Libraries in Music Teaching Institutions

By Eeckeloo, Johan | Fontes Artis Musicae, October-December 2014 | Go to article overview

Libraries in Music Teaching Institutions


Eeckeloo, Johan, Fontes Artis Musicae


The first session of the Libraries of Music Teaching Institutions (LIMTI) focused on different aspects of Developing Music Collections.

In the first presentation Alan Asher, subject specialist for music at the Architecture and Fine Arts Library of University of Florida in Gainesville, examined the implementation of their Patron Driven Acquisitions (PDA) program, also called Demand Driven Acquisition. He described the benefits of this recently implemented tool in library policy, amongst them the cost effectiveness of this model, the stimulation of it for the use of e-books, and also the basic principle of such an acquisition plan: it gives the user a central place in the library. The library patron becomes a kind of co-worker in the sense of helping to determine the collection profile of the library. It brings the patron closer to the library and it stimulates the immediate use of the purchased material.

Asher also described a new model for PDA in which patrons will be able to select print scores in addition to electronic books. On the other hand, Asher also pointed out that PDA is not the only acquisition policy of the library. It is still important to have a Librarian Driven Acquisition plan in order to watch over the general acquisition profile of the institution. Although Asher was advocating for a PDA program, especially for print scores, he did not deny the difficulties inherent in these models. The new models need to be promoted, otherwise there is potential for underuse which may lead to a less effective collection development tool.

In the second paper, "From the Virtual to the Sublime", Deborah Campana, head of the Oberlin Conservatory in Ohio, focused on special collections and her institution's commitment toward incorporating them into the curriculum. This was inspired in part by two very important donations of rare and unique collections: the Frederick Selch Collection of American Music History, and the James and Susan Neumann Jazz Collection. The Selch collection is built around American Music History and contains nearly 10,000 items, including 700 instruments and about 9,000 books, amongst them rare editions and primary sources. The Neumann collection is devoted to jazz and contains no fewer than 100,000 recordings, ephemera and iconography.

Campana shared experiences on the acquisition process, the problems in making those collections accessible and available to faculty and students, and on their conservation. In addition to acquiring the collections, she discussed the effects those donations have on staffing requirements and on the building. Without the addition of a position for special collections curator and a vault that provides a secure and ideal conditions for housing the collections, this whole project would not have been possible. With her institution's commitment toward this venture, the curriculum has been enriched with the possibilities of using special collections in the classroom experience.

Darwin F. Scott presented the last paper of the session: "Searching modernism and the avant garde in arts periodicals from 1848-1923: musical discovery in Princeton University Library's Blue Mountain Project". The aim of this ongoing digitization project (website at http://library.princeton.edu/projects/ bluemountain/) is to give access via high quality scans to progressive arts journals published between 1848 and 1923. The result is a freely available, multidisciplinary digital repository, supported by high-level text encoding, of rare, fragile, but important material in the broad field of the arts. In the first phase, 36 journals are available, including six music journals: La Chronique musicale, Le Mercure musicale and La Revue musicale from Pairis, the Niederrheinische Musik-Zeitung from Koln, and Dalibor from Prague. The benefits of this project are, on one hand, free access available to everyone, and, on the other the multidisciplinary concept and sophisticated cross-searching and potential for deep data mining. …

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