MLA Newsletter

 Music Library Association
No. 190
Mar-April 2017

Logo designed by Katie Buehner



Images from Orlando
Developing Trends
In Recognition
MLA Awards
MOUG Distinguished Service Award
Member Publications

From the President
Mark McKnight, MLA President

“Everybody Loves Michelle!” These words still weigh on my mind as I write this, my first column as MLA President, a little over a month since we convened in Orlando for our 86th annual meeting. The tragic accident that occurred on Thursday night of the conference, sending our dear Newsletter Editor, Michelle Hahn, to the hospital with life-threatening injuries, overshadowed for many what was an otherwise exciting and groundbreaking conference, our first-ever Pan American Regional IAML meeting. The rallying cry for Michelle’s recovery soon took over social media in the days following the conference, and I’m encouraged to report that Michelle is recuperating and on her way to recovery. The overwhelming generosity of our members immediately following her accident in providing Michelle and her family emotional and financial support continues to fill me with gratitude and pride in our association.

On the positive side, I want to take this opportunity to express my thanks to all who contributed to our Orlando meeting. A successful conference is like a fine-tuned machine (think Steinway) with multiple parts all moving in sync. MLA has many people involved in our meetings who work hard to ensure that their respective parts mesh smoothly and in tandem with all the others. Program Committee chair Kirstin Dougan and her team put forth a remarkable effort in planning a stimulating, informative, and thoughtfully organized program, and they successfully tackled the challenges of including our Canadian and Latin American colleagues fully into the sessions. Thanks should also go to the Education Committee, the Cataloging and Metadata Committee, the Educational Outreach Subcommittee, and MOUG, for cosponsoring the highly successful pre-conference workshop, “The Beat Goes On-athon: Creating Linked Data for Music with RIMMF,” led by instructor Kathy Glennan. This pre-conference demonstrates MLA’s continued leadership in the area of cataloging and metadata as well as our commitment to share our considerable expertise and knowledge with others inside and outside the music library community.

To our indefatigable pair of Convention Managers, Diane Steinhaus and Wendy Sistrunk, Brava! for a job splendidly performed. The myriad details that go into the smooth running of our meetings, working with hotel staff (before, during, and even afterward), and sometimes interceding on behalf of attendees, too often pass unnoticed by our members—which means, I guess, they’re doing their job well!

Also working quietly and efficiently behind the scenes was our incomparable Web Editor Katie Buehner, whose speed and skill in managing the online components of the program also deserve our kudos, as do Ray Heigemeir and the Web Committee. We continued our recently initiated practice of providing live streaming and video recording of certain sessions, this time for a modest fee. While this service is an investment in time and money, it continues to deliver an added value to our meetings and serve as an outreach to those who cannot attend, or those who missed a session due to a conflict.



Jim Zychowicz and Katie Cummings from MLA’s Business Office provided their usual superb support in managing registration and other services for attendees and we are thankful for their work on behalf of MLA. I should also give a shout out to our irrepressible MLA Big Band, whose zeal never fails to bring a swinging end to our festivities each year, and they did so again this year. We thank them as always for their hard work and generosity of time and talent. I conclude this list of conference acknowledgements by expressing my appreciation to all who participated, whether by making presentations, chairing business sessions, or simply by coming and engaging in discussions. A special gracias/obrigado/merci goes to our Latin American and Canadian colleagues for their contributions and especially for the extraordinary effort they undertook to help make our IAML Pan American Regional IAML meeting such a success. We were also very pleased to welcome IAML President Barbara Dobbs McKenzie and the members of IAML’s Board as our distinguished guests.

One of the main tasks the MLA President has immediately following our annual meeting is making appointments, and that is exactly what has kept me occupied during these weeks since we met. I am grateful to all those who have so willingly agreed to serve on or chair committees, subcommittees, and interest groups. We are a volunteer association, and the gift of your service is what makes MLA the vibrant organization it is.

Working in academia for more than thirty years, I am well attuned to the cyclic nature of our existence; as one class graduates another class comes in and the story begins again. And so it is with MLA. Our outgoing (in all senses) members-at-large, Andrew Justice, Fiscal Officer, Laura Moody, Planning Officer, and Darwin Scott, Parliamentarian, deserve our deepest gratitude for bringing to the Board intelligent ideas and a warm sense of camaraderie. I have full confidence that the same spirit of collaboration and sound judgment will continue with our newest Board members, Anna Kijas, Assistant Fiscal Officer, Andy Leach, Assistant Planning Officer, and Joe Clark, Assistant Parliamentarian. I am truly fortunate to have been able to “apprentice” this past year with President Michael Rogan, and I am forever indebted to him for sharing his exceptional knowledge of the workings of MLA, his imaginative and clear-headed thinking, and, above all, his warmth and empathy. To borrow a phrase from Gilbert & Sullivan, he is the very model of a modern MLA president!

I close with an extra-special thank-you to former Newsletter Editor Misti Shaw for filling in as Newsletter Editor while Michelle is recuperating. Without ever so much as a “would you consider” from me, Misti immediately jumped in after the conference and started work on getting out this issue. I hope you will all let her know how much we appreciate her for taking on this challenge. And Michelle, get well soon—we miss you!  

Mark McKnight, MLA president


Orlando: Conference Coverage

Conference Diaries

This year, several attendees submitted conference diaries, recounting their thoughts and experiences from attending MLA in Orlando.

Diary 1, by Treshani Perera
Master of library science and master of music in music history dual degree program candidate at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

For my conference diary, I am focusing on two sessions: one with an archival emphasis, and one on music copyright issues. I had been looking forward to Eric Harbeson’s (CU Boulder) session, “Copyright and Institutional Sound Recordings,since the conference schedule was released. Harbeson’s session covered a complex topic—legal issues behind reproduction of sound recordings-which made his overall message a strong one. There’s risk leading to a lawsuit or legal action when one is reproducing sound recordings in a physical or digital format, but lack of action to preserve legacy formats will ultimately lead to risk of losing content within them. Harbeson used an appropriate example of institutional magnetic-tape sound recordings that continue to sit on library shelves due to complex copyright laws controlling access to physical and digital reproductions. Another concern about copyright law and sound recordings is the lack of absolute rules, which often leads to “it depends” responses (or more precisely, “yes-ish” or “no-ish”)!

To begin with, each sound recording has at least two layers of copyright protection: copyright of work itself and copyright of the performance. To make matters more complex, additional layers may be added, especially if a work has accompanying text. Harbeson’s presentation was informative, but is strictly relevant and applicable to institutions dealing with U.S. Copyright Law. Harbeson’s advice to those dealing with copyright issues for sound recordings: take a risk, take action in the name of fair use, but be aware that there are many instances that demand risk-averse decision making. It would take me pages to cover the contents of Harbeson’s excellent presentation, so I hope you will stay tuned to the session recording when it is released via the Music Library Association Vimeo channel.

The session titled “Who’s Afraid of the Big Backlog? MPLP and Music Special Collections,” which took place Friday afternoon, focused on minimal processing of archival backlogs to provide access to hidden collections. Session moderator and panelist Maristella Feustle (University of North Texas) began the session with some results from the 2016 Archives and Special Collections Committee Survey indicating music librarians’ changing duties and added job responsibilities related to archival processing with limited experience. Thus, the session focused on giving an overview of the archival processing method More-Product-Less-Process (MPLP) with some real-world examples of how it applies to music collections. More information on the MPLP method can be found in the seminal archival article by Dennis Meissner and Mark A. Greene.

Dan Santamaria (Tufts University) provided a thorough overview of the MPLP method; much of the presentation was taken from his MPLP workshop offered through the Society of American Archivists Continuing Education Workshops Series. One of the initial takeaways from this presentations was the triadic approach to successful processing: making collections discoverable, knowing and promoting what’s in your collection, and being sensitive to user needs. Santamaria also provided valuable advice on how to be conscientious of user needs during description and arrangement of archival collections, and looking at the bigger picture of archival processing when applying the MPLP method.

Treshani Perera at her poster sessionTreshani Perera in front of her poster entry.

Feustle’s short albeit informative presentation focused on archival processing during times of doing more with less time, funding, expertise, and personnel. Matt Snyder (New York Public Library) discussed the implications of MPLP when processing large music collections on a tight schedule. Snyder views MPLP as a method in favor of researcher-led content discovery with archivist’s role being limited to creating access through description and appraisal. This approach empowers researchers to interact with the collections themselves instead of through the eyes of the processing archivist. Snyder believes that processing archivists should focus on good description by researching the creator and having a thorough understanding of the collection’s “aboutness”, as well as provide a clear inventory of minimally-processed items so that collections are no longer hidden from users.

The session titled “Hyperconnected Access to Archival Music Collections,” presented by Mac Nelson and Stacy Krim of University of North Carolina Greensboro,had a similar theme. This session was the winner of the MLA Best of Chapters Competition, which honors outstanding presentations from regional MLA meetings. The focus of the session was the use of detailed catalog records and finding aids to increase visibility of UNCG’s cello music special collections. According to Nelson, the cello collections have continued to gain interest from cello musicians, researchers, and donors interested in cello music, which led to data-rich catalog records for ease of search and discovery via the world wide web. A typical item-level catalog record includes not only details pertaining to the publication itself but also notes fields (MARC 5xx) for annotations and content (such as original cadenzas) added by performers. In the age of Google-like universal search catalogs and integrated library systems, Krim sees the presence of detailed item-level catalog records as a useful strategy for researchers interested in collections from afar. Krim also discussed the importance of collection outreach via social media (Tumblr, Twitter, and Facebook), which has had an impact on some international researchers to progress with their research without even setting foot into the archives. Krim pointed out that in some cases, Facebook statistics and interactions were used to add items into UNCG Digital Collections on an on-demand basis.

This year’s MLA annual meeting was personally significant for some extenuating circumstances altering my conference experience, but I was glad to be in the company of those that continue to come together for one shared goal: making music collections the center of our professional universe! The people, on the other hand, are always the motivation to keep coming back to MLA annual meetings! 


Orlando: Conference Diaries, continued

Diary 2, by John Lazos

Between February 23 and 26, the Music Library Association (MLA) annual conference took place in Orlando, Florida. It was quite a success, particularly because they included and generously invited the Latin American and the Canadian colleagues. This was the first time that a Pan American meeting was ever held.
The session titled “Cataloging and Promoting Music Special Collections in Latin America” opened with Yael Bitrán Goren (director of CENIDIM from Mexico) presenting music collections pertaining to her research center. One of them, the Sánchez Garza Collection, purchased years ago, thanks to Robert Stevenson's advice, has recently been catalogued by a team of four researchers (Aurelio Tello, Omar Morales, Bárbara Pérez and Nelson Hurtado), and is soon to be published. André Guerra (Universidade Federal Fluminense Polo Rio das Ostras, Brazil) talked about Brazil’s music heritage, especially Curt Lange’s legacy, which comprises correspondence, scores, books, newspapers, diaries and magazines. Of note is Lange’s first item, a body of correspondence of more than 58,000 letters. Beatriz Magalhães Castro (Universidade de Brasilia, Brazil) shared with us about Brazilian musical patrimony. She said that it has been divided into different regions to better understand this large country. Not an easy task, as there are always issues on specialized practice versus collections, public versus private, internationalisation versus adopting standards and cataloguing as a legal prerogative versus musicology.

The second session, “IAML Latin America Forum: Improving access to music resources through cooperation,” had numerous participants. Flávia Camargo Toni (Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil) mentioned the issues and challenges at her institution. Founded in 1962, the Institute for Brazilian Studies (IEB) focuses on everything related to research and integration among the humanities. The library, besides being considered one of the most complete Brazilian archives in the world, has just received 70,000 books collected by Manoel Correia de Andrade, specialized in the culture and history of people from the northeast of the country. From Argentina, Hernán Gabriel Vázquez (Instituto Nacional de Musicología “Carlos Vega” and Universidad Nacional de Rosario Instituto Nacional de Musicología “Carlos Vega”) talked about the specific functions of his institute, which is to promote musical research and its aim is to study the variety of music created and performed in Argentina and other Latin American countries.

There are three sections: Archives, Musical Instruments Museum and Sound Library. The young Yohana Ortega Hernández (Head of the Archives and Library Odilio Urfé of the National Museum of Music in Cuba) is in charge of an institution which aims at compiling, studying and disseminating Cuban music heritage. This museum, created in 1949, is the most important institution in the country and since 2004 has had a program that includes organizing, financing, and cultural actions aimed at safeguarding and recovering masterpieces of Cuban tangible cultural heritage as well as cultural properties treasured either in the museum, other cultural institutions or private collections.

For her second presentation, Yael Bitrán addressed how her institute has given priority on the digitization of its collections. In the last two years, they have included the José F. Vásquez Archive (completed), the Gerónimo Baqueiro Fóster Archive Photographic Collection (completed), the Zevallos-Paniagua Collection (completed), the Esperanza Pulido Archive (begun), the Raúl Hellmer Fund (advanced) and the Henrietta Yurchenco Fund (completed). Currently, the collections Hiram Dordelly and Monographs are being digitized.

Yoanna Lizett Diaz Vázquez (Research Center in Musical and Performing Arts of the Salto Headquarters, University of the Republic, Uruguay) shared with us her concern on rescuing the musical heritage in her country. The Center of Documentation, Research and Dissemination of the Performing Arts (CIDDAE) was created in 2004 when the Solís Theater in Montevideo was reopened. Located in the theatre's building, this center contains documents produced by the theater over time and obtained from private donations: hand programs, posters, handwritten and printed scores, pictures, books of proceedings of the Board of Directors, bordereaux, sketches, press articles, scenic models.

The session “Mas vale pájaro en mano que cien volando=A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush: the challenges of providing access to diverse Latin American collections,” was concerned with the research, organization and sharing of music manuscripts and collections. Klaus Keil (Director of Répertoire International des Sources Musicales) reminded everyone how RISM has been cataloguing music sources for over sixty years. Their database, open for public consultation, has over one million records mostly from Europe. Fortunately, in the last few years RISM has been interested in other music traditions. Slowly, but steadily, there are nowadays over 1,200 records from various Latin American countries. The idea is to increase contacts and share the music housed in this area. John G. Lazos (independent researcher from Canada-Mexico) talked about the complicated situation of music cataloguing in Mexico and the particular case of José Antonio Gómez y Olguín (1805-1876). Gómez’s catalog, recently finished and on-line for public consultation, compiles over 140 music works housed at seven different religious and sacred archives. This is the first time we have the music corpus of any significant Mexican musician from this period. Finally, Emma Dederick (Associate Librarian at Indiana University) presented on the “Crossroads of AMERICA(S): a road map to musical discovery” which she explained is based on the need to compiled all the music collections from the US and beyond. This work-in-progress has already enlisted the most important collections pertaining to universities and libraries all over the world. This current project is looking for more contributions.

To read this diary entry in Spanish, please read it on the IAML site here..


Orlando: Conference Diaries, continued

Diary 3: Michelle Urberg, Metadata Librarian at Ex Libris (Proquest)


From left: Marian Ritter, Terry Horner, Michelle Urberg, Erin Conor, Ann Shaffer, and Dan Ray

MLA 2017 in Orlando was my first MLA! I first heard about MLA many years ago from Scott Landvatter at the University of Chicago, where I was a graduate student employee in the Recordings Collection. Fast forward a few years: I found myself finishing library school and starting my first professional library position, with a strong desire to get involved in professional organizations to help support the field where I want to spend my career. I have already been a member of MLA for a few years and have written a couple of book reviews for Notes, but this was the first time I was able to attend the annual meeting. I went with the goal to meet fellow librarians and begin to find my niche for involvement.

The meeting​ was a great experience all around, but two things really stick in my mind now that I am back in Seattle and have returned to my regular work activities. First, I was very impressed at how everyone welcomed the newcomers. The first-timers’ reception helped to get things off on the right foot. It was great to meet other new members of MLA and to be introduced to other members at the opening reception by​ my mentor, Leslie Anderson (thanks Leslie!). This was also the first time I was able to meet the people who are in the Pacific Northwest Chapter of MLA (see our group picture). We had a lovely dinner at Maggiano's and I learned what a number of the chapter members do for their institutions. From these three events alone, I felt that I was gaining a firm foundation for meeting more people next year.


The second thing that really remains with me now is the active and productive committee work. I was incredibly impressed with the documents drafted by the Emerging Technologies and Services Committee (ETSC) for music discovery and the tireless energy of the various subcommittees of the Cataloging and Metadata Committees (CMC) in tackling vocabularies, standards, and other cataloging related issues. I look forward to learning from fellow librarians over the next few years as a member of these committees.

By the end of the meeting I felt like I had a much better understanding of what MLA does to serve the professional needs of music librarians, as well as the contributions this organization makes to the broader field of library and information science. Moreover, I accomplished both of the goals I set for myself: I have a clear set of objectives to work on over the next few years with the ETSC and CMC. I am finding my niche! I also now have a few familiar faces to help me hit the ground running for my second MLA.

This was a great learning experience for me and I definitely benefited from the robust first-timer programming. Thanks fellow MLA members!


Orlando: Conference Diaries, continued

Diary 4: Michael Crowley, Music Librarian at City College of New York

Aside from all the indispensible information on instruction, collection development, Latin American reference sources, archival practice as well as the slew of presentations featuring distinctive music collections from all over Pan America, one of my favorite highlights from the 2017 Pan-American Regional IAML meeting has got to be the friendship formed between myself and two Brazilian delegates, Flávia Camargo Toni and Biancamaria Binazzi from the Instituto de Estudios Brasileiros, Universidade de São Paulo.

Our mutual love for Brazilian popular music helped us form a clique right away but as our discussions progressed, we learned just how much we had in common, including a profound respect for the work of Carleton Sprague Smith, a man who pioneered cultural exchange between the United States and Latin America in the first half of the 20th century.
Biancamaria told me about her research involving Franklin D. Roosevelt’s ‘Good Neighbor’ policy, a piece of legislation that supported Smith’s travels to several South American countries with the intention of building a cultural bridge between the United States and nine host countries. The sustained interest in the projects Smith put into motion during his career stand testament to the success of his pursuits.

In her presentation during the Latin American Forum: Improving Access to Music Resources through Cooperation, Flávia Camargo Toni showcased the IEB’s holdings of materials related to the work of Carleton Sprague Smith and called on the music library community to help develop a strong network that ties together the collections presently scattered across two continents, promoting further research and scholarship (as well as education for librarians and musicologists) in the process.   

In a surreal twist, Flávia and Biancamaria introduced me to John Shepard (Music Librarian at UC-Berkeley), who had actually met Carleton Sprague Smith when he worked at the New York Public Library! He shared a few anecdotes about Smith’s fiery personality and passion for Latin music which brought Smith’s story to life. Shepard encouraged me to read up about Smith by checking out his article “Carleton Sprague Smith: Pan-American Holdings in the Music Division of the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts” from the March 2006 issue of Notes.  It became clear that out of all the amazing resources I learned about at MLA 2017, the people themselves proved to be the finest resource of them all.

Back, from left: Lisa Philpott and Flávia Camargo Toni
Front, from left: Michael Crowley, Jessica Barreto, Biancamaria Binazzi, and John Shepard

Orlando: Conference Coverage, continued

"For the Love of Vinyl"
by Marci Cohen (Boston Univ)

At the presentation “For Love of Vinyl,” Stephanie Bonjack presented a case study advocating more open circulation policies for LPs. A non-circulated collection, University of Colorado Boulder's LP collection had been underused. However, when circulation was accidentally turned on, Waltz Music Library head Stephanie Bonjack discovered that usage had exploded. Rather than just flipping the ILS switch to cut off access again, Bonjack used this as an opportunity to rethink their circulation philosophy regarding vinyl. She prefaced this with her anecdote that she has been offered a donation of vinyl collection at least once a month throughout her career, indicating that records are not a precious, irreplaceable commodity. She then examined the history of vinyl's share in the recorded music market. It had a remarkably long run compared to other formats. And despite the buzz over the vinyl resurgence in the last decade, it still accounts for only about 3% of the market. From this, she concluded that a lot of vinyl still exists, but current interest in the format as library materials is low and hard to estimate precisely.

Once CU made the deliberate decision to lend their LPs, they had concerns about damage. They purchased folding

cardboard mailers for sending LPs via ILL or within their consortium. They also supplied other consortium members with a stash of mailers for returning loans because they found that the mailers they sent made it back infrequently, and the LPs came back in less protective packaging. Still, the collection suffered no significant damage.

Bonjack has been analyzing the data on the LPs that have circulated in an attempt to answer two questions: Are users requesting vinyl because it is the only format available with the music they want? Are users intentionally requesting vinyl, or are they surprised that they aren't getting CDs? She also analyzed usage by genre and correlated it to which ones are studied at her institution.

Unable to attend the conference, Bonjack prerecorded her presentation then Skyped in at the end for questions and comments. Rebecca Littman of University of Wisconsin Milwaukee confirmed Bonjack's observations at her own institution: when they weeded their collection of duplicates, people scrambled to take the cast-offs. But more importantly, when they opened up borrowing, they experienced no significant damage to the collection.



Seeing double: Tracey Snyder (Cornell) and Tracey Rudnick (Univ. Hartford)

Orlando: Conference Coverage, continued

“Hyperconnected Access to Archival Music Collections”
by Leslie McCall (Wake Forest)

In the era of the Google-style single search box, many libraries face increased pressure to reconsider the cost of producing detailed bibliographic catalog records. Yet it is precisely this kind of data-rich description that enables innovative service on today’s frontiers of Google and social media. This was the key message of this year’s “Best of Chapters” paper, presented by Stacey Krim and Mac Nelson, archivist and cataloger respectively for UNCG’s Cello Music Collection.

The collection, built on the personal libraries of sixteen prominent cellists of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, constitutes “the largest single holding of cello music-related materials in the world.” It focuses on “manuscript compositions and arrangements of scores and parts featuring or arranged for the cello, and published scores and parts annotated for cello performance or inscribed by a cellist.” In his cataloging, Nelson includes local notes describing annotations, performance notes, inscriptions, sketches, and other copy-specific content.

These details enable the catalog record to act as “the doorway to UNCG’s archival music collections,” presenting “an enticing description” in Google search results, WorldCat, and other online venues.  Beyond increased visibility for the collection, this encourages (via holding-library and “Ask a Librarian” links) contact and relationship-building with library staff. Google Translate does a sufficiently accurate job with the local notes to facilitate interaction with a global clientele. As the presenters note, “Detailed records lead to more questions, providing motivation for the researcher to contact the library. Every instance of contact provides the opportunity to build relationships … and a reputation for service.”

Data-rich cataloging can also offset some of the flaws of the local ILS system (UNCG uses WMS) by enabling one “to craft very powerful and precise searches.” Krim regularly constructs search statements combining bibliographic data, keywords from local notes, and the names of the individual cellists’ collections to satisfy requests that are both highly specific, such as annotated copies of the Markevitch edition of the Bach suites, and exhaustive, such as a list of all solo cello repertoire in the UNCG collection. The presenters commented on the potential of new thesauri such as LCMPT and LCDGT, and the concomitant MARC 38x fields, for even more granularity in searching, including the example of women composers in the collection. When your ILS allows searches to be saved and hyperlinked, these can be shared with researchers whether in individual correspondence, in LibGuides, or on social media for editing and re-use.

Detailed cataloging, while initially time-consuming to produce, results in significant time savings all along the rest of the chain of library services. This is true not only for reference librarians constructing savable precision searches, as we have seen, but also, “the in depth description provided by the cataloger saves a tremendous amount of time for UNCG digital projects, allowing a degree of social media audience driven additions to the digital collection.”

Krim, who maintains a Facebook page for the Cello Music Collection, recalls posting an annotated part that proved to be an overnight hit; the next morning, within a half-hour of Krim’s request, her digitization team was able to add the item to the digital collection, available for downloading by its Facebook fans. As it happens, the part had already been scanned for an ILL request, and the metadata was simply copy/pasted from the catalog into ContentDM.

Krim’s advice for developing an effective social media presence is as follows: first, have a clearly defined purpose, not just a vague notion of generating additional publicity. Krim’s Facebook page is designed “to specifically connect archive material and personnel with researchers.” Second, limit postings to works your institution is able to digitize in their entirety because they will surely be asked for! Besides, a photo of someone holding a rare score is merely “a cruel tease”; digital collections, in tandem with the social media used to publicize them, should be treated as “the virtual research room.” Third, the library’s social media activities should be subject to the same assessment standards as are other library services. Additional notes: Krim uses a personal account for the Cello Music Collection’s Facebook page, on the theory that a personal handle is generally perceived as more approachable than a lengthy institutional name. She exploits composer and performer birthdays to post relevant items in the collection.

In conclusion, the presenters note that, while there has been “painfully exhaustive discussion concerning data-rich cataloging, research consultations, ILS issues, and social media,” these functions often remain in silos. In efforts to effect a “hyperconnectivity of human and virtual resources,” the UNCG Cello Music team “has successfully integrated these facets, increasing visibility of their collections, enhancing researcher access, and improving the overall user experience.”

In the Q & A, Krim described further benefits realized via the Facebook page: it has attracted new donations (the donors can see that their collections will be effectively publicized and made accessible); it has also attracted students to the cellists represented in the collection, many of whom continue to teach in retirement; and the UNCG team has used it to support other organizations, such as a newly formed NC Cello Society, by posting announcements and other publicity. One attendee asked how Krim justified the social media project to her administration: since she is using a personal account, does her institution recognize her metrics? Krim does report her metrics, but what impresses her bosses even more is the number of new donors and relationships built with researchers worldwide. Another attendee raised the process-versus-product issue: how does the UNCG team deal with “the usual backlog advice” to speed up the process by producing minimal-level description? The reply: by prioritizing the most heavily used portion of the collection (in their case, the scores), and speeding things along by getting finding aids up quickly and notifying catalogers in advance. Effective communication between technical and public services is key.


Orlando: Conference Coverage, continued

Summing Up the MLA Preconference: “The Beat Goes On-athon: Creating Linked Data for Music with RIMMF”
by Drew Beisswenger (Univ. Arkansas)

A thought-provoking and very busy preconference at the MLA meeting in Orlando was titled “The Beat Goes On-athon,” in which participants learned how to use RIMMF cataloging software to create RDA data.  It was taught by Kathy Glennan plus a group of hard-working and much-appreciated coaches and facilitators, and was co-sponsored by the MLA Cataloging and Metadata Committee, the MLA Education Committee, the MLA Educational Outreach Subcommittee and the Music OCLC Users Group.

RIMMF is an acronym for “RDA in Many Metadata Formats,” and is the brainchild of Deborah and Richard Fritz, who create cataloging products through their company TMQ, Inc.  In describing the history of the project, the Fritzes explain that Deborah, a cataloging trainer, was seeking a visual way to explain the principles behind RDA and FRBR.  Richard agreed to “try his hand” at building an RDA input form, and the RIMMF program, initially launched in 2012, grew from there.  At present, although it is probably not practical to use the program to make MARC records for use in current library systems, RIMMF has become much more than a training module.  It represents a new model for creating and processing bibliographic records with an emphasis on relationships.  In addition, RIMMF utilizes RDA vocabularies from the Open Metadata Registry (OMR), and creates new ways to map MARC information into non-MARC forms.

Hallmarks of RIMMF records include that they use no MARC fields, they form “R-Trees” that graphically link all of the FRBR groups (work, expression, manifestation, and item; person, family, corporate body; subjects), and they include highly-specific bibliographic elements that can be set to populate fields as defined in RDA.  In essence, users of RIMMF are forced to think in terms of the FRBR models as they work, and especially to contemplate where particular elements of a bibliographic record should be placed most appropriately in a FRBR relationships model.

The preconference itself was organized using a “flipped classroom” format with attendees expected to arrive with a good basic knowledge of RIMMF so they could devote most of their time to creating RIMMF records.  Kathy provided attendees good advanced training by giving download instructions for the free program; by offering them instructional websites, a wiki, and a series of helpful emails; and most of all by creating an hour-long webinar that highlighted many of the features and processes in RIMMF. 

Kathy began the preconference by giving a brief introductory PowerPoint presentation, after which attendees were divided into pairs and used RIMMF to process items they had brought.  The software linked to the LC catalog and authorities file, so attendees were usually able to import and link needed records.  Typically attendees began by importing manifestation records, which automatically generated drafts of expression and work records that needed editing.  For about three and a half hours, Kathy and the facilitators wandered the room helping attendees with their sometimes-tricky cataloging challenges.  Just before lunch, the pairs of attendees submitted their “R-balls,” or folders containing the sets of related entities, so Kathy could tabulate the results.  At a wrap-up after lunch, Kathy reported statistics, including that attendees has created over 350 entity records and made nearly 350 relationships.  She also gave a brief presentation on RDA and linked data, and answered questions.

At a time when many librarians struggle to “wrap their heads around” RDA and FRBR, RIMMF offers a good way to gain some clarity.  This isn’t to say it’s easy, as we struggle to understand, for example, why program notes and durations should typically be in the expression record unless they are part of an aggregate, and why publishers are part of the manifestation records but statements of responsibility access points are not.  But over time, with practice, the process makes more sense, and through gaining a stronger understanding of these conceptual frameworks we can more effectively analyze and evaluate the principles and practices related to the growing world of linked data.

Orlando: Conference Coverage, continued

"It’s Happening Now: Two Developments Using Music Ontologies"
by Michelle Urberg, ExLibris (ProQuest)

Session Presenters: Kimmy Szeto (Baruch College); Jean Delahousse (DOREMUS), for Cataloging & Metadata Committee

The" It’s Happening Now" session was held on Friday February 24, at the annual MLA Conference in Orlando.  Kimmy Szeto opened this panel with his discussion “Medium of Performance Ontologies in Cataloging Practice” (which can be viewed here.) Szeto’s talk pulled one specific topic—medium of performance mapping—related to the Friday Morning Plenary (Ontologies, BIBFRAME, and Linked Data for Performed Music: MLA’s Role in it All). The ontology proposed by Szeto is intended to make clearer who is playing what and how many people play a part in a work being cataloged.

The first point he made was that particular MARC 21 fields, such as the 382 (medium of performance field) and 048 (number of instruments or voices), the shift from AACR2 to RDA, and definitions in FRBR (Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records) have contributed to confusion in how to describe medium of performance in MARC format. Confusion about description can be seen particularly in three areas: describing the work as an original versus a derivative; identifying the number of performers (including implied groups like percussion or continuo); and recording instrument labels (including principal and doubling). Szeto focused primarily on the latter two in his proposed medium of performance ontology.

So what is the medium of performance about? The instruments? Or the parts? Or the performers? Which pieces of information are related to medium of performance? Which are sub-parts? Which are not related at all? Szeto proposed answers to some of these questions through visualizations of the different subfield tags used in the 382 in MARC 21 and the 146 in UNIMARC. His portrayal of medium of performance in MARC and UNIMARC revealed that each can obscure the representation of medium of performance.

MARC 382 can be subdivided into three fields: name of instrument, number of performers or ensembles, and the total number of performers and ensembles. Unfortunately, the 382 field does not really distinguish between number of parts and number of performers playing those parts, making it a less robust model to follow for developing a linked medium of performance ontology.

UNIMARC 146 handles the discussion of parts in a hierarchical fashion, making subfields dependent on other subfields (e.g. subfield $f may occur only if at least one subfield $c or $e is entered). However, the components of the UNIMARC 146 field, Szeto argued, can be a useful starting place to start creating a linked medium of performance ontology. Parts, instruments, and ensembles comprise this field. A closer examination of ‘part’ suggests that it is the center of this field. A clear definition can solve some issues with a medium of performance ontology. Parts are the class, with instruments and ensembles being subclasses and performers being a class related to parts. The last section of Szeto’s discussion was dedicated to examples demonstrating how parts help describe ensembles, instruments, and performers.

The second presentation was presented virtually. Jean Delahousse, leader of the DOREMUS project was not available to present, but he did provide a through introduction to DOing REusable MUSical data or DOREMUS ( DOREMUS has three objectives: to improve music description for the purpose of encouraging open exchange and reuse of data; to make French music catalogs available and reusable with linked data; used the linked data catalog to study the use of music and offer an application to recommend music.

The project aims to describe a number of musical materials, including works, performances, recordings, and publications. It does this by enriching a current ontology FRBRoo (Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records—object oriented), which is a blend of FRBR and the CIDOC Conceptual Reference Model (CIDOC-CRM), a description model used by museums to describe their collections. DOREMUS draws on a number of controlled vocabularies, including MIMO (Musical Instrument Museums Online) for medium of performance, IFLA for keys, International Standard Name Identifier (ISNI) for persons and corporate bodies, GeoNames/GeoEthno for geographical places, and Répertoire d'autorité-matière encyclopédique et alphabétique unifié (RAMEAU) for ethnic groups. The body of information for DOREMUS project comes from the Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF), Radio France, and Philharmonie de Paris, three French institutions with large musical libraries.

At the heart of this ontology is the event and from an event (i.e. performance) comes and individual work and a self-contained expression of that work. Actors or performers are related to the event. A linked data set will consist of many nodes of data, each comprised of an event, a work, and an expression. The materials related to a given event can be sound recordings, tracks on sound recordings, video recordings, and other ephemera (like publications about the music). The event itself can divide into a number of different types of performances. Delahousse presented a number of examples with these linked sets emerging from a single event to demonstrate how this works.

Delahousse and his team have both built tools to use in creating these linked data sets and created at least one interesting use case with the tools. Aside from the DOREMUS knowledgebase and the ontology, Delahousse and his team have built a MARC to RDF converter. All of these items are available at the project website, through a link to the project’s GitHub code repository ( These tools have been deployed successfully to create links between music and materials in the library and the marketing needs of the Philharmonie de Paris. This ensemble has been able to provide more robust information about the music they perform in their concert season on their webpage, as well as use the metadata schema to enable more precise searching and indexing of the content by engines like Bing, Yahoo, and Google. The Philharmonie de Paris is also serving as a test case for the recommender application Delahousse and his team are developing.

Although quite different in focus, both presentations did a nice job of visualizing how the ontologies organize pieces of information about music.

Orlando: Conference Coverage, continued

“Ontologies, BIBFRAME, and Linked Data for Performed Music: MLA’s Role in It All”
by Patty Falk (Bowling Green State Univ)

This plenary session was presented on Friday, February 25 at 9:00 am at the Orlando, Florida 2017 Music Library Association meeting.  The presenters included Kimmy Szeto of Baruch College, Nancy Lorimer and Kevin Kishimoto from Stanford University, Michael Colby from University of California, Davis, James Soe Nyun from University of California, San Diego, and Kirk-Evan Billet, from Johns Hopkins University. The program began with Kimmy Szeto’s presentation on “Linked Data Ontologies: Towards a Fusion of Worldview.”  Kimmy’s portion included a discussion of how to move libraries out of the silo approach and begin to share resources on the internet. The metadata building blocks include content rules, schema, serialization, and exchange. These all need to feed into some type of data model. Libraries still need a data model that works in a linked data world. The current situation is mixing and matching ontologies. There is everything from MARC data to linked data (BIBFRAME, etc.). Eventually there will be other ontologies in the future.

Nancy Lorimer and Kevin Kishimoto presented on “Linked Data for Performed Music.” They both represent Stanford University, which is part of a Mellon-funded grant including five institutions (Stanford, Columbia, Cornell, Harvard, Princeton) with LC. The project hopes to create a BIBFRAME-based ontology for performed music in all formats. It will consist of domain-specific enhancements and/or extensions of BIBFRAME and will hopefully establish a model by which standards can be created, endorsed and maintained by the community. This will be accomplished by partnering with domain communities such as MLA and Association for Recorded Sound (ARSC), and the Program for Cooperative Cataloging (PCC). The Linked Data for Production (LD4P) has developed an ontology for performed music in all formats. This ontology is still being updated by working on adding new classes, subclasses and properties, as well as thematic catalog numbers and opus numbers and vocabularies outside BIBFRAME to assist with providing relationships. Domain community is an important part of this project.

Kirk Evan-Billet and James Soe Nyun gave a summary of the Linked Data Working Group (LDWG). The group was formed in May of 2016 to develop a BIBFRAME based ontology. The group partnered with domain communities, Program for Cooperative Cataloging (PCC), and Association for Recorded Sound Collections (ARSC). The main task was to develop use cases for the ontology. The group established eighty-nine cases. These included medium of performance, which allows the user to discover works by a subset. The cases also personified the work, by looking at what is necessary to perform the work and instrument substitution. The group is also reviewing event models such as Doremus, European data model, music ontology and event ontology. The group will be reviewing and commenting on work in the ontology development. The next steps involve future developments and trying to develop a more sustainable model.

Michael Colby described the UC-Davis Bibflow project. This research project will address what the impact of BIBFRAME might have on technical services. It is a two-year grant project with UC-Davis and Zepheira to review catalog processes and involves major stakeholders such as vendors, machine discovery, ILS, and human discovery. The display would be a knowledge graph, rather than a regular bibliographic record. The graph building would include user inquiry, have a triple store for data, and bibliographic and authority record information. The cataloging process would be similar to current processes and would have to include basic bib features like author, title, and item number for circulation purposes. Authority work would involve linking to a unique URI. The project hopes to achieve a roadmap as a bridge from MARC to linked data and provide steps for libraries to follow.

Some of the questions involved issues with radio show data and such queries as how catalogers determine what records to link to. Also asked was where would triple stores be located, along with a comment that the FRBR model is not adequate for performed music.



Orlando: Conference Coverage, continued

“Cataloging and Metadata Committee (CMC) Town Hall”
by Bruce J. Evans (Baylor University)

Presenters: Tracey Snyder, CMC Chair (Cornell University), Damian Iseminger, RSC Music Working Group Chair (Library of Congress), Mary Huismann, Content Standards Subcommittee Chair (St. Olaf College), Casey Mullin, Vocabularies Subcommittee Chair (Western Washington University), Jim Soe Nyun, Encoding Standards Subcommittee Chair (University of California, San Diego), Chris Holden (Library of Congress), Kirk-Evan Billet (Peabody Conservatory).  
The Cataloging and Metadata Town Hall was held on Friday, February 24th at the annual MLA Conference in Orlando, FL. The full session can be viewed at CMC Chair Tracey Snyder began by welcoming everyone to the Town Hall, and by announcing that we will hear from three Subcommittee chairs and special guests. Tracey highlighted the CMC preconference and various co-sponsored program sessions, as well as the various Subcommittee meetings. She thanked all of the presenters and meeting leaders.

In other miscellaneous CMC-related news, Tracey announced that the CMC website continues to improve, and recently added a new FAQ section. Additionally, the CMC blog has moved to Word Press. CMC has also added screencasts via YouTube for various CMC-related events. With that, the meeting moved onto the reports.

Damian Iseminger (RSC Music Working Group Chair) began by giving reports on RDA developments. Damian reported that he presented four RDA Proposals for the October 2016 RSC Frankfurt meeting, the results of which will be reflected in the April 2017 Toolkit Update. The first (MusicWG/1) proposed a revision to 7.11, Place and Date of Capture. This instruction would now be known as the new element Note on Capture Information (7.11.4), with 7.11 re-titled as Capture Information. The second (MusicWG/2) made small changes to 2.15.3, Plate Number for Notated Music. The third (MusicWG/3) made changes to 6.15, Medium of Performance, with instructions simplified to allow for flexibility. It removed reliance on a closed list of terms, and that if possible, MOP should now be drawn from an external vocabulary instead, such as Library of Congress Medium of Performance Thesaurus, or UNIMARC Medium of Performance. The fourth and final Proposal (MusicWG/4) condensed the instructions to and 6.28.10, Additions to Authorized Access Points Representing Works, into a single instruction. Lastly, if you are recording MOP in a 382, apply 6.15 and any other relevant standards, and if recording MOP in an authorized access point, consult both and 6.15.

Damian continued by noting that there will be no proposals during the 3RProject, which begins after the April 2017 Toolkit Update, and will end at the earliest April 2018. The 3RProject will make RDA data more modular and dynamic, as well as allow the RSC to track and manage metadata more effectively. This will also involve a redesign of the Toolkit, which will include improvements to navigation. In the interest of aligning RDA with IFLA-LRM, this effort will also see the addition of new RDA entities such as Collective Agent, Nomen, and Time-Span, will see implicit entities Agent and Place made explicit, and will involve subtyping of the existing entities Person, Family, and Corporate Body under Agent and Collective Agent.

Mary Huismann (Content Standards Subcommittee Chair) took over to report on LC-PCC PS and MLA Best Practices updates. With LC-PCC PS, Mary noted there will be changes to caption to reflect LRM terminology. Mary went through an extensive list of changes to PSs, which included PSs that were deleted because corresponding RDA instructions were deleted. Regarding MLA Best Practices, Mary noted that there would be changes to the BPs regarding type of corporate body, general guidelines on creating authority access points for corporate bodies, encoding format 3.19.3, and with the BP Supplement 1 document. Mary reminded everyone that you can find the MLA BPs on the Toolkit, whereas archived BPs, supplements to the BPs, and a place submit changes to BPs are all found all on the CMC Website.


Casey Mullin (Vocabularies Subcommittee Chair) presented the LCGFT and LCMPT updates. Casey began by showing a complete list of LCGFT music terms added in 2016, many of which were dramatic terms. In 2017, Casey reports that the community will add LCGFTs for librettos, and additional terms for both sacred music texts and song texts. These terms have not yet been officially approved. Casey pointed out that proposals for new and revised LCGFT music terms will now be accepted through the SACO Music Funnel; more information to follow from the CMC. Casey illustrated LCGFT implementation by showing everyone the various CMC Best Practices guides.

Casey moved onto reporting on LCMPT developments, starting with showing a list of LCMPTs approved for 2016. In 2017, Casey reports that many new terms will be for electronic music. Proposals for new and revised LCMPTs also should go through SACO Music Funnel, watch for announcement from both LC and MLA. CMC will be glad to assist you with submitting proposals for new LCMPTs. MLA released BPs for LCMPT during February, and featured changes to the 382.

To facilitate retrospective implementation of LCMPT, LCGFT (and beyond), the Vocabularies Subcommittee has instituted a project, in collaboration with Gary Strawn, to derive faceted data from LCSH music headings. Casey anticipates that he will be able to report on the results of this project next year. ALA ALCTS SAC has charged a Working Group (chaired by Casey) on full implementation of LC Faceted Vocabularies, with an expected release of a whitepaper in mid-2017. And finally, Casey encouraged everyone to read a new article in Notes that he, Beth Iseminger, Nancy Lorimer, and Hermine Vermeij wrote entitled Faceted Vocabularies for Music: A New Era in Resource Discovery.

Jim Soe Nyun (Encoding Standards Subcommittee Chair) then took the podium to report on recent music-related developments in MARC 21. After noting that while the death of MARC has been both predicted and encouraged for quite some time now – for example, Roy Tennant published a 2002 Library Journal article in which he stated "MARC must die" – the MARC format is still very much alive and growing. (He also noted that Sally McCallum of LC noted at the 2017 Midwinter OCLC Linked Data Roundtable that “If MARC dies, it will be through obesity.”) With that, Jim highlighted music-related MARC format changes.

MARC Update 22 (April 2016) included clarifying that Code n (Not applicable) is now valid in SR 007/03 and 007/10, and that Code r and Code s are now valid in SR 007/01; in the 382, $r and $t were added, and $e was redefined; code b (chip cartridge) was added to the 007/01, and code s for 007/00 was redefined. In Update 23 (November 2016; not yet implemented), 028 1st indicator 6 (Distributor number) was added; in the 382, the $3 (Materials specified) was authorized for use; a new 008/20 Code p for piano score was authorized for use, and five other 008/20 codes were redefined. And finally, in Update 23 for the Authority Format (November 2016), the 382 field examples were revised. Damian Iseminger and Chris Holden then came forward to give a report on the IFLA Library Reference Model. Damian started by reviewing that the LRM antecedents were FRBR (1997), FRAD (2009), FRSAD (2010). LRM replaces all of these conceptual models in a single framework. The LRM User Tasks, which Damian read and defined, resemble those of FRBR. They are: Find, Identify, Select, Obtain, and Explore. Damian went on to cover the change to Entities, Attributes, and Relationships in LRM.

LRM Entities are now class based. For example, the LRM Entity Person (LRM-E7) is Subclass of Agent. There are a total of 11 Entities in LRM, which Damian read and defined. They are as follows (in hierarchical order): Res (LRM-E1), the Superclass; Work (LRM-E2); Expression (LRM-E3); Manifestation (LRM-E4); Item (LRM-E5); Agent (LRM-E6); Person (LRM-E7); Collective Agent (LRM-E8); Nomen (LRM-E9); Place (LRM-E10); Time-Span (LRM-E11).

(scroll down to continue reading)


Damian then covered the fact that LRM Attributes are properties of Entities, and that LRM Relationships are not exhaustive. Damian closed his part of the report with a series of PowerPoint slides to illustrate different types of Relationships, and how Entities relate to each other. Chris Holden then took over to illustrate work in LRM of interest to music catalogers.

Chris began by explaining that the Work entity has only two attributes--Category and Representative Expression Attribute, and defined both. Some music-related attributes that were previously associated with the work have been relegated to the expression level, such as Medium of performance and Key. For example, with a Schubert piano sonata in A major, the piano and key aspects would no longer be associated with the work. However, this could be mitigated through the use of the Representative Expression Attribute, which is the most commonly occurring (or canonical) expression of a work, thereby reconnecting all of these elements back together more concretely. A specific example of a Representative expression: with a Wagner opera in German, the original German version would be considered the canonical expression. LRM does not stipulate how to determine Representative Expression Attribute, which gives catalogers some flexibility; end-user needs should be a primary consideration with this decision. LRM gives catalogers several sources from which to draw Representative expressions.

Chris moved on to define Aggregates, which fall into three categories. The first is Collection of Expressions, such as selections, anthologies, and series (such as The Best of REM). The second is Augmentation, such as an introduction by the editor of score. The third and final is Parallel Expressions, such as an opera score with parallel text in English and German within the music. As with other aspects of LRM, this model is meant to be flexible.

A notable change from FRBR is that Fictional Entities are covered by Res (because they are objects of human contemplation), and cannot be considered person, time, or place entities in LRM. The change came about because of a FRBRoo concept in connection with the Museum World, which deals with real world objects. More specifically, museum objects are made by someone, and so therefore it is impossible for someone “not real” to produce an artifact. Compatibility between FRBRoo and CIDOC-CRM (an information model for museums) required modification of FRAD definition, which LRM retains. To be clear, though, providing access to a resource through a name is not the same thing as saying that the fictional entity associated with that name is actually the author. For example, with a book “written” by Kermit the Frog, you can assign a name access point for Kermit, you just cannot say that he is the author. In effect, access methods for fictitious entities will remain the same.

Jim Soe Nyun and Kirk Evan Billet came to the podium to give the Linked Data Working Group Report. This group – LDWG/Ludwig for short – was formed in response to the Performed Music Ontology Project, which seeks to develop a BIBFRAME-based ontology for performed music in all formats.

This will be accomplished through partnering with domain communities and the PCC. MLA and ARSC were asked to participate in the development of this ontology. Since there was no existing group in MLA to accomplish this, LDWG was formed. Jim showed the group’s full membership. Jim and Kirk-Evan Billet are the co-chairs.

Kirk-Evan took over to talk about LDWG’s work. LDWG’s first task involves developing use cases for the Performed Music Ontology Group, 89 use cases in all. The use case areas were medium of performance, aggregates, sequence, events, and performers; events and medium of performance were the most commonly occurring type. A sample use case: A conducting student would like to identify conductors of recordings of Mahler’s Symphony no. 6 in which the Scherzo is performed as the 2nd movement in order to assess preference and impact.

Jim then talked about other LDWG tasks, which include reviewing event models, and reviewing and commenting on work coming out of the Performed Music Ontology Project. Jim moved on to mention that LDWG is one model for ontology development, and that community input will also be needed for ontology maintenance.  

Tracey then opened it up for questions from the audience. The first question was to Damian concerning LRM’s redefinition of fictitious entities: What do catalogers do when we cannot ascertain name, and when multiple entities feed into one fictitious name? Damian replied by noting that we already do that through making a judgment call with the information we have, and then revise the access point as more information is gathered or emerges. We assume that it's one thing, but then go back and change it if we find out new information. Moreover, LRM says there is a file of nomens from which to choose. After a question that came up later on about fictitious names vis-à-vis PDQ Bach, Kathy Glennan clarified that LRM only requires controlling nomens, period.

The next set of questions concerned Representative Expression Attributes. One concerned further changes to this concept with the new version of LRM, to which Kathy Glennan replied that the new LRM is not that different in that regard. And when someone asked how many Representative Expression Attributes you can have, the answer was that you can have as many as you want. There can be multiple canonical expression, and they can be multi-valued.

Another person wondered that with the removal of closed-lists for MOP, will there be a replacement vocab in the chapter 3 area? The response was that replacing them would be hard to accomplish. An attendee noted the fact that the LCMPTs of voice and singer are used inconsistently, and wondered if there were any developments to sort this out. Casey replied that language in the BPs exists to helps navigate that. That said, they have this matter on their radar to look at further.


Orlando conference coverage, continued

We thank photographer Gerry Szymanski for providing these beautiful images from MLA Orlando. The association is lucky to enjoy his talents!

Anne Rhodes dances with David King

Grover Baker wears his Disney Pride well

Eli Brauner on trombone

Gerry Szymanski with Casey Mullin

Paula Hickner with Michael Colby

Vaughan Hennen cuts a rug with Wendy Sistrunk

From left: Elizabeth Hille Cribbs, Allison McClanahan, Emily Vickers, Brendan Higgins, Kristen Heider, and Hannah Spence

Morris Martin holds his Citation award and is joined on his left by his wife, Elaine.
Surrounding him is his legacy: many librarians he patiently mentored through his decades
of dedicated work at the University of North Texas

Developing Trends

by Lindsay Hansen, Development Officer

First: a big thank you to everyone who donated to the Diversity Scholarship fund! As of the Annual Meeting in Orlando, we have exceeded our original goal of $50,000. This is in large part due to the second matching challenge, initiated by Michael Colby. Maybe you saw people wearing buttons proclaiming the Michael Colby's Half-as-Good-as-Judy-Tsou's-Diversity-Scholarship-Fundraising-Challenge Challenge? Thanks to Michael’s generosity (and your quick giving) we brought in an additional $5,542, adding more than $10,000 to the fund.
Working with the Diversity Committee and the Board, we plan to grant the inaugural scholarship recipient in time for the 2017-2018 academic year. Additionally, the recipient will receive support to attend the Annual Meeting in Portland in 2018.

Did you miss Judy and Michael’s challenges and other opportunities to support the fund? It is not too late! For each $50,000 that we raise, another deserving student can receive a scholarship.

We are well on our way to a second scholarship, but still need your help. Stay tuned for more information on the Diversity Scholarship including details on the application process.

I am thrilled to be MLA’s newest Development Officer, and I hope to keep up the great work established by Susannah Cleveland. Please get in touch with me if you have ideas on how to support the organization, and keep an eye out for a survey on planned giving, plus tools you can use to support MLA year-round. This is also a great time to evaluate your monthly donations to MLA: we have several funds ranging from scholarship and travel to research and publications. You can even support more than one fund, and soon it will be easy to determine which fund has the greatest need just by visiting the MLA website.

Thank you for your support and for more information please visit To contact me personally about all things fundraising, I can be reached at or by phone at (818) 677-7147.


In Recognition

We appreciate our Corporate Patrons and Corporate Members and their support of MLA.  

Corporate Patrons
American Institute of Musicology
A-R Editions
Arkivmusic, Inc.
HARRASSOWITZ Booksellers & Subscription Agents
JW Pepper and Son
Naxos Music Library
Theodore Front Musical Literature, Inc

Corporate Members
Alexander Street, a ProQuest Company The Broude Trust
CD-A/V Source
G Schirmer Inc/Associated Music Publishers
Hal Leonard LLC
Hit Songs Deconstructed
Maurice River Press, LLC
New World Records/DRAM
Répertoire International de Littérature Musicale (RILM)
RIPM Consortium Ltd


Transitions and Appointments

Our best wishes to all those pursuing new opportunities.

Emily Vickers, Music Librarian at Eastern Washington University

Vaughan Hennen, Digital Design and Access Librarian at Dakota State University

Not on the list but think you should be? Contact our Placement Officer.
Looking for a transition to share? Check out the Job Placement Service.

 MLA Awards

At the 2017 conference in Orlando, the Music Library Association presented a number of awards.

MLA Citation: Morris Martin

In a career spanning more than 42 years, he served as a staunch advocate for music librarianship and a mentor for generations of music librarians who have benefited from his wise counsel, unfailing support, and encyclopedic knowledge of music sources. He worked tirelessly to build impressive music collections that cut across traditional boundaries of genre and category with a genuinely democratic sensibility. An able and adept administrator, he always instilled in his staff and students the paramount importance of serving the public, a quality also manifested in his own daily dealings with others.

Having served as MLA Newsletter editor and as one of the founders of MLA’s Texas Chapter, he was also active in the organization’s efforts to promote education for music librarianship.

Recognizing the profound impact he has had on so many people over forty years as librarian, teacher, colleague, friend, as well as supporter of MLA and our profession,

The Music Library Association is pleased to confer upon Morris Martin The MLA Citation.

Publication Awards

The Richard S. Hill Award for the best article on music librarianship or of a music-bibliographic nature is awarded to C. Rockelle Strader for her article, “Cataloging Music Sound Recordings in the United States: An Evolution of Practice and Standards,” Notes 72/2 (Dec. 2015): 276-327.

Strader provides historical context and analysis, chronicling bibliographic description of and access to sound recordings from card catalogs to the digital age. She thoroughly addresses the issues surrounding the persistent question of the “unit of catalog” for sound recordings, charting the change in practice over time. Strader’s article is useful to catalogers, researchers, and library educators and contributes to the body of research documenting library history and the development of cataloging standards.

It is with great pleasure that we recognize C. Rockelle Strader for her exceptional article by presenting her with this year’s Richard S. Hill Award.

The Vincent H. Duckles Award for the best book-length bibliography or other research tool in music is presented to Reinmar Emans and Ulrich Krämer, editors of Musikeditionen im Wandel der Geschichte (Berlin; Boston: De Gruyter, 2015).

Emans (Institut für Historische Musikwissenschaft, Universität Hamburg) and Krämer (Akademie der Wissenschaften und der Literatur, Mainz) bring together numerous highly regarded scholars in this collection of essays that present the development of music publication in a historical context.

The history of music publishing is examined from the perspective of specific editions, with chronological summaries of the editorial histories of the works of many composers, from the Notre Dame School to Hanns Eisler, and insight into the editorial principles of each period.

This well-written and rigorously researched book will be of invaluable use to both researchers and performers.

It is a pleasure to award the Vincent H. Duckles Award to Reinmar Emans and Ulrich Krämer.

The Eva Judd O'Meara Award for the best review in Notes is awarded to Louis Epstein of St. Olaf College for his review of Sounds of War: Music in the United States during World War II by Annegret Fauser (New York: Oxford University Press, 2013), and The Musical Legacy of Wartime France by Leslie A. Sprout (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2013) in Notes 72, no. 1 (2015): 157-162.

In his review, Epstein skillfully combines historical background on the topic of music during World War II, a discussion of the key composers, works, and ideas covered in the books, and a description of the contribution that these books make to the literature. Epstein’s engaging writing style and understanding of the period offers the reader a review that is not only a critique of these books, but also a summary of the topic. His review is thorough, engaging, and a pleasure to read.

It is with great pleasure that we recognize Louis Epstein for his exceptional review by presenting him with this year’s Eva Judd O'Meara Award.

Kevin Freeman Travel Grant

Avery Boddie (ARL/MLA Diversity Initiative Fellow, Univ. Maryland)
Michael Crowley (First-time attendee, City College of New York)
Vaughan Hennen (Dakota State University)
Treshani Perera (ARL/MLA Diversity Initiative Fellow, U-W Milwaukee)
Michelle Urberg (First-time attendee, RILM)
Emily Vickers (Indiana University, student)

The Dena Epstein Award is made to support research in archives or libraries internationally on any aspect of American music.  The Epstein Endowment did not produce sufficient income in 2016 to offer an Award this year.

The Walter Gerboth Award is made to an MLA member who is in the first five years of their professional library careers to assist research-in-progress in music or music librarianship.  There were no eligible applicants for the Gerboth Award this year


 MOUG News

MOUG Announces 2017 Distinguished Service Award Recipient

The Executive Board of the Music OCLC Users Group (MOUG) is honored to name Robert Cunningham (Boston Public Library) as the fourteenth recipient of MOUG’s Distinguished ServiceAward. This award was established to recognize and honor those who have made significant professional contributions to music users of OCLC. The MOUG Executive Board selects recipients based on nominations received from the membership. The award was presented to Robert at the MOUG Business Meeting in Orlando, Florida, on February 21, 2017. The Board wishes to thank Robert’s colleagues Beth Iseminger and Anne Adams for the words that follow.

Robert’s contributions to the profession of music cataloging are important and long-standing. He has brought his knowledge of music bibliographic needs, as well as his wit and humor, to his many music cataloging positions, and his contributions are greatly appreciated by all who have had the pleasure of working with him.

Robert Cunningham was the first music specialist hired by OCLC in 1979. While at OCLC, Robert helped plan annual MOUG meetings, inviting speakers, providing programs, and participating in music cataloging workshops at several MOUG meetings, in the days when MARC was new and music catalogers were figuring out how best to encode musical works in MARC. Robert encouraged Glenn Patton, then of Illinois Wesleyan University, to apply to be the second music specialist at OCLC, which Glenn did. When Robert left OCLC, his position was filled by the inimitable Jay Weitz.

Prior to OCLC, Robert was a music cataloger at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts. During that time, he helped organize and present music cataloging workshops for the New England Chapter of the Music Library Association. After working at OCLC, Robert returned to New England to become the music specialist at NELINET, the library cooperative for academic, public, school, and special libraries across New England.

In this role, Robert gave music encoding workshops on scores and sound recordings to librarians from the Northeast region. To honor Robert’s contributions to the profession, NELINET renamed their annual bibliographic services conference in Robert’s name, presenting five Robert L. Cunningham Annual Bibliographic Services Conferences which continued until the company’s final conference in 2009.

In true demonstration of his dedication to and interest in the craft of music cataloging, Robert continued to catalog music after his retirement from NELINET. In the past several years, Robert has been a cataloger for the Boston Conservatory, M.I.T., and the Loeb Music Library of Harvard University. Robert is currently Music Cataloger at the Boston Public Library, where he carries on his unique devotion to the practice of music bibliographic description. Robert is also an active participant in MOUG, MLA, the New England chapter of MLA, and the New England Technical Services Librarians association.

Robert’s love of the field and his interest in current practices and future developments for music bibliographic control are exceptional and admirable, and Robert continues to be an inspiration to his colleagues.


 Member Publications

Please send citations for items published or premiered in the past calendar year to John, via e-mail or USPS mail at the address below. Please follow the citation style employed below. You must be a current MLA member to submit citations.

John Baga
Mississippi State University
395 Hardy Rd.; P.O. Box 5408
Mississippi State, MS 39762


Cawelti, Andrea (Houghton Library, Harvard University) and Jeffrey Nigro.
"Divas in the Drawing Room." Persuasion 37, no. 1 (Winter 2016).

Feustle, Maristella (University of North Texas).
“Willis Conover’s Washington.” Current Research in Jazz 8 (2016).

Folk-Farber, Kyra (University of California, Santa Barbara).
"Engaging Undergraduates in Copyright and Fair Use Fundamentals." College & Undergraduate Libraries 23, no. 4 (2016): 460-466.

Moore, Tom (Florida International University).
"A Conversation with Dmitri Tymoczko – 1." Sonograma 33 (29 January 2017).

Scott, Rachel (University of Memphis), Andrew Grissom and Steven Knowlton. "Perpetual Access Information in Serials Holdings Records." Library Resources and Technical Services 61, no. 1 (January 2017): 273-278.

Scott, Rachel. "Part 1. If We Frame It, They Will Respond: Undergraduate Student Responses to the Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education." The Reference Librarian 58, no. 1 (2016): 1-18.

"Part 2. If We Frame It, They Will Respond: Undergraduate Student Responses to the Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education." The Reference Librarian 58, no. 1 (2016): 19-32.

"Music Reference Sources: Analog in a Digital World." The Reference Librarian 57, no. 4 (2016): 272-285.

"Accommodating Faculty Requests and Staying True to Your Pedagogical Ideals in the 1-Shot Information Literacy Session." Communications in Information Literacy 10, no. 2 (2016): 132-142.

Books and Book Chapters

Gerber, Steven K. (George Mason University).
Johan Arnold Dahmen: Three Cello Sonatas. Edited by Steven K. Gerber. A-R Special Publications, S049. Middleton, WI: A-R Editions, 2017.

Moore, Tom (Florida International University).
Wenzel Johann Tomaschek (1774-1850): An Autobiography. Studies in Czech Music, No. 5. Translated by Stephen Thomson Moore. Hillsdale, NY: Pendragon Press, 2017.

Oates, Jennifer (Queens College, CUNY).
The Songs of Hamish MacCunn (1868-1916). Recent Researches in Music of the Late Nineteenth- and Early Twentieth-Centuries. Madison, WI: A-R Editions, 2016. 2 vols.