The Gerhardt Marimba Xylophone Collection was acquired over many years by Edwin L. Gerhardt. This unique and comprehensive collection was donated to the Percussive Arts Society Museum in 1995. The Gerhardt archive includes reference books, music instrument catalogs, scores, methods books, pictures, correspondence, miscellaneous information, personal reminiscences, a music-related stamp collection, phonograph machines, and cylinder, disc, and tape recordings.
Edwin L. Gerhardt fell in love with the marimba, its sound, and everything about it, in 1921, at the age of 14 after attending a concert by the U.S. Marine Band at the Lyric Theatre in Baltimore, Maryland. A young Marine marimba soloist performed that evening, and it changed Ed’s outlook on music for the rest of his life. Following the concert, he immediately started building crude imitations of the marimba and began saving money in order to buy himself a real instrument.