Perusing the Stacks: Cataloging Music

This week and last I have been learning about some of the basics of cataloging. While the cataloging of books is often fairly straight forward, such is not case with music. There are some extra, important bits of information that make a big difference in cataloging and finding musical works.

When it comes to finding a book, most people can stop at the title and author (maybe even just the title!) and find what they are looking for. With music, however, a piece of music can have different transcriptions, arrangers, publishers, or score size, all of which have varying effects on the music. In practicing cataloging I came across a piece called Air. In looking further I noticed that not only was a composer listed, but a transcriber as well. It turns out the piece I was assigned to catalog for cello and piano was not the original version and it was actually written for violin and piano a year earlier. In this case in particular, it would be important for a musician to know what instrumentation the piece is for and whether or not other editions are available. Another way in which music cataloging involves that extra step is when it comes to different publishers. If one were to pick up two different copies of To Kill a Mockingbird by two different publishers, chances are the story itself would be the same word for word. With different music publishers, on the other hand, there could be differences in accidentals (whether a note is sharp or flat), articulations, phrasing, dynamics, cadenzas (little show off-y, soloistic sections), and even rhythm and pitch. It is not uncommon for publishers to add their own artistic input to a piece of music or to interpret it a different way. It is not likely you will have a book publisher decide to change the end of Where the Red Fern Grows. 

While music and all its extra ins and outs makes cataloging a bit more in-depth, as a musician who has been sent by my private teachers to “peruse the stacks” it feels I am doing a service for all those other musicians out there looking to make music.

From the Classroom to Musselman Library: Bridging the Gap for Music Education

I am in my sixth semester as a music education major through the Sunderman Conservatory and yet I had no idea there was a music education collection here at Musselman Library until just a couple weeks ago. After reading up on some policies and practices for maintaining collections I was given some time to peruse the music education collection more closely. As I looked through the shelves and skimmed some introductions and tables of contents of a few of the books in MT1 I began considering how I would go about updating and maintaining this small collection.

I began thinking about certain aspects of collection development such as the audience it applied to, relevance and value of more dated materials, etc. At an undergraduate liberal arts institution such as Gettysburg College, there is not a huge demographic to which a music education collection would apply to aside from, well, the fairly small music education department. While the target demographic is small, the collection is open to all, which is where I ran into some issues with some of the materials contained in those shelves. There is a fair amount of outdated teaching approaches and philosophies that just do not apply to the modern classroom or modern perspectives on education. For the average looker-on who may not have had the same experience, through course discussions in the education or music education departments, there may be teaching content that is no longer the contemporary and progressive form of music instruction and so it can be misleading. What those in our program know that others do not is that there is an entire collection of music classroom application materials in our main classroom in Schmucker Hall, accessible to music education majors 24/7.

In terms of content and audience, the main audience who would be accessing both sources is the students in the music education program. After a brief meeting with my intern adviser, Amy Ward, and my academic adviser and head of the music education department, Dr. Brent Talbot, we discussed ways in which we could bridge the gap between the two collections and to make them complement each other. My goals, as the Forthenbaugh intern and as an educator, are to make as much information accessible as I can for the music community on campus and those interested in learning more about it.

Getting My Feet Wet

In the past two weeks, I have become much more comfortable at the Research Help Desk.  I have been asked a whole variety of questions, from printing to citation to looking for books and articles.  Despite a few challenging requests, I feel more confident in answering difficult research questions (which is good, because next week I’ll be working my first solo shift!).  I will miss working with staff members at the Desk, largely because I enjoyed chatting with them about research skills, politics, sports, or anything that piqued our interests.

The big highlight of my past two weeks was working with Janelle and Alexa in an instruction session for Environmental Science 125: Marine Megafauna.  Despite some initial nerves, I enjoyed teaching about how to use MUSCAT and research books to an assortment of first-years, sophomores, juniors, and seniors.  I am hopeful that there will be more opportunities to participate in instruction sessions, even in subjects I am not an expert in.

As we move on, I look forward to collection development with Clint and Carolyn and my first solo shifts at the Desk, as library patrons begin to delve into their big research papers and projects.

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Starting at the Research Help Desk

Hi!  My name is Jake Farias and I am the Fortenbaugh Research and Instruction Intern for the Spring of 2016.

I am a graduating senior with a major in History and minors in Education and English.  Last summer, I worked as an intern in the Civil War Institute, researching the New York City Draft Riots and designing a mock debate focused on key perspectives during the riots.  I was born and raised in Massachusetts, own a dog and a cat, and I have a little sister who is beginning her “teenage angst” stage of life.

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I have just completed my second week at the Research Help Desk and feel as though I am starting to get a good handle of the work.  Even after our intense boot camp training, I felt nervous to start fielding questions.  But after working through printer issues, citations, and some source searches with patrons, I am feeling more and more comfortable every day.  With that said, I still have loads more to learn in the next few weeks.

It’s been a great first two weeks at the Research Help Desk and I am hopeful for many more to come!

Life in the Fishbowl

I was never quite certain what went on in those offices behind the glass windows on the second floor of Musselman Library, but two weeks into my Fortenbaugh Music Librarian Internship I am beginning to get an idea. After talking with some of the staff that work in the fishbowl I have gotten a glimpse at some of the goings on behind the scenes of the librarian. If you’ve ever wondered how all these books and resources came to be or how in the world you are able to find a single thing in this place (maybe with some assistance), well, I can tell you it is not the work of little library fairies.

The staff working in technical services catalog and organize countless resources to make them accessible and able to be found. Many of them are also liaisons to different departments across campus to make sure each department has a collection of useful and pertinent resources and materials for the students and faculty in their programs. Maybe one or more of your past bio or living environment teachers/professors have mentioned that the mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell. Well Tech Services is kinda like the powerhouse of the library. Without the fishbowl staff, Musselman Library would likely be a barren wasteland containing nothing but dysfunctional printers, a vending machine, and a pile of miscellaneous books that have nothing to do with that research paper due tomorrow that you’ve been putting off for weeks.

But why am I here? As the music library intern I’ll be specifically focusing on music collections. So when you’re on the third floor trying not to squish someone between the mobile shelving, look for me.

More to come on my experiences with music collections and cataloging. Until then, see you (from inside the fishbowl).

The Day is Done

It truly seems as though my time in Special Collections started only a few short weeks ago, when in actuality three months and a variety of projects have since taken place. From making countless boxes, to repairing a 200 year old book, to digitizing dance cards, my time in Special Collections has provided me with invaluable hands-on conservation and processing experience. One of the most unique aspects about Special Collections (that I’ll greatly miss) is the spontaneous experiences of discovering a new historical treasure on every shelf or seeing a patron bring in a valuable item and share their side of the story on any given historical event or time period. I think it goes without saying that I won’t be able to stay away for too long before coming back to visit!
As the Holley Intern, my internship continues through the end of the 2015-2016 academic year; so even though my time in Special Collections has drawn to an end, I’m only moving a few floors down and will be splitting my days between Technical Services and the Research and Instruction Department. It is with sadness that I will be leaving Special Collections, but eager excitement with which I will be starting what are sure to be a variety of new projects!
-Alexa 

And Then There Was One. . .

As you can tell from the many “last posts” below, Special Collections has grown increasingly quiet over the past two weeks, as all of the other interns have completed their time here at the library. Despite being the last one standing, a very quiet Special Collections has allowed me to put the finishing touches on the Dance Card Collection (Shall We Dance) that Avery and I spent a large portion of the summer working on. Though at times the project seemed never ending, between finding new dance cards in the depth of already existing collections, to learning what it means to create metadata for our newly digitized dance cards, the project has been finally launched. 

Here’s a quick screenshot to entice you on over to the actual page. Make sure to pay special attention to the variety of ways to search through the dance card, either by event theme or Greek affiliation.
Enjoy discovering the many treasures we’ve been spending each and every day with! 

For Good: My Last Post of the Summer

Hello!
So the summer has flown by and as my last day is Friday,  here’s my last post. I have finished my first draft transcription of the H.L Baugher travel diary and am in the process of proofreading it (which I hope to finish tomorrow!).  I have made a finding guide to describe the diary and it’s contents and digitized several pages containing flower samples as well! This project has been so much fun and I have truly enjoyed working so closely with such an amazing artifact. Baugher describes the interesting stories and experiences so well, I feel like I’m right there with him climbing St. Bernarnd (yes the mountain the dogs are named after) or boating around Switzerland. His descriptions are breathtaking and I would love to travel to all the places he visited some day. This internship has certainly changed my perspective for the better and I would like to thank the staff in Special Collections for this amazing opportunity I have had this summer. I can’t wait to take all I learned and use it in the future!

Have a great last bit of summer!
Liz

Parting is such Sweet Sorrow

Book repair

Book making
As the words of William Shakespeare elaborate, this will be my final blog post of the summer. Tomorrow will be my last day here at Special Collections as the Diane Werley Smith ’73 intern and it is amazing how fast the summer has flown by. For the past few months I have learned and experienced so much and I am grateful for every moment. From processing the letters of a World War II housewife, Lillian Quinn, to rehousing and digitizing dance cards, it has been a busy and fulfilling summer. I believe one of my favorite projects was my work with the dance card collection. After having begun the project this Spring semester it has been wonderful seeing it come full circle; being rehoused and transformed into a digital collection. I can’t thank the staff of Special Collections enough for the great opportunity and all the help that they gave me. Also thank you to my fellow interns for the good times, and fantastic pie times J I’m looking forward to the fall! So for the last time, Avery over and out. Cheers!                                                  
Envelope from the Lillian Quinn Letter Collection
Dance Card rehousing

Our first day

“Let us cross over the river and rest under the shade of the trees”, My Final Post for the Summer

Showing the swords to the
other interns

As the summer comes to a close, the more I think about my experiences here at Special Collections. This internship was completely different compared to my past internships, going from giving tours to creating finding aids for collections. I lived a Civil War Era Studies student’s dream, being able to handle a wide range of artifacts and documents while helping preserve them at the same time. The Hosford Collection has portions of it digitized on GettDigital and I am currently working on reorganizing and editing the Civil War Vertical File Manuscript.  The Hosford Collection helped me establish my understanding of archiving very quickly, double and triple checking my work. His diaries strengthened my understanding of what a soldier’s life entailed and the hardships they faced. 

Civil War Book Display
for the CWI Conference
Hoadly G. Hosford
44th New York, Co. I
Post War Years
Hosford’s collection was the first of many collections that I got to preserve and explore this summer. They ranged from swords, diaries, personal items, to even rifles. The access to all of the collections allowed me to get a better understanding of what soldiers experienced, remembered and carried during the Civil War. I could have not asked for a better internship this summer to establish my archiving skills and add to my knowledge about the Civil War. I want to thank the staff at Special Collections for their hard work and extremely kind nature in training me and working with me on the Civil War collections. This summer was one full of great memories with coworkers and friends in the area. 
  I wish everyone the best and have a great rest of the summer!