Message from the Chair
Fall 2017 Meeting Minutes
Spring 2018 Meeting Preview
Seeking Nominations/Committee Members
Special Report: Oral History Excerpt
Message from the Chair
Greetings, NEMLA members!
Although the weather in New England has changed from luscious fall colors to stark white and chilly, I am still thinking about our spectacular fall meeting at Yale University back in October. It was wonderful to see so many new and old NEMLA members there, and it is a meeting that will be remembered for years to come. For those who were unable to attend–or for those wanting to refresh themselves on the day’s events–you can read a thorough summary of our meeting from our Member-At-Large, Jonathan Manton, in the pages below. After every meeting, it is important to acknowledge the efforts of those who assisted with facilitating local arrangements and programming for their willingness to take on extra responsibilities. I would like to thank the staff of Yale’s Gilmore Music Library–in particular, Jonathan Manton and Ruthann McTyre–for welcoming us to Yale’s campus and arranging our special tour of antiquarian and rare music materials, and also to Anne Rhodes and Kimmy Setzo for providing a memorable concert to conclude the meeting. Marci Cohen, our Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect, and our first-rate program committee developed an intriguing program of speakers and tours, and their contributions allowed the meeting to happen seamlessly. Special thanks to all of our presenters: Mark Bailey, Bridget Carr, Sarah Funke Donovan, and John Marks! For those who participated in committee meetings, I look forward to hearing about your discussions and developments over the next few months.
With committees in mind, there are still many open positions on almost every committee. These committees are the lifeblood of NEMLA. They allow our organization to engage with its membership in a way suited to your interests, and I encourage you to consider serving NEMLA in this way. Every committee member brings unique skills and experiences that benefit our collective knowledge base. It is also a good way to impact the national discourse of music librarianship at a local level. Please let me or any other board member know if you are interested in one of our open committee positions. As I mentioned in our fall newsletter, the board is also exploring the idea of developing communities of interest to either supplement or replace our current committee structure. While I have started this discussion with some of you, I hope to be able to discuss it at greater length with more of our membership in the coming months before our spring meeting.
In case you missed the announcement, I am delighted to mention that our spring meeting will be held at the New England Conservatory on March 23, 2018! As many of you know, NEC opened a new music library last summer, and I am thankful that Alan Karass and his staff are willing to host us in the midst of acclimating to their new space. Please join us in what is shaping up to be a informative and engaged day. If you have been working on a special project or new initiative, consider drafting a proposal to present at our spring meeting. Submissions can be emailed to Marci Cohen until January 17th. More information about our spring meeting can be found below.
As in past years, we will have a chapter dinner at the MLA national meeting. This year we will be in Portland, OR, and the dinner is on Thursday night, February 1 at 7:00 p.m. Be sure to mark your calendars and consider joining us! NEMLA’s annual dinner is always a highlight of our national meeting since it allows us the chance to get to know one another better in a lighthearted atmosphere surrounded by wonderful food and colleagues. Currently, I am in the process of finalizing a restaurant which suits multiple dietary needs. Further details will be announced in early January.
Lastly, with every new year comes the opportunity to consider nominating yourself or one of your colleagues to run for office on our board. Two positions will be open at our spring meeting: Vice-Chair/Chair/Past-Chair and Member-At-Large. While Laura Stokes and Jon Manton will be missed when they rotate off of the board, this is a wonderful opportunity to serve the constituents of our organization and make a difference. If you are new to NEMLA–or if you have served on committees in the past but not on the board–I strongly encourage you to consider running for office. It has been an extremely rewarding opportunity for me. The deadline for nominations is February 7, 2018; please contact Laura Stokes with nominations.
Best wishes for wonderful and restful holidays, and a happy new year! See you in Portland!
Jared Rex, Chair, New England Music Library Association
Thanks to all who have renewed their memberships or have recently joined NEMLA. We currently have 71 active members (we had 50 in December 2016)! If you have any questions about the status of your membership, please e-mail Alan Karass at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We had 51 people attend the meeting, two of whom were supported by our first-time attendee program.
Fall meeting income: $ 880.28
Fall meeting expenses: $ 599.82
First-time attendee expenses: $ 80.00
Checking account: $ 4,879.38
Savings account: $ 4,005.53
Grant funds (Oral history): $ 480.50
Fall 2017 Meeting Minutes
The Fall Meeting of the New England Chapter of the Music Library Association (NEMLA) was held at Yale University Library on October 20, 2017. This was an especially memorable meeting for me, as myself and my colleagues at Yale had the great pleasure of hosting the meeting and welcoming our fantastic colleagues from across the region to the first meeting at Yale since 2010.
NEMLA Chair Jared Rex kicked off proceedings by welcoming fifty-one attendees, including three first-time attendees. He also announced the winner of NEMLA’s 2018 MLA Travel Grant award – a $500 award to assist with travel to the MLA 2018 Annual Meeting in Portland, OR. This went to Leonard Martin from New England Conservatory. Congratulations Leonard! See you in Portland! Jared then introduced Susan Gibbons, University Librarian for Yale University Library, and Ruthann McTyre, Director of the Gilmore Music Library at Yale, who offered a warm welcome to Yale.
Marci Cohen, NEMLA Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect, then introduced our speakers for the day. First up was Mark Bailey, Head of Historical Sound Recordings (HSR) at the Gilmore Music Library, who presented “Historical Sound Recordings as Musical Mentors.” In this presentation, Bailey discussed the unique role archival sound recordings play in the study of performance practice, especially during the early part of the 20th century. Bailey noted that the use of sound recordings within performance practice research continues to grow. HSR has never been busier! One notable takeaway for me from Bailey’s presentation was his highlighting of a 1903 recording of Verdi’s Otello, with Francesco Tamagno in the lead role. Tamagno was selected by Verdi to be the very first Otello for the première of the work at Teatro alla Scala on February 5, 1887. Tamagno’s recording of the work in 1903 is perhaps the nearest thing we have to a source that indicates Verdi’s preferred voice and stylistic approach for the role of Otello.
Next up were Bridget Carr and Sarah Funke Donovan from Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO) Archives. Their presentation, “Navigating the Rapids of Streaming Audio: Rights and Permissions for Presenting Audio Materials Online,” outlined a myriad of rights-related issues they had to address as part of a large scale AV digitization and access project at the BSO Archives. In order to make the digitized items available online, Carr and Funke Donovan had to negotiate performer rights for numerous different categories of performer, including students, faculty, guest artists and some union member performances. This included reviewing signed releases for student performances, notifying faculty and guest artists of the plans to stream recordings, giving them the right to opt-out if preferred, and restricting union member performances to onsite access only. They also had to work with a number of publishers to negotiate rights for those works that were still under copyright. However, they ultimately discovered that their existing Performing Rights Organization (PRO) licenses covered about 70% of the in-copyright works they planned on making available.
Our final presentation of the day was from John Marks, entitled “Designing and Equipping Workspaces for Digital Archiving of Legacy Audio Media.” As Marks noted at the start of his presentation, he intended to talk about the “wires and pliers” of sound recording digitization equipment setups, with the intention of providing attendees with some useful tips for building basic setups in-house, at a reasonable cost. Marks provided us with a guided tour of a variety of products and workflows for any libraries considering digitizing sound recordings in-house.
With presentations, lunch, and committee meetings complete, we began a pretty busy but enjoyable afternoon which included a stop at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library to view a selection of the amazing archival musical gems held at Yale, and a tour of the newly renovated Gilmore Music Library. We were then treated to a fantastic half hour of song, provided by Anne Rhodes and Kimmy Szeto, who presented a selection of songs from the Gilmore Music Library’s Special Collections, including works by Virgil Thomson, Kurt Weill and Cole Porter. To end the day, we then went “To the tables down at Mory’s”, to quote the famous Yale Whiffenpoof’s song about the Yale Club, for our final reception.
On a personal note, I would like to thank everyone who made the trip to New Haven for the meeting. I know I speak for the rest of my colleagues at Yale when I say how happy we were to see the library filled with so many of our Music Library colleagues. This is also my last meeting review as NEMLA Member-at-Large. It has been a pleasure to serve NEMLA in this role for the past two years.
Submitted by Jonathan Manton, NEMLA Member-at-Large.
Spring 2018 Meeting Preview
Spring 2018 Meeting Preview
NEMLA’s spring meeting will be held on Friday, March 23 at New England Conservatory (NEC) in Boston. Our NEC hosts are proud to show off the brand new Blumenthal Family Library, which just opened this fall.
The New England Conservatory of Music, founded in 1867, is the oldest independent school of music in the United States, and it is widely recognized as one of the country’s most distinguished music schools. The newly opened Blumenthal Family Library contains a diverse assortment of musical materials—125,000 books and 80,000 recordings—that supports the school’s curriculum and preserves the rich musical legacy of NEC and musical life of Boston.
Please watch the NEMLA listserv for registration and other details in the upcoming months. Please e-mail Marci Cohen (email@example.com) if you have questions.
The program committee also encourages all NEMLA members and other colleagues to consider submitting proposals to present at the spring meeting. We want to hear about new initiatives and projects at your home institutions. We welcome submissions explaining and raising awareness of your recent projects, research, innovations, discoveries, etc., relating to music and to the profession of music librarianship — anything that you think would benefit chapter members and their constituencies.
Presentations should be 35–40 minutes in length. Please indicate if additional time is requested, subject to approval. Proposals must include:
Name(s) and affiliation(s) of presenters/panelists
Contact information (email and telephone number)
Title of presentation/panel
An abstract of 100-300 words
Any additional equipment required beyond a computer, internet access, projector, and speakers
Please send proposals via email to the program committee by emailing Marci Cohen (firstname.lastname@example.org). In your submission e-mail, please use the subject line: “NEMLA Spring ‘18 Proposal.”
The proposal deadline is Wednesday, January 17. Accepted presenters will be notified of their status by February 9, 2018.
Special thanks to the program committee and Alan Karass for hosting us.
Marci Cohen, Vice-Chair/Chair Elect
Assistant Head, Music Library, Mugar Memorial Library
Seeking Nominations/Committee Members
Call for Nominations:
NEMLA seeks candidates for two positions on the NEMLA Board. Serving as a Board member is a great opportunity to contribute substantially to your MLA chapter as well as to music librarianship overall. Candidates for these positions will appear on the ballot for the Spring 2018 election:
Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect (3-year term):
- Chairs the Program Committee
- Serves as an ex-officio member of the Education & Outreach Committee.
- Performs the duties of the Chair in the latter’s absence.
- The term of office shall be one year, after which the Vice-Chair shall succeed to the office of Chair and then Past-Chair, requiring a commitment of three years.
Member-at-Large (2-year term):
- Acts as liaison to relevant professional organizations in New England (such as the New England Library Association (NELA),the six state library associations, the New England chapter of ACRL (ACRL/NEC), and the New England chapter of the American Musicological Society (AMS), primarily to promote information
exchange and outreach.
- Serves as Chair of the Education & Outreach Committee.
- The term of office shall be two years.
Terms of office begin immediately after the spring meeting. Officers must be in good standing and current with their dues. The Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect must also be a member of the national Music Library Association.
Please email Laura Stokes (laura_stokes at brown.edu) if you would like to nominate yourself or someone else for one of these positions, or if you have any questions. The nomination deadline is Wednesday, February 7, 2018.
Thank you, Ned Quist, music librarian, par excellence. We wish you a joyous retirement. Thanks for the memories!
Edwin “Ned” Quist is a long-time music librarian and member of both NEMLA and MLA. Ned’s career as a music librarian began at the Peabody Institute of Music, where he was the Head of the Arthur Friedheim Library from 1976 to 2001. In 2001, he became the Music Librarian and head of the Orwig Music Library at Brown University, taking over the position previously held by Carol Tatian. Ned worked tirelessly to augment Brown’s holdings, especially in popular music sound recordings, and developed Brown’s audio digitization capacities. Ned served as Vice-Chair of NEMLA in 2005–2006, Chair in 2006–2007, and Past-Chair in 2007–2008. In 2011, Ned was made the Associate University Librarian for Research and Outreach Services at Brown; in this role he has directed outreach from the libraries to academic departments and centers and managed the core group of subject specialists in the library. He remained active and interested in NEMLA and MLA even after his move into library administration. Ned, his wife Alice Pace, and their friend Andrew Grover are the members of White Squall, a band specializing in traditional and folk music which was featured at NEMLA’s Spring 2014 chapter meeting. Ned is also a dedicated and talented woodworker. Ned will retire from Brown on January 3, 2018.
Laura K. T. Stokes, Performing Arts Librarian, Brown University
Special Report: Oral History Excerpt
On August 18, 2017, Debra Mandel, Head, Recording Studios, Northeastern University Libraries, went to Brown University and interviewed Ned for the MLA Oral History Project. Here is an abridged version of that interview.
DM: Good to see you. So we’re going to be generally talking about your career as a music librarian, and your involvement in MLA and NEMLA. So, let’s start out with your background prior to becoming a music librarian, maybe your background in music and how you chose to come to librarianship?
NQ: Well, to some degree it was accidental. At the time I first became a music librarian, I was a grad student at the Peabody Conservatory in Music History. At that time, I was close to finishing my degree–my masters degree–and Geraldine Ostrove–who was then the music librarian at the Peabody Conservatory–had just resigned to take a job at New England Conservatory. The scuttlebutt was that they hadn’t started a search yet, but things were very informal in those days, and my boss at the time–I was working as a secretary in the music education department just to make a few bucks while I was finishing my masters thesis–said, “Why don’t you talk to the director and say you’d be interested in working in the library, if you are,” and I said, “Sure!” So, I sent an email–no, I didn’t send an email, I sent a memo– there was no email in those days–to the director and got an invitation to join him for lunch, which I did. And he was sitting there with the Dean, and these were in the days when the lunches were considerably more alcoholic than they are these days. So the director at that time was Richard Franko Goldman–son of Edwin Franko Goldman of the famous Goldman Band–and Richard sat me down. We had a nice chat for awhile, then he said, “So, you want to be a music librarian?” I said, “I’d like to do that, it sounds like fun.” He says, “You know how to order books?” I said, “I’m sure I can figure it out.” He said, “Good. When can you start?” And he offered me the lordly sum of $6,000 a year, which to me was a lot of money. This was 1976, just before Peabody joined the Johns Hopkins family. So, by the time I became librarian in July, we were part of the Johns Hopkins community as a school, and that’s how I got started. So it was totally by accident and it was totally, probably illegal; these days, it would be considered very bad HR practice. But I was delighted to get in through the back door, and shortly thereafter I became a student at Catholic University, where I got my library degree while working in the library.
DM: What do you remember most about that library?
NQ: It was very small; we were in what had previously been a dance studio, a hallway, and, I think, the changing rooms for the dance studio. It was that way until–gosh–almost 1990? I’m trying to remember what year–probably 1990. We got a new library at that point and I was involved in the design. I wasn’t involved in the construction but I certainly monitored it every day. I had my own hardhat and I’d go over and wander around, and the foreman would see me and grab me and show me what was going on, so it was kind of fun. But the early years in the music library were difficult. Everything was totally manual in those days. We bought a PC, I remember, one year, that was about 1980. It was one of the first IBM PC’s, cost $4,000, had no hard drive, and took about ten minutes to boot up.
NQ: So, yeah, that’s how I got started.
DM: So were you involved in any organizations then, did you get involved?
NQ: I joined the local chapter–the Chesapeake chapter, then–of MLA, and was very involved in that and went to my first MLA meeting in Boston, actually.
DM: Was that your first time in Boston?
NQ: Yeah, I think so, ‘78 maybe? And that’s where I met all sorts of people that would later become my colleagues in NEMLA.
DM: Very interesting. So, what brought you to Providence, Rhode Island? When did you make that move?
NQ: I made that move in 2001. I had been at the MLA meeting in New York that year, and saw the advertisement on the table. At that time my first wife and I had divorced and my children had moved out with her to California, so I had nothing keeping me in Baltimore. I applied for this job, and much to my surprise, I got it. So–it was exciting, especially since I’d only worked in one place for almost twenty-seven years.
DM: And did you have a very strong network in MLA?
NQ: I was involved in MLA, I’d been Convention Manager for MLA, I’d been on the board before I came here, during that famous period when we went through the shift of management firms.
DM: So then when did you get involved with NEMLA?
NQ: Well, as soon as I got to Providence I got involved with NEMLA. I can’t remember what meeting I went to first, but of course, one of my references for this job was Paula Matthews–who, I think, by that time had probably moved to the Boston Athenaeum.
NQ: And so, I think she was instrumental. Also, my predecessor at Brown, Carol Tatian, made sure that I knew about NEMLA and was going to attend the meetings. Actually I was much more diligent about attending NEMLA meetings than I had been previously in Baltimore attending the Chesapeake chapter.
DM: So, what do you think you liked about NEMLA?
NQ: Well, NEMLA was a very sophisticated and large organization compared to the Mid-Atlantic Chesapeake chapter, which was very small. I mean, we were lucky if we got ten or fifteen people in a meeting. And the first NEMLA meeting I went to was forty or fifty people. And I’ve seen bigger ones. So, I remember one year, I think, in NEMLA, we had a joint meeting with Greater New York in New London. We had close to a hundred people at that meeting. First of all, Greater New York: no one went to those meetings, I’m told, so this was a big opportunity for them to get out of town (laughs).
DM: Very impressive, very impressive. So, how have you been involved in, or how had you been involved in NEMLA, either in committee work or serving as an officer?
NQ: I really never belonged to any committees but I somehow ended up as chair of NEMLA, just in time for the national MLA meeting to come to Newport. I think I had just finished being chair by the time it actually got here. I was involved in the invite. I remember doing a little hotel and city looking. Ken Crilly from Yale, myself, Ginny [Virginia] Daniels from Harvard, and I’m trying to remember who else was involved in this process. But there were several of us who visited various places around New England. I think Ken went to Manchester, New Hampshire–and of course he handled New Haven–and I looked at Portland, Maine, and Newport, and Ginny did a couple of other places too. And so we all came together and decided to make this offer to the MLA chapter. I’ll never forget when we made the first offer, Ginny was convinced that you had to take a boat to get to Newport (laughing). We had to explain, “No, actually there’s bridges on both sides. The boat hasn’t been true since the early 1950’s, I think, so…” Anyway, that’s–and what else did I do in NEMLA? That’s about it. So local arrangements, chair, and president chair or whatever it’s called.
DM: So do you remember anything about that conference, the MLA conference and how it went?
NQ: Oh gosh, do I ever. Um, some good stories about that conference. Well, we had our chapter meeting, our NEMLA chapter meeting at Newport, I think, the fall before. So that would mean, the Newport meeting was 2004? 2005? [Ed. note: The Newport MLA meeting was in 2008.] And, so the fall before, we had our chapter meeting down there, and that was a lot of fun. Of course the exciting thing about that meeting was finding out–well after we’d signed the contract–that the hotel was undergoing–it had changed hands–and it was undergoing major renovation. And I guess we could have gotten out of the contract at that point, but we decided, no, we’d stick with it. I say we, it was mainly the convention manager, who was Gordon Rowley, I think, at that point. And the board, the MLA board, decided, “No, we’ll stick with it and see how it goes.” So, it was exciting because the hotel was half torn up. There was only a handful of us actually staying in the hotel. Their meeting rooms were all completely renovated and brand new, you could still smell the carpet. Everybody else had to be bussed to the hotel from various hotels around town: the Marriott,–which was really in walking distance–the Viking,–which was way across the bridge and up the hill a bit–and there may have been people at yet another place. But the hotel paid for that transportation, so basically we had a shuttle service running for us throughout Newport, which was fabulous.
DM: That’s fabulous.
NQ: But I can remember walking through some of the areas that were under renovation, and there were these great sheets of plastic hanging from the ceiling, dripping wet, because remember, this was February. And of course, by the end of the week we had snow. I’m trying to remember what else happened that meeting, though, that was real interesting. I remember one of the funny things about it is, we were told by the hotel–maybe the general manager who knew something about the history–that was on Goat Island, which during World War II had been a part of the submarine base. And before that, though, it turns out it was the site of one of the largest public hangings of pirates in the United States–or the colonies–and they were buried on Goat Island.
DM: Oh, boy.
NQ: So, that was kind of an interesting story to tell people. I also remember dragging equipment through the hotel–because we brought a local Cajun band in to play for the banquet–and having to help them drag all their equipment from some back door off an alley way. And the other thing I remember about that meeting–which many people will–is that was Suki Sommer’s last meeting. She was there in a wheelchair, sort of holding court, and people were coming to visit her in her room when they could, when she wasn’t sleeping. And it was, it was kind of a bittersweet farewell to her.
DM: So, at this stage in the interview, I’m going to ask you to reflect on anything you would like about your profession, about your association with NEMLA or MLA, or how you feel that your current position has been shaped by your years being a music librarian, and having organizational responsibilities.
NQ: Well, you’ve probably seen the article I wrote for Careers a couple years ago about music librarians leaving the nest, and it’s something that I actually learned when I was here. I remember going to a meeting of the Library Advisory Council at Brown, which is made up of alums and members of the Brown Corporation, the board. And they had this meeting in the library, and I had invited Katherine Bergeron–she was the chair of the music department at that time, so I invited her to this meeting at my boss’s request, and we were sitting there, and I think the woman in the room was the former–current director, at that time, of the University of Virginia libraries. She was director of the Virginia libraries, and she said something that stuck with me ever since: she said that more than any other part of librarianship, music librarians seem to be the most upwardly mobile. So, that was always sitting in the back of my head, and I think I actually used it in that article that I wrote–which I cheated on. I basically got a bunch of people to tell me how they became administrators. I contacted Michael Keller–who I used to room with in MLA way back in the dark ages, and we’d been in the RLG Music Program Committee together–and of course, my own boss, Harriette Hemmasi who was a former music librarian. And I think I also dragged in my good friend at Notre Dame, who I knew in the Mid-Atlantic states, Katherine Parr Walker…Katherine Parr Walker. Anyway, Diane and Michael and Harriette and maybe one other person told me what they thought about it, and it was interesting because it’s a very different approach. We all kind of agreed, I think, that music librarians get to do a greater variety of things. They get to know things at the ground level; and because rarely do they have big staff. I’m not sure, Indiana or, um–I’m trying to think of places that have great, big staff–Indiana, Illinois, maybe. You get to do all of these things, from fixing the photocopier machine to cataloguing, to reference work, to collection development, to electronic resources–all of that stuff is done by music librarians. So, of course, they’re the ones who are best qualified sometimes to step into these positions. I’m not sure I was, but I still got the opportunity to do it, and I’m about ready to finish doing it so, that’s kind of where I am right now, about that.
DM: So you’ve had a wonderful career–
DM: And you’ve been a wonderful part of the NEMLA and MLA organizations. So, thank you very much. If there’s anything else you’d like to say at this time?
NQ: Well, thank you, I’m honored that I got asked.
Fenwick Music Library
College of the Holy Cross
1 College Street
Worcester, MA 01610
jrex at holycross.edu
771 Commonwealth Ave.
Boston, MA 02215
mcohen2 at bu.edu
Performing Arts Librarian
Orwig Music Library
Providence, RI 02912
laura_stokes at brown.edu
Director of Libraries
New England Conservatory
290 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115-5018
alan.karass at necmusic.edu
Music Librarian for Access Services
Irving S. Gilmore Music Library
120 High Street
PO Box 208240
New Haven, CT 06520
jonathan.manton at yale.edu
Music & Performing Arts Librarian
Paddock Music Library
Hopkins Center, HB 6245 Hanover, NH 03755
memory.r.apata at dartmouth.edu
Stan Getz Library
Berklee College of Music
1140 Boylston Street
Boston, MA 02215
sbecerralicha at berklee.edu
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