Conversations at the Washington Library is a weekly podcast about early American history and the people who teach it.

The Return of the Harpsichord

In this episode, Access Services Librarian Samantha Snyder sits down with Library research fellow Dr. Joyce Lindorff to discuss her research on Nelly Parke Custis as well as the newly restored harpsichord that has been recently brought back to Mount Vernon in honor of our "Year of Music" celebration.

Joyce Lindorff is a Professor of Keyboard Studies in the Boyer College of Music and Dance at Temple University (PA), where she is also an Affiliated Professor of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies. Her current research focuses on late 18th-century keyboard instruments and home music-making, specifically cultural and expressive aspects of the harpsichord purchased by George Washington for Nelly Custis. Her performances and discussion on this topic were featured in the recent video, “Silent No More: Mount Vernon Makes Harpsichord History” (J.W. Pepper). As a performer, Dr. Lindorff’s CD recordings include music from “The Harpsichord Miscellany,” a volume owned by the Washington family. She earned degrees at Sarah Lawrence College, University of Southern California, and The Juilliard School.

Samantha Snyder is the Access Services Librarian at the Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington at Mount Vernon. She is the co-author of “Warriors, Saints, and Scoundrels: Brief Portraits of Real People Who Shaped Wisconsin." Her next project is focusing on the life and legacy of Elizabeth Willing Powel, an elite Philadelphian and close friend of George Washington.

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