Archival Guidelines for the Music Publishing Industry

By Underwood, Kent | Notes, June 1996 | Go to article overview

Archival Guidelines for the Music Publishing Industry


Underwood, Kent, Notes


The history of the music publishing industry resides not just in the printed scores, which have been assiduously collected by libraries for decades, but also in the business records of the companies and in the personal recollections of the professionals who comprise those companies. Today more and more publishing houses, large and small, are changing hands or leaving the scene entirely. In such circumstances, the time, expertise, and money needed to care for a firm's archives may not be easy to marshall internally, and the potential for outside assistance or cooperation may not be explored. Whenever old company records are put aside, dispersed, or discarded, another part of history, quite possibly embodying the lifework of generations of individuals, is in danger of disappearing forever. This regrettable outcome (and it is indeed a fact that the records of numerous music publishers have been irretrievably lost) is of great concern to historians of music and culture, to librarians whose responsibility it is to preserve historical documents and make them accessible, and to a growing number of music publishers who see their own heritage threatened.

As understood in these guidelines, a music publishing archive is a systematic documentary record of a music publishing company: its activities, publications, history, and people - both its employees and the composers whose works have been published. Archives have both practical and cultural values. A well-maintained archive is, first of all, an indispensable part of an active publishing enterprise. Contracts, records of copyrights, royalties, licenses and fees, other legal and financial papers, back files of published music, and correspondence - all are essential to the conduct of daily business. In the event of mergers or acquisitions, orderly documentation is a positive element in a company's saleable value. Archives also offer source material for promotion and public relations: for example, advertising, anniversary events, journalistic profiles, etc.

There is also a wider cultural importance in archives, in that historical understanding depends fundamentally on documents that are handed down from one generation to the next. The present guidelines, therefore, are not concerned merely with the custodianship of old files but with the building of a legacy. Ideally, these guidelines will promote the formation of quality archives through the concerted effort of all interested parties - companies, donors, repositories, and scholars - and through a mutual recognition that the same documents may be valued very differently by different people at different times.(2) It is to all these constituencies that these guidelines are addressed. By acting now we can give our descendants the means fully to understand their past.

THE FUNCTIONAL APPROACH

These guidelines adopt a "functional" methodology towards understanding and organizing archives. Technological change combined with the unprecedented volume of documentation being produced by most institutions today have impelled archivists to rethink some long-established ideas and practices. Where traditionally archivists used administrative structure as the lens through which to view the entire entity, the functional viewpoint examines the different activities of an institution as a means to understand the whole. It is the evidence of those functions that consequently forms the documentary record, which ultimately comprises the archive.(3)

The framework for these guidelines, then, is a list of six generic functions, those typical of the music publishing industry as a whole. (indeed, the guidelines could theoretically be applied as well to the entire industry as to individual publishers). Even so, not every function will carry equal weight in each specific environment. In determining what is to be collected and saved by a given publisher, an archival plan should reflect the relative importance of generic functions to the specific institution, and set priorities accordingly. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Archival Guidelines for the Music Publishing Industry
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.