Dick Anderson has been a major contributor to the William Steinway Diary Project since its inception. With a special interest in the history of piano manufacturing, Anderson has focused on Steinway & Sons' business activities. His extensive research has traced the economic history of the company, covered six major strikes, the meetings of the Piano Manufacturers Association, the Board of Trustees Meetings, and various lawsuits against the company. Anderson also investigated the relationship between William and J. C. Freund, publisher of The Music Trade Review. Freund fought with William through his publications, and in 1883, wrote three "blackmailing" articles to which William vigorously objected. Anderson has maintained a separate notebook of articles on Freund and responded to more than 50 diary entries on this topic.
Anderson grew up in New York and Connecticut, and through arrangements made by his piano teacher in 1947 and 1948, participated in a music competition held at Steinway Hall in New York City. He has a BA in psychology and business from the University of Connecticut and an MS in technology of management from American University. Anderson was drafted to serve in the army from 1954–1956, during which time he was assigned to work in the building where the National Museum of American History, home of the William Steinway Diary Project, now stands. After his army service, Anderson worked for two intelligence agencies and the Navy Department until he retired in 1985.
He began researching pianos and the history of piano manufacturing in the 1960s, which brought him in contact with Cynthia Adams Hoover at the Smithsonian Institution and John Steinway of Steinway & Sons. Anderson received his first glimpse of William’s diary in 1975 while in New York to see John Steinway about material for his research. From 1973 onward, Anderson has concentrated on documenting the history of the New York Piano Makers Union, their strikes since 1835, and the activities of the New York Piano Manufacturers Association since 1864. Aside from his work on the Steinway Diary Project, he served as editor of the American Liszt Society’s newsletter for ten years. Anderson lives with his wife, Peggy, in Washington in American University Park.