The Leon Robbin Library Endowment Fund

Leon Robbin L'22

The Leon Robbin Library Endowment Fund was established in December, 1994 by Leon Robbin L'22. This fund supports the Leon Robbin Collection of Music Manuscripts and Letters of Composers and its maintenance, preservation, expansion, and availability.

Robbin was fond of quoting Heinrich Heine (1797-1856) as saying, "Music gives back what life takes away," or as is sometimes translated, "What life takes away, music returns." He was an attorney with a 47-year career at P.R. Mallory, but his lifelong love of music led him to collect manuscripts, letters and other memorabilia of famous classical composers. He gave many of these to the Special Collections Division of the Lauinger Library, and also provided a large endowment that permits us to purchase some wonderful musical items.

Robbin received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Georgetown in 1997. He died May 22, 2003, at the age of 101. 




Autograph manuscript from a projected work for violin and piano by Frédéric Chopin, likely ca. 1845–47.

Program from Margaret Bonds' 1952 performance at The Town Hall in New York City

A program from Margaret Bonds' performance at the Town Hall in New York City in 1952, part of the Margaret Bonds Papers collection whose acquisition was made possible by the Leon Robbin Library Endowment Fund.

Related Links:

Da Capo: Music Selections from the Robbin Collection and Library Endowments (2021–22 exhibition)
Early Modern Italian Music (2017–18 exhibition)
Treasures Since 2000 (2015 exhibition)
"The Music of Margaret Bonds," Library Associates Newsletter, Summer 2013
Give My Regards to Broadway: Tin Pan Alley in Georgetown's Special Collections (2012–13 exhibition)
"Pennies from Heaven," Library Associates Newsletter, Winter 2009–10
Vienna: City of Music (2009 exhibition)
"Arias and Tin Pan Alley," Library Associates Newsletter, Fall 2008
"Jump for Joy, or, Money in the Bank,"  Library Associates Newsletter, Fall 2004
"Music...Forever," Library Associates Newsletter, Summer 2003
"In Memoriam: Leon Robbin," Library Associates Newsletter, Summer 2003
"Marcel Proust's Musical Friend," Library Associates Newsletter, Winter 2002
"Leon Robbin Gallery Ribbon-Cutting," Library Associates Newsletter, Summer 2002
"A Pair of Bequests," Library Associates Newsletter, Spring 2000
"Major Endowment to Support Music Collection," Library Associates Newsletter, Spring 1997