Academic journal article Fontes Artis Musicae

Bodleian's Entire Maps and Music Collection Now Searchable Online

Academic journal article Fontes Artis Musicae

Bodleian's Entire Maps and Music Collection Now Searchable Online

Article excerpt

The Bodleian Libraries' outstanding collection of 1.3 million maps and half a million printed music scores can now be discovered by searching SOLO, the Libraries' online catalogue (http:// http://solo.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/).

The Libraries' maps and music collections are among the largest and most important of their kind in the U.K. but, until now, records for the majority of their holdings were kept in old-fashioned card catalogues. Readers had to physically visit the Bodleian Library and search through cabinets of card catalogues in order to find what they were looking for.

Thanks to a three-year project funded by a 300,000 [pounds sterling] grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, almost half a million catalogue records--some of which were handwritten on slips of paper in the nineteenth century--have been converted to fully digitised records. These records were then added to the Libraries' online catalogue, SOLO, in summer 2015.

The Bodleian's collection of music scores--anything containing music notation, manuscript or printed--range from the original conducting score of Handel's Messiah and the eleventh-century Winchester Troper to the sheet music of contemporary pop songs.

The Bodleian's map collection ranges in date from the fourteenth to the twenty-first century. It includes such treasures as the Gough Map, believed to be the first map of the U.K., the Selden Map, a late Ming watercolour map of trade routes in the South China Sea, historic maps of Oxford and London from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and a collection of 2,500 World War I trench maps.

"Now you can search for maps and music in the same way that you would search for a book, and you can search online from anywhere in the world", said Nick Millea, Bodleian Libraries Map Librarian.

The project has unlocked access to these collections for scholars around the world. It's a significant milestone given that more than 40% of Bodleian readers are not members of the University of Oxford, and many scholars travel to Oxford from around the world to consult the Libraries' special collections. …

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