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Jim Weisenborne Papers on the Möller Artiste Department

Identifier: AOIAL-AOIC-RG0001
These papers pertain to the Möller Pipe Organ Company's Artiste or "Rolls" department, chaired by Frederick Hoschke.  Much of the paperwork consists of letters written to, or by, Hoschke regarding specific instruments that had roll player mechanisms.  Most of these documents date to the period of roughly 1928-1935 when, it seems, the department was in its prime.  Möller Pipe Organ Company was the world's largest manufacturer of pipe organs before it closed its doors with over 11,000 instruments to its name.  Jim Weisenborne acquired these papers and sorted many of them during his doctoral research in the mid 1970's.  Included with the Möller papers are the papers of Mr. Weisenborne's research including vast correspondence between Mr. Weisenborne and the then owners of buildings that once housed Möller organs with Artiste units.


  • 1928-1975
  • Majority of material found in 1933-1935, 1975

Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access:

The collection is open for research use.

Conditions Governing Use:

Any use of archival materials outside of the scope of education and/or research must be approved by the AOIAL staff and may be subject to copyright law.


1.50 cubic feet

Administrative History:

The Möller Pipe Organ Company (frequently called, 'M.P. Möller') has the distinction of being the largest manufacturer of pipe organs in world history.  Operating from 1875-1992, the company produced nearly 12,000 instruments.  At its height the company was manufacturing an entire organ every day from its behemoth factory in Hagerstown, Maryland.

Frederick Albert Hoschke (1876-1936) was Möller's roll arranger and head of the Artiste department from 1927-1934.  Under his command most all of the Möller master rolls were cut.

Jim Weisenborne was a professor and librarian at the Oakland Community College (Orchard Ridge Campus) in Farmington, Michigan.  During his time there he contacted every known establishment with a Möller organ containing an Artiste player to inquire about the state of the instrument, player, and any extant rolls.  These letters, written in 1975, were part of his thesis research and provide a snapshot of many Möller organs some 40 years after they were built.

Arrangement of Materials:

The collection is arranged in three boxes; the first of which contains the files collated and created by Jim Weisenborne during his research, arranged by opus number of the associated instruments.  (The files collated by Weisenborne's research include original Möller documents, photocopies, and original letters between Weisenborne and proprietors of the establishments with Artiste players.)  The remaining two boxes contain original files relating to the Möller company.  These papers are arranged by category where appropriate; generic correspondence to or from the Artiste dept. is filed alphabetically in the third box.  Box two contains original departmental documents of particular interest such as the original creation records for the master rolls.

Physical Characteristics or Technical Requirements:

Many of the original Möller documents are very fragile and over 80 years old.  Many of these documents will only be available through scans or photo copies as deemed appropriate by archive staff.

Physical Location

3 boxes: AOIAL Unit 001 Shelf 001

Acquisition Information:

Guide to the Jim Weisenborne Papers on the Möller Artiste Department
Finding Aid Authors: James J. Richardson, Bailey Hoffner.

Repository Details

Part of the The American Organ Institute Archives and Library Repository

2101 W. Tecumseh Rd
Suite C
Norman Oklahoma 73069 United States
(405) 325-3341