Francis Robinson Collection

Identifier: MSS.0367

  • Staff Only


  • 1913 - 1979

Biographical / Historical

Francis Arthur Robinson (1910-1980) is best remembered as the longtime spokesman for the Metropolitan Opera in New York. Born in Mount Pleasant, Tennessee, he was educated at Vanderbilt University, and served as a lieutenant in the United States Navy during World War II. Before he moved to New York and worked for the Met, Robinson was a reporter and Sunday editor of the Nashville Banner; writer, actor, and producer for WSM Radio; and theatrical press representative and company manager in association with William Fields and the Playwrights’ Company.

At various times in his long association with the Metropolitan Opera, Robinson served as Assistant Manager; Director of the Press Department, of Public Relations, and of Box Office and Subscriptions; and Tour Director. He was popular with opera fans for his “Biographies in Music” and presentations during radio and television broadcasts. To millions of listeners, Robinson was the voice of the Met. He also wrote many articles and sound recording liner notes as well as two books – Caruso: His Life in Pictures (1957) and Celebration: The Metropolitan Opera (1979). Robinson was a longtime member of the Board of Trust at Vanderbilt University and left his invaluable collection of correspondence, photographs, ephemera, subject files, and artifacts to the Vanderbilt University Library.


135 Linear Feet (215 processed Hollinger boxes (90 linear feet); 40+ unprocessed boxes (45 linear feet))

Language of Materials


Physical Location

Offsite Storage, Special Collections & Archives

Finding Aid for the Francis Robinson Collection
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Vanderbilt University Special Collections Repository

Jean and Alexander Heard Library
419 21st Avenue South
Nashville TN 37203 United States


About this Site

This site contains collection guides, or finding aids, to the archival collections held by Vanderbilt University Special Collections and University Archives, the History of Medicine Collection, and the Scarritt Bennett Center. Finding aids describe the context, arrangement, and structure of archival materials, allowing users to identify and request materials relevant to their research.

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