MLA / NCC NEWSLETTER

Music Library Association / Northern California Chapter
Vol. 13, no. 1 (Fall 1998)


Minutes of the Business Meeting
May 9, 1998

Prepared by Susan Bogas, Secretary / Treasurer, St. Mary's College

The MLA/NCC chapter spring meeting began at 10 a.m. with coffee and bagels in the Morrison building on the UC Berkeley campus.

At 10:30 members went upstairs to the UCB Music Library where Librarian John Roberts gave an introduction to and demonstration of the recently completed music listening reserves lab, a.k.a. the Digital Music Network Project. This lab was constructed by the late Joe Catalano with funding from a $100,000 grant from the Haas Foundation. Computer stations provide access to sound recordings on reserve for the current semester. Students can access CD-quality streamed audio files and the related listening notes directly online by course number. Faculty can use the Sound File Submission Form to request new sound recording reserves, and can include listening notes for each piece. Access is limited to students and faculty in Morrison Hall. The online music reserves system eliminates costly manual processes for music reserves by a self-service form of listening. This system can now be used for all other kinds of audio services - the Library and the Berkeley Language Center are also engaged in a pilot project to put lectures online.

After having time to explore the lab's resources, members walked through a downpour to lunch at a nearby Thai restaurant. After lunch, the business meeting was called to order by chair Deborah Smith. Nancy Lorimer of Stanford University was unanimously elected as vice-chair. The secretary/treasurer report stated that there was $1,289 in the MLA/NCC account and that there were 35 paid members for the 1997/98 year.

A message from Ann Basart was read announcing the new web site for Fallen Leaf Press. A round robin followed in which Deborah Smith announced that the San Francisco Conservatory was automating its library. Judy Tsou reported that plans for the IAML 2002 meeting were progressing and that student housing on the hill behind UCB will be used along with the Durant, Bancroft and Claremont Hotels. About 300 peop le from around the world are expected. She also said that all archival collection in the UCB Music Library have now been cataloged! Pat Hall from the San Francisco Public Library said that an audio-visual room for reference material in the Library's Art and Music Center is in the works and that the Library was being used for a movie setting! Jason Gibbs announced that SF Public was l ooking for funding to recon their sheet music collection soon.

Nancy Lorimer notified us that Phil Schreur is now head of cataloging for the entire Stanford Library system. She also said Stanford is looking at an automatic approval plan and that the library received a manuscript of a "lost" Schumann piano sonata. Th e manuscript was purchased from Sotheby's and was a gift of the Hewlett Foundation. Judy Clarence announced that Tom Holt is the new head of cataloging at Cal State University Hayward and that good progress was being made on cataloging their extensive CD collection. She also mentioned that CSUH was using ear-training software called MacGamut, which costs only $35/disc, but that can only be used on the Macintos h platform. (This software is also in use at the College of Marin)

Michael Irvine of the College of Marin announced that they had received a donation of two keyboards and had acquired a new DAT machine for recording. They are in the process of getting Protools software to use for digital recording.

After the meeting the group adjourned to South Hall for a demonstration by Mary Kay Duggan of the California Sheet Music Project that she is creating through grants from the California State Library (1997) and HUD's Joint Community Development Program (1 998). Currently sound and video files are being mounted through the Berkeley Multimedia Research Center at UCB. Entitled Sheet Music: A Window on 19th Century California, it is a virtual library of some 2,000 pieces of sheet music published in Californi a between 1852 and 1900, together with related materials such, programs, songsheets as a San Francisco publisher's catalog of 1872, advertisements, and photographs. This database will incorporate materials from ten participating libraries including the Ba ncroft Library. Images of every printed page of sheet music have been scanned at 400 dpi, in color where indicated. In addition many sound and video files of performances of California sheet music have been experimentally posted on a RealAudio server. Mary Kay welcomes suggestion and comments about the project.

The meeting concluded with thanks to Mary Kay Duggan and with an announcement of an upcoming performance of some of this music sponsored by MusicSources in Berkeley. The concert will be October 4, Sunday, from 5-6:30 p.m. at the Northbrae Community Churc h, 941 The Alameda in Berkeley. MusicSources' founder Laurette Goldberg will host the evening, entitled, San Francisco Music from the Gold Rush. Performances by John Khouri, playing on an 1860's piano, and soprano Sylvie Braitman will be followed by pe riod dances led by Carol Teten.

MLA/NCC Fall Meeting

Friday, October 16, 1998
California Historical Society and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
10 am - 3:30 pm.

We will meet at the California Historical Society at 10 am hosted by Pat Keats, librarian at the Society. Pat will show us the Society's archives, and various collections of interest including the Kemble Collections on Western Printing and Publishing. Th e main exhibit at the Historical Society will be Sunset Magazine: A Century of Western Living, 1898-1998.

After lunch and our business meeting at the Historical Society we will go to the library of San Francisco Museum of Modern Art to be shown the facilities by librarian Eugenie Candau. She has also arranged for us to have passes for the day so that after th e meeting we can view the Museum's collections and the Calder exhibit.

Paula Matthews' visit with MLA/NCC

Paula Matthews, the Music Library Association's Vice President / President-elect, held an informal town meeting with chapter members on May 1, at the San Francisco Public Library.

Paula was interested in learning more about us and our chapter's activities. We talked about things like chapter grants from the national organization, brainstormed on future annual meetings - including locations - and the possibility of alloting time fo r chapter meetings at national meetings. The latter will actually happen in Los Angeles on Thursday evening, March 18, 1998, from 7:30-9:00.

Chapter News

Martha Johansen, of Humboldt State University, announces that they have a new head of cataloging. Her name is Merry Schellinger, and she has a background in music. She started out as a performance major at St. Olaf College, playing organ, but changed to music history and wrote her thesis on 78 rpm ethnic recordings. She cata loged and researched a collection of Scandinavian sound recordings, with the interest of learning how American sound recording companies targeted immigrant groups, and recorded the music these groups were performing in their local communities to sell to t hem. Prior to moving to Humboldt, she worked at University of Minnesota. Martha is grateful that Merry understands music cataloging very well, and hopes to bring her to our fall meeting.

The San Francisco Performing Arts Library and Museum's new exhibition is "'S Wonderful: A Celebration of George Gershwin" running from September 9 to December 23, 1998. They also have an ongoing on-line exhibition on Early San Francisco stage.

From August 5 through September 26, 1998 there is an exhibit commemorating the Twentieth Anniversary of the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus in the Steve Silver / Beach Blanket Babylon Music Center on the fourth floor of the San Francisco Public Library.

Nancy Lorimer has recently been appointed head of Music Technical Services at Stanford University.

Mary Kay Duggan's appointment as Professor at UC Berkeley has been changed from the School of Information Management and Systems to the Department of Music.

At the 1998 MLA Boston meetings it was announced that Patricia Elliott and Ira Brilliant won the Richard S. Hill Award for the best article on music librarianship, or music bibliography for their article: "A Ten-year Review of the Beethoven Auction Market (1985-1995)," published in The Beethoven Journal, vol. 11, no. 1 (1996), pp. 26-31.

Jason Gibbs' article "Nhac Tien Chien: The Origins of Vietnamese Popular Song" appeared in the June/July 1998 issue of the online magazine Destination Vietnam. Jason also composes and plays synthesizer and bassoon with the spoken-word band The Apes of God whose new CD recording Edge of Arrival has just been released.

MLA in Los Angeles

A reminder that the new dates for the 1999 Music Library Association Conference are March 17-20, 1999 (changed from the original March 3-6). The conference will be held at the Regal Biltmore Hotel. There will be two plenary sessions: one on film and tel evision music and the other on redefining collecting boundaries for music libraries.

Update on the California Sheet Music Project

Mary Kay Duggan

Thanks to a summer 1998 grant from HUD's Joint Community Development Program, administered through the Institute of Urban and Regional Development at the University of California at Berkeley, the California Sheet Music Project was able to hire two students from McClymonds High School, Oakland, to locate 19th-century California sheet music at the Paramount Theatre Music Library and scan the new titles to mount on the project web site. The major source of the 110 titles located was the Walter J. Rudolph Library collected by Rudolph during his fifty years as a vaudeville orchestra leader in San Francisco. Since this was a performer's collection, Rudolph discarded many of the sheet music covers so that working copies begin with the music. Pages of the 35,000 items were trimmed to a uniform 30 x 24cm for easy storage. Other collections at the Paramount include tens of thousands of orchestrations, but the earliest California orchestration located ("Los Angeles Fiesta") was dated 1901, outside the scope of the project. Pictures of the students hired are on the web site: http://www.sims.berkeley.edu/~mkduggan/neh.html. Click on the new link for the Paramount Theatre Music Library.

MLA Plan 2001: A Guide for the Perplexed

Michael Colby

There has been much talk and much written about MLA's Plan 2001 at the national meetings and in the national newsletter. Still, many people have a vague idea at best as to what it's all about. This article attempts to explain it very briefly, in bold stro kes. Where did it come from? MLA had not done a formal review of its goals and objectives since sometime in the 1970s. MLA began a self-study process in 1994. In 1995, a questionnaire was sent to about 45% of the MLA membership. This was followed by a meeting of a small group of MLA member in Chicago to look at the results of the survey and to make recommendations. This group's report was the initial draft of Plan 2001. It was mailed to the entire MLA membership in 1996 and was the topic of discussion at the Town Meeting in Seattle. The MLA Board adopted the plan at its June 1996 meeting. What is it? Plan 2001 is an attempt to establish direction and focus for the organization through the year 2001. In a nutshell, it is a plan to make MLA more visible, stronger, to better serve its member's needs, and to work more efficiently. These goals are addressed in four initiatives.

1. Increase and enhance visibility outside the Music Library Association.
2. Intensify development efforts in the areas of membership and fund raising
3. Intensify continuing education efforts
4. Enhance the effectiveness of the association's internal organization and operations

Many objectives fall under these initiatives. Without going into extensive detail, here are a few examples. Reach out to and strengthen ties with other organizations. Play a stronger role on issues relating to our profession. Broaden membership. Intensi fy fund raising efforts. Expand continuing education efforts. Review the role of the chapters in the organization.

Various bodies and committees in the organization are already at work on these initiatives and objectives. The Organizational Liaison Committee has been formed and is currently chaired by Judy Tsou. The committee has identified MLA members who are also ac tive in other organizations (e.g. American Musicological Society, Sonneck Society, International Machaut Society, etc.) who are willing to serve as a conduit between that organization and MLA. An Ad Hoc Administrative Services Committee completed their ch arge to explore options for other ways to deal some MLA administrative functions, such as publicity, which have currently been handled entirely by volunteers. For more information on MLA Plan 2001 in much greater detail, please look at the MLA website at http://www.musiclibraryassoc.org.