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Leigh Harline papers

Identifier: US-86-22

Scope and Content

This collection consists of scores for music composed by Leigh Harline along with some recordings of his work. The scores include music for the film Pinocchio and various films and television shows for which Harline wrote music. The collection also includes more serious compositions by Harline such as the music for the 1946 Ford Summer Theater, the score for Utah's Centennial Suite and for the play, Sancho Panza. Most of the scores are rough drafts on loose paper and there are several unidentified sheets of music. The collection also contains bound scores.


  • 1938-1968


Language of Materials

The records are in English

Restrictions on Access

This collection is open for research.

Biography of Leigh Harline

Leigh Harline (1907-1969) wrote songs for more than 120 films including many films for Walt Disney Studios. A native of Salt Lake City, Utah, Harline was one of 13 children. His parents were Swedish immigrants who had come to the United States after converting to Mormonism.

Harline attended the University of Utah where he studied piano and organ under J. Spencer Cornwall, a former director of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. He moved to California in 1928 where he worked in radio in San Francisco and Los Angeles. He began working for Walt Disney Studios in 1932 and his first creations there included music for more than 50 animated short films. With Frank Churchill, he wrote the score for Snow White including the song, "Someday my Prince will Come." He received his first Oscar nomination for his work on this film. Harline also wrote the music for the movie Pinocchio (1940). He won two Academy Awards for this film: Best Music and Original Score and Best Song for "When you Wish Upon a Star."

Harline left Disney in 1941, but continued to write music for films, freelancing for several different studios. His film credits include: The Pride of the Yankees (1942), The More the Merrier (1943), Road to Utopia (1946), Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), The True Story of Jesse James (1957), The Enemy Below (1957), Strange Bedfellows (1965), and many more. He also wrote songs for television series such as Wagon Train, Shirley Temple Theater, Daniel Boone, Ben Casey, The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters, and Perry Mason.

Harline also composed music for the Ford Summer Theater radio series and he wrote the Centennial Suite for the Utah Centennial. Harline died on December 10, 1969.


36.17 Linear Feet (37 boxes)


A collection of scores and recordings of music by Leigh Harline including scores for various films, radio and serious compositions.

Statement of Arrangement

The collection is arranged into 9 series by material type and format.

  1. I. Conductor's Short Scores for Films
  2. II. Music for the film Pinocchio
  3. III. Radio Scores and Serious Compositions
  4. IV. Television Scores
  5. V. Miscellanous and Thematic Ideas and Notes
  6. VI. Unidentifiable scores adn sketches
  7. VII. Songs by Leigh Harline, ms. and published
  8. VIII. Bound short scores for films
  9. IX. Recordings

Physical Location

Archives and Rare Books

Finding aid for the Leigh Harline papers
Edited Full Draft
Finding aid prepared by ARB staff
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Revision Statements

  • 2022-06-15: Added addtional information about audio recordings in the collection. The recordings are now listed individually.

Repository Details

Part of the Archives and Rare Books Library Repository

8th Floor Blegen Library
2602 University Circle
P.O. Box 210113
Cincinnati Ohio 45221-0113