MLA Newsletter
Music Library Association No.186 Jul-Aug 2016
Institutions & Collections

Submitted by Liz Berndt-Morris

The Boston Public Library recently created a finding aid for the Minuetta Kessler Collection through the fantastic work of Simmons student and intern Catherine Hammer, supervised by music curator Liz Berndt-Morris. Minuetta Kessler was a pianist, composer, and music educator who lived and worked in the Boston area from the 1950s until her death in 2002; her collection is held by the Boston Public Library. She was an advocate for female composers and was involved with the New England Pianoforte Teachers' Association, the American Women Composers of Massachusetts, while cofounding Concerts in the Home.

The collection at the Boston Public library contains personal correspondence, performance programs as well as articles and reviews about her performances, manuscripts, published copies, and print masters that she retained after she self-published many of the works from her home. The collection can be searched on the BPL's website.


scanned image of a phonogram player
From "Thrilling Life Stories for the Masses"; British Library digital collections, Flickr Commons
In an effort to help preserve historic media-related periodicals, the National Recording Preservation Board has digitized the entire run of The Phonogram, published 1891-1893. It is available on, and will soon be indexed at the Media History Digital Library. The NRPB will follow suit with other serials in the future. Read more about it in a post from Mason Vander Lugt on the Association for Recorded Sound Collections Blog.

Submitted by MGySgt Jane Cross

scanned image of the table of contents from an encore book

Excerpt from table of contents,
Sousa Encore Books (Bassoon I)

The Sousa Band Encore Books are now available online for research.

It was tradition for John Philip Sousa's civilian band (1893-1932) to play two or more encores after each program selection, meaning that a program with 10 pieces on it could expand into 25. The encores contrasted with the preceding piece and could be popular songs or short classics, but most often they were Sousa's marches, pasted into ledger-sized books. These 44 encore books were donated to the Marine Band by Charles Walker Hyde in 1967, and they include occasional notes from Sousa Band members and many marches in their earliest known editions. The books have helped us understand Sousa's performance practice and instrumentation choices, which have proven invaluable as we continue to work on The Complete Marches of John Philip Sousa recording project. Read more about the collection here.