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Personal papers of John Walter Pozdro

Call Number: PP 616


This collection includes sheet music scores, teaching materials, correspondence, and other records from the career of John Pozdro, a composer who taught for most of his career at the University of Kansas during the latter half of the 20th century.


  • Creation: 1940s-2000s


Conditions Governing Access

No access restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Spencer Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials.

Biography of John Walter Pozdro

John Pozdro was born August 14, 1923 in Chicago, Illinois. He studied at the American Conservatory of Music. During World War II, he served with the Military Intelligence Division of the Army. After the war, Pozdro attended Northwestern University, where he received a Bachelor's degree in Music in 1948 and a Master's degree in 1949. Pozdro later studied at the Eastman School of Music and received his Ph.D. in Composition in 1958.

Pozdro's first teaching position was at the University of Northern Iowa, from 1949-1950. He joined the faculty at the University of Kansas in 1950 and remained there until his retirement in December 1992. He served as Department Chair of Theory and Composition from 1961 to 1988. He also served as the chair of the annual Symposium of Contemporary American Music at KU from 1958 to 1967.

Pozdro received several honors for both teaching and music composition, including the Bernard Find Award for Outstanding Classroom Teaching in 1961, a KU outstanding teacher in 1970, a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts in 1976, and a citation from the American Council of Polish Cultural Arts in 1978.

John Walter Pozdro married Shirley Winans on June 12, 1954. They had two children, John Winans and Nancy (Pozdro) Tehllman. Pozdro died in 2009.


3 Linear Feet (3 boxes + 8 oversize boxes)

Language of Materials


Physical Location

PP 616

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift, Nancy Thellman and John Winans Pozdro, 2018; transfer from KU's music library, 2011.

Related Materials

Consult library staff regarding the availability of related photographs, biographical files, and scrapbooks.


Guide to the John Pozdro Collection
Personal papers of John Walter Pozdro
Finding aid prepared by gem, 2019. Finding aid encoded by gem, 2019. Revised by mmj, 2023.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
Personal papers of John Pozdro, PP 616, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas

Repository Details

Part of the University of Kansas. Kenneth Spencer Research Library Repository

1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence KS 66045-7616 United States