October 19, 2021

Report: Library of Congress Music Division FY 2018 Highlights

The Music OCLC Users Group Annual Meeting and the Music Library Association Annual Meeting take place this week in St. Louis.

The Music Division of the Library of Congress has prepared a review (14 pages; PDF) of FY 2018 of division highlights.

The document is organized into the following sections:

  • Collection Development
  • Bibliographic Access
  • User Engagement
  • Internships

Here are a few highlights from the report:

Collection Development

Each year incoming acquisitions statistics swing wildly from one extreme to another – mainly due to the size of a particular collection or collections. Last year saw the arrival of the Billy Strayhorn Papers, a collection estimated originally at about 8,000 items. Because of document counting practices, the number doubled to 17,700, reflected by the processing of financial papers and other documents.

This year the Division received 65,793 gift items. Among the more notable acquisitions were ASCAP additions (2,615), the Seymour Barab Collection (2,550), Leonard Bernstein additions (588), William Bolcom arrangements (1,500), additions to the Broude Bros. archive (45,000), the Chordettes Collection (“Mr. Sandman…”) (500), Katherine Dunham photographs (284), the Maxine Glorsky Dance Collection (4,000), and additions to the Paul Stiga Collection of Stage and Costume Designs (1,031). The total from all sources (acquisitions and copyright) is 86,494.

To best summarize the overall situation of the Music Division’s FY2018 space issues, here are relevant facts as background:

•The Division holds 588 special collections both on- and off-site.

•On-site holdings of special collections are housed chiefly on the north side of LM B09

•Off-site storage of holdings occurs in 3 locations: Landover, Cabin Branch, and Ft. Meade

•Music copyright deposits are held chiefly at Landover.

Bibliographic Access

While numbers for newly acquired material were down, this did present the section with a golden opportunity to concentrate on providing high quality metadata for previously hidden collections. Of particular note was the item level cataloging of the Cedric Thorpe Davie (1913-1983) Collection. Davie, a British musician and composer, assiduously collected valuable first and early editions of the composer Franz Liszt (1811-1886), as well as other 19th century piano virtuosos, such as Carl Czerny (1791-1857) and Ignaz Moscheles (1794-1870). The cataloging of this material has added great value to the Division’s collections, especially as it concerns the Liszt material, where it considerably augments what is already considered the largest and most important Liszt collection in North America.

The section has also been active in cataloging rare and unique materials that have been acquired by the Division over the years. Single manuscripts previously only accessible by card catalog or spreadsheet (often referred to as the Miscellaneous Music Division Manuscripts) have been fully cataloged and input into the ILS. The success of this project has been such that the section plans on providing item-level metadata for other similar collections, such as the Spivacke, Moldenhauer, and Heineman Fund collections.

This past year has also allowed the section to provide metadata for more of its unpublished copyright deposits, many of which are only accessible through the Catalog of Copyright Entries. Working in conjunction with other Division staff, important deposits stored offsite have been brought in for cataloging. Of particular note are deposits from famous jazz musicians and significant deposits of film music.

User Engagement

To mark the centennial of Leonard Bernstein’s birth, we substantially updated the Leonard Bernstein Collection web site, adding over 2,800 items including music sketches, scrapbooks, correspondence, and writings, an increase to the site of over 62%.

More than 12,000 items from the M1508 class were scanned this year, which includes sheet music from the stage and screen, and will be made available on our Web site in the future. Ninety-five items of baseball sheet music were added to an already existing web site to coincide with the Library’s baseball exhibit.

Read the Complete Report

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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