The MLA Northern California Chapter Fall meeting was held at the California Historical Society and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. After touring the Historical Society's facilities, members adjourned for lunch at a nearby tapas restaurant.
Following lunch the business meeting was called to order by chair Deborah Smith in the Library of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. The secretary/treasurer report stated that there were approximately 35-40 members and $1,300 in the treasury. A nomination election committee was solicited and Michael Colby volunteered.
Deborah discussed the MLA survey of continued education interests. It was pointed out that members can apply for grants from MLA for specific projects. It was suggested that our branch could perhaps offer a "course" or workshop for non-music librarians that would introduce them to music reference and cataloging. We might think about offering this course through BALIS. The change in dates for the March National MLA meeting was noted.
Several items were mentioned during the round robin. UC Davis is planning for a new performing arts center. Jean Cunningham announced that the Paramount Theatre is celebrating the 25 year anniversary of their renovation and the lobby will contain exhibits from the library. Jerry Lowell (from San Diego) is the new University Librarian at UC Berkeley. Also at UCB, architects from Atlanta have been picked to draw up plans for the new music library. Three Freeman awards for people to attend the MLA meeting have been approved. In San Jose there is a new project to combine the public and CSUSJ libraries on the San Jose State campus. The current building will be torn down and the Beethoven Center will be moving to a new temporary location (the ground floor of a parking lot!). Long-time member Tom Tidy passed away last year. Judy Tsou reported that IAML intends to register the contents of all the music archives of the world. They already have about 20 countries signed on. They will be using an encoded data archival system that can be transferred into different systems and eventually hope to be able to load the information onto the internet.
After the meeting the group adjourned for a tour of the Museum's library and were given passes to view the Museum's collections and the special Calder exhibit.
The first plenary session was entitled "Screen Gems: Film and Television Music." The opening speaker was Elmer Bernstein, famed composer of soundtracks such as The Magnificent Seven, To Kill a Mockingbird, True Grit, and many others. Additionally he is the president of the Film Music Society, and organization dedicated to the preservation and promotion of film music. He expressed appreciation of the work that music libraries and librarians have done in helping to preserving film music and making it accessible. It was interesting to hear Bernsteins opinions on the current state of film soundtracks he describes it as "a field of diminishing standards." He spoke of the luxury he had composing music for To Kill a Mockingbird - it took six weeks to work out the first three notes - and contrasted that with the present film industrys demands that a composer create a 75 minute score in 10 days. The second speaker Fred Karlin, also a soundtrack composer, is the author of two important books on film music: On the Track (1990) and Listening to Movies (1994). He began the oral history program of the Film Music Society. Karlin has been working on documentaries on soundtrack composers.
The final speaker of the session was Linda Harris Mehr of the Margaret Herrick Library at the Center for Motion Picture Study, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Her institution has one of the largest motion picture collections with clipping files, over 7,000,000 photographs, 70,000 screenplays, and much more. They also have archives of the Screen Composers Association, as well as collections of correspondence of many composers.
At the Archive roundtable I learned of a project to microfilm materials at the Sousa Archives for Band Research at the University of Illinois. The resulting film will be for sale, but the set is quite expensive. There was also a presentation of a CD-ROM product being made from materials in the Laura Boulton Collection at the Archives of Traditional Music at Indiana University. Though Boulton recorded music from all over the world, this CD-ROM will be a musical tour based on an expedition she took in West Africa in the 1930s and will describe the cultures, musical instruments, musical styles, and geography of that region.
The Public Library Roundtable had a session entitled "Bibliographic Instruction in Thirty Seconds or Less." The premise of the session was that, while a University may require its students to take a formal course in bibliographic instruction, public librarians by necessity teach the use of the librarys resources during the course of the reference encounter.
The World Music Roundtable opened with a lecture-demonstration on the musical instruments of Korea. The second half was a talk by Steve Loza from UCLA, author of the book Barrio Rhythm: Mexican American Music in Los Angeles (1993), entitled "Research and Resources in Latino Music." He showed video excerpts of some of the many interviews he has conducted with Latino musicians.
Another instructive, though troubling, session was that of the Preservation Committee called "Disaster Preparedness: Tales from the Front" where Diane Ota of Boston Public Library and Barbara Sawka at Stanford spoke of floods at their respective libraries - the former construction-induced, the latter El Nino-induced. Both gave tips on how to prepare and respond to such disasters. As both affected collections were of sound recordings, Steve Smolian gave an overview of preservation considerations for recordings.
A second plenary session - "The Sky's the Limit: Redefining Collecting Boundaries for Music Libraries or, When Is a Music Library, not a Music Library?" - spoke to the frustrations and possibilities of multi-disciplinarity and simultaneously exploding sources of knowledge and information. As always the meetings were enjoyable and informative.
I am pleased to announce that the vacant music cataloger position at Stanford Music Library has been filled by Ray Heigemeir. Ray has a BMus from Potsdam College, an MLS from Simmons College and is completing an MM in Musicology/ Ethnomusicology at UT Austin, under the mentorship of David Hunter. His master's thesis is on musical imagery in the engravings of William Hogarth. Ray worked for several years as the Circulation and Reserves Manager at the Harvard Law School Library, as a volunteer reference librarian in the Fine Arts Library at UT Austin while a student there, and lately as a freelance librarian/archivist in New York City.
During his Harvard years, Ray was active in ALA and presented posters at two annual meetings. I'm sure that Ray will be a definite asset to Stanford and to music librarianship in Northern California and look forward to his starting work on July 1. Look for him at our fall meeting!
Scanning of about 2,000 pieces of sheet music (10,000 images) was completed through a previous grant from the State Library (1996-1997). Images together with the brief records created at the time of scanning have been available at the project web site:www.sims.berkeley.edu/~mkduggan/neh.html (use Search 2). MARC cataloging (350 records) done in 1997 was made available on RLIN and, through an SGML/HTML translator and search engine, on the web site (use Search 1).
Music catalogers Steve Repasky and Lani Herrmann, both graduates of UC Berkeley's School of Library & Info. Studies, have taken part-time positions. In addition to music description, catalogers select terms from the Library of Congress Thesaurus of Graphic Materials to describe the covers of the sheet music, searchable through the tag 650. Through such terms as Buildings, Clothing and Dress, Railroads, Mining, Singers, etc., searchers can go directly to 19th-century portrayals of life in San Francisco. Dozens of performers are illustrated in original photographs that have been glued on the covers. Thanks to the generosity of local performing groups, several sound files have been added to the site. Part of a video made of Berkeley's Music Sources' concert based on the collection will be made available on the web. Impresario Laurette Goldberg managed to locate an impressive grand piano of about 1860 that was made for Harriet Beecher Stowe, with illustrations from Uncle Tom's Cabin, for the performance (see web for photograph and description).
I discovered upon visiting the National Library in Hanoi during my latest trip to Vietnam that I was in print there. The magazine Am nhac (Music) vol. 1 1998 published an excerpt of an article I wrote in Vietnamese under the title "Nhung bai ca cach mang thoi tien chien" ("Revolutionary Songs During the Pre-War Period"). Upon visiting the editorial offices to try to get a copy of the issue, I was delighted to learn that I received a royalty payment of 90,000 Dong (about $7.50). I used my thousands to buy other back issues of the publication.
San Francisco Public Library
The applicant must be a member of the Music Library Association and either be in the first three years of his/her professional career, a graduate library school student (by the time of the conference in February 2000) aspiring to become a music librarian, or a recent graduate (within one year of degree) of a graduate program in librarianship who is seeking a professional position as a music librarian. The applicant must not have attended an MLA annual meeting before applying for the grant.
Applicants must submit 3 copies of the following by July 15, 1999:
1. A letter of application which includes an explanation of the reasons for
attending the MLA annual meeting, a justification of financial need, and a
budget (the room rate in Louisville is $114 plus tax, single or double).
2. A current vita
3. Two letters of support
Mail application and supporting materials to:
Mimi Tashiro, Chair
Kevin Freeman Travel Grant Committee
Braun Music Center Stanford, CA 94305-3076
For more information, contact the chair by email: mtashiro@leland.Stanford.edu or phone (650) 725-1144.
Recipients will be notified by October 15, 1999 and announced at the MLA annual meeting in Louisville, February 23-26, 2000.
The Gerboth Award was established by the Music Library Association in memory of its Past President and Honorary Member Walter Gerboth. It is made to members of MLA who are in the first five years of their professional library careers, to assist research-in progress in music or music librarianship. Eligible members are invited to apply by June 15th for next year's award. Please send the following information, to the address below:
1) A description of the project and a statement about its significance.
2) A detailed total budget, specifying the amount of funding requested from MLA (to a maximum of $1,000) and its purpose (capital purchases are not eligible). Indicate any other sources of funding you may have already secured.
3) Two letters of recommendation-- one for the project and one for yourself.
4) A curriculum vitae that also names additional references.
If you have any questions about the award, particularly about whether you are qualified to apply for it, please contact the Chair of the Gerboth Award Committee, at the address below, or via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Send applications to:
c/o Mary Wallace Davidson
Sibley Music Library
Eastman School of Music
27 Gibbs St.
Rochester, NY 14604.
The Dena Epstein Award for Archival and Library Research in American Music was created through a generous endowment from Morton and Dena Epstein to the Music Library Association in 1995. Requests are currently being accepted for one or more grants to be awarded for the year 2000. The maximum value of the 1999 award was $2,000. The decision of the Dena Epstein Award Committee and the Board of Directors of the Music Library
Association will be announced at the MLA annual meeting in Louisville, KY, in February 2000.
A grant may be awarded to support research in archives or libraries internationally on any aspect of American music. There are no restrictions as to an applicant's age, nationality, profession, or institutional affiliation. All proposals will be reviewed entirely on the basis of merit.
Applicants must submit four copies of the following documents:
1. A brief research proposal (under 10 pages) that includes:
a. a description of the project;
b. a detailed budget for the project, indicating: 1) the amount funding requested from MLA (Capital purchases such as computer equipment and furniture are ineligible.); 2) justification for the funding; 3) additional sources of funding
c. a demonstration of how the applicant's research will contribute to the study and understanding of American music
2. A curriculum vitae of the applicant.
3. Three letters of support from librarians and/or scholars knowledgeable about American music.
Mail the required documentation to the chairperson of the Dena Epstein Award Committee at the address below. Please note that awards may be presented to an individual applicant or divided among multiple applicants during 2000. At its discretion the committee may choose not to award a grant during any particular year. An applicant who has not received an Epstein award for the first year of application may resubmit a proposal in the two following years for any one project. An applicant may receive only one award for any one project.
Submit your applications to:
Therese Zoski Dickman
Fine Arts Librarian
Lovejoy Library, Box 1063
Southern Illinois University
Edwardsville, IL 62026-1063
The deadline for receipt of applications is July 15, 1999. Applications received after that date will be considered for funding in 2001.
Please feel free to respond by email with your RSVP or a request for a parking permit.
Further details will be arriving soon by mail. Please excuse the late notice. There have been problems in scheduling.