• Creator Names Weaver, Louise Overall, 1915-1990.
  • Title Louise Overall Weaver papers [manuscript], 1931-1988, (bulk 1946-1984).
  • Physical description 3.75 linear feet (3 HB, 1 half HB, 2 flat boxes)
  • Collection summary The collection includes correspondence, programs, and a contract to play for the church, awards, anniversary celebration scrapbooks and news clippings. This includes thank-you notes and letters of congratulations, autographs including Rev. Jesse Jackson and Mahalia Jackson, photos from her inclusion in the Profiles of Black Chicagoans exhibit and an unpublished memoir. Weaver's contract to play for the 44th Baptist Street Church and her certificate of Promotion from the Illinois School of Music is included in the collection. The bulk of the collection consists of programs and news clippings from her performances with Mahalia Jackson and her anniversary performances at the 44th Baptist Street Church including several photograph albums and scrapbooks.
  • Acquisition information Gift of Louise Overall Weaver (M1985.0009). Acquired through the collecting activity of the NEH Black Women in the Middle West Project.
  • Biographical or Historical Note Louise Overall Weaver was born with complications circa 1915 but avoided life in a wheelchair thanks to multiple corrective surgeries. Weaver was an accomplished Chicago organist, pianist, and choir director who served several African American churches. She was the organist at the 44th Street Baptist Church later known as the New Covenant Missionary Baptist Church for over 40 years. Weaver also accompanied Robert Anderson and the Caravans on their recordings, performed on the ABC radio program Jubilee Showcase in Chicago, served as a pianist in the Chicago Park District's Recreation Division for many years, and was an accompanist to gospel music singer Mahalia Jackson for over two decades. Weaver accompanied Jackson at her performance at Carnegie Hall in 1950, a historic moment in gospel music. Her proficiency on the organ earned her the nickname "Queen of the Hammond Organ." She later married and became Louise Overall Weaver-Smothers but was best known by the name under which she performed for many years. Weaver died in 1990.
  • Location of Other Archival Materials Note Related materials at Chicago History Museum, Research Center, include the<U+00A0>Mahalia<U+00A0>Jackson<U+00A0>photograph collection, the Mahalia Jackson papers and the Black Women in the Middle West Project collection. Separated materials include two boxes of trophies that were transferred to the museum collections. A list of these is included in the manuscript collection.
  • Names
    • Weaver, Louise Overall, 1915-1990 Archives.
    • Jackson, Mahalia, 1911-1972 Archives.
    • Anderson, Robert Archives.
    • New Covenant Missionary Baptist Church (Chicago, Ill.) Archives.
    • New Covenant Missionary Baptist Church (Chicago, Ill.)
  • Uniform Title Jubilee showcase (Radio program) Archives.
  • Subjects
    • African American Baptists Illinois Chicago 20th century.
    • African American women Illinois Chicago 20th century.
    • Choirs (Music) Illinois Chicago 20th century.
    • Gospel music United States 20th century.
    • Musical accompaniment United States 20th century.
    • Organists Illinois Chicago 20th century.
    • Radio broadcasting Illinois Chicago 20th century.
  • Geographic coverage Chicago (Ill.) Religious life and customs 20th century.
  • Genre
    • Awards. aat
    • Biography. aat
    • Certificates. aat
    • Contracts. aat
    • Correspondence. aat
    • Photographic prints aat
    • Programs (documents) aat
    • Scrapbooks. aat
  • Geographic name United States Illinois Cook County Chicago.