendly version

Franklin E. Morris Papers

A description of his papers at the Syracuse University Archives

Summary

Creator: Morris, Franklin E., 1920-2018.
Title: Franklin E. Morris Papers
Dates: 1933-2010
Size: 36 boxes, 71 films, and 4 wrapped packages (approximately 36.50 linear feet)
Abstract: The papers of American composer Franklin E. Morris
Language: English
Repository: University Archives,
Special Collections Research Center
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Ave., Suite 600
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010
http://archives.syr.edu

Biography Note

Franklin E. Morris (1920-2018) was an American composer and Syracuse University professor. Morris received a bachelor degree in chemistry from Ursinus College and a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from MIT. As well as degrees in chemistry, he also studied music and composition at Cape Cod Institute of Music, Harvard University, and Yale University. In 1951 Morris started teaching music theory and composition at Syracuse University, a position he held until 1985.

While in Syracuse, Morris was actively involved in the local music scene. He organized annual recitals of solo and chamber works; composed and produced operas; and performed with the Syracuse Symphony. He also founded and directed the Electronic Studio of the School of Music at Syracuse University from 1966 to 1985. He had a particular interest in electronic music, and in 1976 started writing a long series of electronic symphonies. At his death, he had completed more than one thousand electronic symphonies. Additionally, he was interested in the intersection of electronic music and visual and dramatic arts, and presented many multi-media events at Syracuse University and other colleges across the Northeast.

Return to top

Scope and Content Note

The Franklin E. Morris Papers documents his life and work as a musician. His papers contain films, cassettes, lantern slides, CDs, original music scores, compositions, and memorabilia.

Films are images of avant-garde and abstract art that were used in part at his multimedia performances. Morris used a numbering system for his films, and those numbers have been retained. A handful of films were unnumbered, and appear at the end of the inventory.

The rest of the collection is unprocessed, and not open to researchers.

Return to top

Restrictions

Access Restrictions

Please note that the collection is housed off-site, and advance notice is required to allow time to have the materials brought to the Reading Room on campus.

Access to audiovisual media requires advance notice to produce a listening copy.

Only films have been processed. Unprocessed materials are closed to researchers.

Use Restrictions

Written permission must be obtained from the Syracuse University Archives and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

Return to top

Related Material

The University Archives holds clipping and portrait files on Franklin Morris.

Return to top

Selected Search Terms

Names

Morris, Franklin E., 1920-2018.
Syracuse University -- History.
Syracuse University.

Subjects

Art, Abstract.
Composers.
Composition (music)
Electronic music.
College teachers.
Higher education.

Types of material

16mm (photographic film size)
Compact discs.
Correspondence.
Experimental films.
Film reels.
Lantern slides.
Scores (documents for music)
Sound recordings.

Return to top

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Franklin E. Morris Papers,
University Archives,
Special Collections Research Center
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Franklin Morris donated these materials to the University Archives between 1979 and 2017. The last donation was after his death in 2018.

Processing Information

Only the films have been processed in this collection. Other materials have not been processed.

Finding Aid Information

Created by: Dane Flansburgh
Date: November 2019
Revision history:

Return to top

Arrangement

Films are arranged in numerical order. Films without numbers appear at the end of the inventory, and are arranged alphabetically by title.

Return to top

Inventory

Films
Request materials using ID numbers, for example ID#: sua_morris_fe_071
Reel No. 1: Inflatables (1971); Our Boys in Vietnam (1971); State Dinner (1975); At This Point in Time (1972) 1971; 1972; 1975 (16mm film; running time 46:00) (ID#: sua_morris_fe_071)
Copies of four films spliced together on one reel. The third film contains fragments from the "Patriotic Symphony in Three Movements" film. Magnetic tape sua_morris_fe_072 contains the sound recording for the film reel.
Box 7 [temporary] No. 1: Inflatables (1971); Our Boys in Vietnam (1971); State Dinner (1975); At This Point in Time (1972) 1971; 1972; 1975 - tape with audio recordings refers to film reel sua_morris_fe_071 (1/4 inch audio tape; running time 34:00) (ID#: sua_morris_fe_072)
Reel No. 1: Phyllis 1967 (16mm film; running time 14:40) (ID#: sua_morris_fe_001)
Woman in tiger leather coat and helmet on her head walks under the construction of Interstate 81, later she switches sites: she goes to car repair shops, streets, parking garages, parks. Her face never shows. Along the film it looks like someone follows her. A man appears three times and at the end he walks towards the woman, takes the helmet from her and walks away.
Reel No. 2: Black Lite 1968 (16mm film; running time 10:00) (ID#: sua_morris_fe_002)
Visualization of objects and different colors of light. The film starts with man's hands on dark light, then shows man's face, shadows, scary masks, some unidentified objects.
Reel No. 3: Painted Film #1, Original 1968 - abstract animation; print created from handmade scratch film sua_morris_fe_004 (16mm film; running time 7:22) (ID#: sua_morris_fe_003)
Reel No. 3: Painted Film #1, Original 1968 - handmade scratch film; abstract animation (16mm film; running time 7:22) (ID#: sua_morris_fe_004)
Reel No. 4: Green Oscilloscope Figures, Copy #1 1971 - print created from film sua_morris_fe_007 (16mm film; running time 15:00) (ID#: sua_morris_fe_008)
Reel No. 4: Green Oscilloscope Figures, Copy #2 1971 - print created from film sua_morris_fe_007 (16mm film; running time 15:00) (ID#: sua_morris_fe_009)
Reel No. 4: Green Oscilloscope Figures, Original 1971 (16mm film; running time 15:00) (ID#: sua_morris_fe_007)
Green color figures on black background. The film is most likely screened simultaneously with music piece during multimedia performance.
Reel No. 5: Color Oscilloscope Figures, Original 1971 (16mm film; running time 15:00) (ID#: sua_morris_fe_010)
Different color figures on black background. The film is most likely screened simultaneously with music piece during multimedia performance.
Reel No. 5: Colored Oscilloscope Figures, Copy 1 1971 - print created from film sua_morris_fe_010 (16mm film; running time 15:00) (ID#: sua_morris_fe_011)
Reel No. 6: Dot Film #1 1971 (16mm film) (ID#: sua_morris_fe_012)
Dots with irregular forms shaped from liquid splashes on a black background.
Reel No. 6: Dot Film #2 (16mm film) (ID#: sua_morris_fe_014)
Dots with irregular forms shaped from liquid splashes on a black background.
Reel [No. 6]: Dot Film #1 (16mm film) (ID#: sua_morris_fe_013)
Dots with irregular forms shaped from liquid splashes on a black background.
Reel No. 7: Filmscope #1 1971 (16mm film; running time 25:00) (ID#: sua_morris_fe_015)
Black and white film showing various musicians individually performing instruments.
Reel No. 7: Filmscope #2 1971 (16mm film; running time 25:00) (ID#: sua_morris_fe_016)
Black and white film showing various musicians individually performing instruments.
Reel No. 7: Filmscope #3 1971 (16mm film; running time 25:00) (ID#: sua_morris_fe_017)
Black and white film showing various musicians individually performing instruments.
Reel No. 8: Our Boys in Vietnam 1971; 2/21/1973 (16mm film; running time 10:55) (ID#: sua_morris_fe_018)
Face-masks animation on various backgrounds. Images of clowns masks, animals masks, skulls, etc.
Reel No. 9: Oscilloscope Figures 1971 (16mm film; running time 15:00) (ID#: sua_morris_fe_019)
No. 9: Oscilloscope Figures, Video Film, Copy #1 [MISSING] 1971 (; running time 15:20) (ID#: sua_morris_fe_020)
Reel No. 10: Inflatables [copy] 1971 (16mm film; running time 6:30) (ID#: sua_morris_fe_021)
Film shows images of inflatable toys, promotional materials, face-masks, comics super heroes, American flags, flower, butterflies, stained glass lamps, etc.
Reel No. 11: The Melting Sundae, Original 10/22/1970; 1972 (16mm film; running time 10:00) (ID#: sua_morris_fe_022)
Films shows ice cream sundae on a dark background, melting over a table.
Reel [No. 11]: Melting Sundae, Copy - print created from film sua_morris_fe_022 (16mm film; running time 10:00) (ID#: sua_morris_fe_023)
Reel No. 12: At This Point in Time 1972 (16mm film; running time 11:50) (ID#: sua_morris_fe_024)
[Audio] Tape for this film starts with a voice saying: "Ladies and Gentleman, The President of the United States. The first film image should start immediately after this voice finishes". Images of President Ronald Reagan appear during the film. The film finishes with a bloody silhouette of a human head.
Reel No. 13: Toys - Lights Kinescope, Copy #2 1972 - print created from film sua_morris_fe_025 (16mm film; running time 16:25) (ID#: sua_morris_fe_027)
Reel No. 13: Toys - Lights, Copy #1 1972 - print created from film sua_morris_fe_025 (16mm film; running time 16:15) (ID#: sua_morris_fe_026)
Reel No. 13: Toys - Lights, Original 10-02-1972 (16mm film; running time 16:25) (ID#: sua_morris_fe_025)
Reel No. 14: Fun in the Studio 1973 (16mm film; running time 12:50) (ID#: sua_morris_fe_028)
Reel No. 14: Fun in the Studio, Copy; No. 16: Slide Film Collage, copy 1973 - two abstract films spliced together on one reel (16mm film; running time 26:00) (ID#: sua_morris_fe_060)
Reel No. 15: Oscillo Kinescope, Copy 1973 (16mm film; running time 10:00) (ID#: sua_morris_fe_029)
Reel No. 16: Slide Film Collage 1973 (16mm film; running time 13:10) (ID#: sua_morris_fe_030)
Reel No. 17: Saturday Morning on Television [copy] 1973 (16mm film; running time 10:35) (ID#: sua_morris_fe_031)
Fragments of various cartoons, TV programs for children and adults, excerpts of the movie "Planet of the Apes", Crime Prevention Week ad appears at the end of the film.
Reel No. 18: Color TV Roll - excerpts of TV shows (16mm film) (ID#: sua_morris_fe_033)
Reel No. 18: TV Roll - excerpts of TV shows; film begins with actor John Wayne (16mm film) (ID#: sua_morris_fe_034)
Reel No. 18: TV Roll #1 [copy] 1973 - excerpts of TV shows (16mm film; running time 10:00) (ID#: sua_morris_fe_032)
Reel No. 19: David and Dana [original] 2/21/1973; 1973 (16mm film; running time 22:50) (ID#: sua_morris_fe_035)
Performance of a woman and a man. Visual effects run along with the film.
Reel No. 19: David and Dana, Copy 1973 - print created from film sua_morris_fe_035 (16mm film; running time 22:50) (ID#: sua_morris_fe_036)
Performance of a woman and a man. Visual effects run along with the film.
Reel No. 20: Special Effects Generator, copy 1 (2) (16mm film) (ID#: sua_morris_fe_039)
Reel No. 20: Special Effects Generator, copy 1 (2) (16mm film) (ID#: sua_morris_fe_040)
Reel No. 20: Special Effects Generator, part 1 1974 (16mm film; running time 05:05) (ID#: sua_morris_fe_037)
Reel No. 20: Special Effects Generator, part 2 (16mm film) (ID#: sua_morris_fe_038)
Reel No. 21: A Woman's Dream [copy] 1975 (16mm film; running time 15:00) (ID#: sua_morris_fe_041)
The film shows a woman in different positions, later there are scenes of a naked woman observed by a man. Visual effects run along with the film.
Reel No. 21: A Woman's Dream, Copy 1975 (16mm film; running time 15:00) (ID#: sua_morris_fe_042)
The film shows a woman in different positions, later there are scenes of a naked woman observed by a man. Visual effects run along with the film.
Reel No. 22: Six Variations on Aural and Visual Themes May 1975 (16mm film; running time 24:53) (ID#: sua_morris_fe_043)
An abstract film with colorful visual effects.
Reel No. 22: Six Variations on Aural and Visual Themes, Binghamton Film #2, Copy May 1975 (16mm film; running time 24:53) (ID#: sua_morris_fe_044)
An abstract film with colorful visual effects.
Reel No. 23: A Christmas Fantasy August 1975 (16mm film; running time 19:03) (ID#: sua_morris_fe_045)
The film features Christmas ornaments, Christmas lights, stars, Santa Claus toys, socks, deer, children making a snowman, other decorations shown through various visual effects.
Reel No. 23: A Christmas Fantasy, Copy July 1975 (16mm film; running time 19:03) (ID#: sua_morris_fe_046)
The film features Christmas ornaments, Christmas lights, stars, Santa Claus toys, socks, deer, children making a snowman, other decorations shown through various visual effects.
Reel No. 24: Patriotic Symphony in Three Movements, Copies 1975 - edited print from film sua_morris_fe_047; label lists three film fragments with timings: #1 - 10:07; #2 - 4:30; #3 - 9:10 (16mm film; running time 24:51) (ID#: sua_morris_fe_049)
Reel No. 24: Patriotic Symphony in Three Movements, Original July 1975 (16mm film; running time 10:07) (ID#: sua_morris_fe_047)
A film with heavily historical content and alternating visual effects. Its beginning shows a plastic American flag with a red target pointing at it. Other interesting segments in the film feature two men wearing face masks and one of them covers himself up within a patriotic sack, fragment of the Pledge of Allegiance, small plastic babies laying on American flag-themed paper plates on a table, a man pointing a gun at a cannon, the Confederate flag rotating with other variations of American flags, inflatable patriotic toys and decorations, images of Uncle Sam, images of an 18th century looking woman sewing with a needle, perhaps depicting Betsy Ross, newspaper clippings. The film ending is the same as its beginning.
Reel No. 25: Binghamton Film #1, Copy May 1975 - print created from film sua_morris_fe_050 (16mm film; running time 22:25) (ID#: sua_morris_fe_051)
Reel No. 25: Binghamton Film #1, Original May 1975 (16mm film; running time 22:25) (ID#: sua_morris_fe_050)
An abstract film with colorful visual effects.
Reel No. 26: Synapse: Syn-Os-Slide, Copy Jan 1976 - print created from film sua_morris_fe_052 (16mm film; running time 8:30) (ID#: sua_morris_fe_053)
Reel No. 26: Synapse: Syn-Os-Slide, Original Jan 1976 (16mm film; running time 8:30) (ID#: sua_morris_fe_052)
An abstract film with colorful visual effects. It begins a red press button and ends with Frank E. Morris smiling from an opening in a covered with mechanical switches and gadgets wall.
Reel No. 27: Moments in an Ordinary Life 1977 (16mm film; running time 13:15) (ID#: sua_morris_fe_054)
Film with visual effects shows a silhouette of a woman who is doing various activities: drying her hair, drinking from a cup, reading a book. The film ends with a face mask.
Reel No. 27: Moments in an Ordinary Life, Copy; No. 28: Wordless Drama #1 [The Guiding Light], Copy 1977 (16mm film) (ID#: sua_morris_fe_061)
Two films spliced on one reel. Note on label reads: "1. This is first longer version which will not fit musical score. 2. This has break until which must be replace before running". The first film, with various visual effects, shows a silhouette of a woman who is doing various activities: exercising, drying her hair, drinking from a cup, reading a book. Towards the end, it contains nude scenes of female and male performers. It ends with a face mask. The second film has various visual effects.
Reel No. 28: Wordless drama #1 (The Guiding Light) 1977 (16mm film; running time 9:08) (ID#: sua_morris_fe_055)
The film shows excerpts from the movie "Guiding Light" while special lighting focuses over actor's faces, eyes, mouths.
Reel No. 29: Red Bird, Original 1969 (16mm film; running time 10:00) (ID#: sua_morris_fe_056)
Film with different background lighting shows a red parrot, most likely it is Chattering Lory. The bird is in a cage, interacting with red and yellow wool pom pom, seeds, green leaf, a small American flag.
Reel No. 30: Bird Variations 1977 (16mm film; running time 11:14) (ID#: sua_morris_fe_057)
Film with various visual effects shows a red parrot, most likely a Chattering Lory in a cage, interacting with different objects.
Reel No. 30: Oscilloscope Figures, Copy; No. 31: Wordless Drama # 2 [As the World Turns], Copy 1971; 1977 - two abstract films spliced on one reel (16mm film; running time 26:26) (ID#: sua_morris_fe_062)
Reel No. 31: Wordless Drama #2 (As the World Turns) 1977 (16mm film; running time 11:26) (ID#: sua_morris_fe_058)
The film with special visual effects shows excerpts from the TV show "As the World Turns".
Reel [Unnumbered]: Barry's Film, part #2 (16mm film) (ID#: sua_morris_fe_063)
The film shows a man, most likely Franklin Morris, working in a production studio and playing on keyboards.
Reel [Unnumbered]: Bird Variations (Backwards) (16mm film) (ID#: sua_morris_fe_059)
Film with various visual effects shows a red parrot, most likely a Chattering Lory in a cage, interacting with different objects.
Reel [Unnumbered]: Black Leader and Student Scene Jan 1974 (16mm film) (ID#: sua_morris_fe_067)
Franklin Morris and students are having a conversation in a production studio.
Reel [Unnumbered]: Fire Film (usable) (16mm film) (ID#: sua_morris_fe_064)
The film beginning with a person holding a note in front of his face that reads: "Subject: Field test of Additives to increase the viscosity of water." The film continues with firefighters adding something from buckets into a fire truck tank. Later there is fire training with real fire. In the middle, the film is spliced ​​backwards.
Reel [Unnumbered]: Kravitz Animation 1966 (16mm film) (ID#: sua_morris_fe_069)
Greek-style body sketches in a story animation. Words appear between scenes: Fleisch; Suddenly; go!; new arrivals; end.
Reel [Unnumbered]: One Minute Film for "New After This Message" - composition of five pictures (16mm film; running time 01:00) (ID#: sua_morris_fe_068)
Reel [Unnumbered]: Painted Film #2, Copy 1968 - abstract animation; print created from handmade scratch film sua_morris_fe_005 (16mm film) (ID#: sua_morris_fe_006)
Reel [Unnumbered]: Painted Film #2, Original 1967 - handmade scratch film; abstract animation (16mm film; running time 10:00) (ID#: sua_morris_fe_005)
Reel [Unnumbered]: Patriotic and Christmas Films Synapse, Originals Jan 1975 (16mm film) (ID#: sua_morris_fe_048)
Two underexposed films spliced together on one reel. The first film has fragments from the Christmas film and ends with images of Franklin E. Morris smiling from an opening in a covered with mechanical switches and gadgets wall. The second film has fragments from the Patriotic Symphony in Three Movements film.
Reel [Unnumbered]: Pevera Film Organ - man playing an organ (16mm film) (ID#: sua_morris_fe_066)
Reel [Unnumbered]: Road Movie (16mm film) (ID#: sua_morris_fe_065)
Road trip with a view from inside a car. The trip starts from E. Colvin St. in Syracuse towards I-81 North and continues on I-690 East. Snow is visible on roadsides.
Reel [Unnumbered]: Video Manipulated Commercials 1977 - excerpts from various commercials with visual effects (16mm film) (ID#: sua_morris_fe_070)

Return to top