Eugene Ormandy served as conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra (1937-1980) and was the beloved architect of the "Philadelphia sound." The Ormandy Collection includes music scores; papers and correspondence; programs; photographs; recordings; oral histories; and audiovisual material.
The collection, documenting Ormandy's extraordinary 64-year career, was donated to the University Library in 1987 by Mrs. Margaret Ormandy and may be consulted by researchers through the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts. The Eugene Ormandy Music and Media Center, part of the Otto E. Albrecht Music Library, was named in honor of this gift.
In January 2020, the Penn Libraries and The Philadelphia Orchestra partnered to celebrate the rediscovery and release (Marston Records) of the only known recording of composer and pianist Sergei Rachmaninoff playing his last major orchestral work, Symphonic Dances, which was found in the Ormandy Collection of Test Pressings.