Frances Johnson Darger photograph collection, 1967-2002

Overview of the Collection

Darger, Frances Johnson, 1924-
Frances Johnson Darger photograph collection
1967-2002 (inclusive)
12 items, (1 box)
Collection Number
Frances Johnson Darger (1924-) played the violin for the Utah Symphony for 69 years during its transformation from a community orchestra to a world-renouned symphony. This collection contains portraits of Darger and photographs of Darger with others at events dating from 1967 to 2002.
University of Utah Libraries, Special Collections
Special Collections, J. Willard Marriott Library
University of Utah
295 South 1500 East
Salt Lake City, UT

Telephone: 8015818863
Access Restrictions

Twenty-four hour advanced notice encouraged. Materials must be used on-site. Access to parts of this collection may be restricted under provisions of state or federal law.


Biographical NoteReturn to Top

Frances Johnson Darger was born November 30, 1924 to parents Edna Estelle Evans and Frank Arthur Johnson. When she was 9 years old, her mother, who was a singer, traded singing lessons for violin lessons with Melba Lindsay Burton. In 1942, as the men of the Utah Symphony Orchestra joined the armed forces, Darger auditioned for and won a seat in the orchestra. Two years later, she and her sisters moved to Hollywood to found a singing group, but they moved back to Utah after a year and Darger returned to playing in the orchestra. She graduated from the University of Utah with a degree in English. Frances Johnson married Robert Williams Darger (1924-2008) on May 28, 1928; together, they had three children.

Frances Johnson Darger played with the Utah Symphony for 69 years, during its transition from a community part-time orchestra to its prestigious status today, with tours and record deals. When she retired in 2012, she held the record for the longest tenure of any symphony musician in the world.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The Frances Johnson Darger photograph collection consists of 1 box containing 12 black-and-white and color photographs of Frances Johnson Darger and others. The collection contains news photographs, formal portraits, and photographs of groups at events where Darger performed. The collection dates from 1967 to 2002.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances.

Permission to publish material from the Frances Johnson Darger photograph collection must be obtained from the Special Collections Manuscript Curator.

Preferred Citation

Initial Citation: Frances Johnson Darger photograph collection, P2142, Box [ ]. Special Collections and Archives. University of Utah, J. Willard Marriott Library. Salt Lake City, Utah.

Following Citations: P2142.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


Arranged by subject

Acquisition Information

Donated by Frances J. Darger in 2017.

Processing Note

Processed by Special Collections staff.

Separated Materials

See also the Frances Darger papers (Accn2945) in the Manuscripts Division of Special Collections.

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box Folder
1 1 Frances Johnson Darger 1967-2002

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Musicians--Utah--Photographs

Personal Names

  • Darger, Frances Johnson, 1924-

Corporate Names

  • Utah Symphony Orchestra

Form or Genre Terms

  • black-and-white prints (photographs)