An initiative of the Department of Special Collections of the Donald C. Davidson Library at the University of California at Santa Barbara, the Cylinder Preservation and Digitization Project presents digital remasters of nearly 8000 cylinders that are catalogued according to standard library rules for sound recordings. The collection may be searched by keyword, author, title, subject, year, or call number, or it can be browsed by genre, instrument, topic, or language. The recordings can all be heard and downloaded for free; the project is happy to receive donations of further recordings and financial support.
Among the collection’s rare gems are 225 recordings of pre-1902 popular music, including cylinders of Sousa’s Grand Concert Band.
Related article: John Philip Sousa, violinist
Founded in 2006, the International Music Score Library Project (IMSLP) hosts the Petrucci Music Library, a free wiki-based source for public-domain scores.
The library, which is named for the innovative music printer Ottaviano Petrucci (1466–1539), mainly comprises scans of music editions whose copyright has expired; it also welcomes scores by contemporary composers who are willing to license their works without charge.
Concertina library: Digital reference collection for concertinas is an online collection of English, Anglo, and duet concertina resources, with entries ranging from research-based articles to instruction manuals, sheet music, and organological studies. Created by the computer scientist and concertina player Robert Gaskins, the library aims to compile and index all of the writings by leading authors on concertina matters, making them available to the public for free.
Above: Marie Lachenal with her concertina, ca. 1885.
When we commenced work on our Festschriften retrospective project (the first volume, Liber amicorum, was recently published) we began with what was then the gold-standard reference work, Walter Gerboth’s An index to musical Festschriften and similar publications.
The Head Librarian of the Brooklyn College music library that now bears his name, Gerboth amassed a large collection of music Festschriften during the compilation of his book, and he bequeathed this collection to the library; Marguerite Iskenderian, a Music Cataloguer there, kindly shared these books with us so we could write abstracts for the essays therein. She also shared with us his collected notes—his Nachlaß—which he had also left to the library.
Like any good librarian of his time, Gerboth kept obsolete catalogue cards for scratch paper; his notes are all on the back of such cards, some neatly typed, some hastily handwritten. Most of these notes were citations for music-related articles in Festschriften with nonmusical dedicatees, articles that he had discovered in bibliographies or other sources; many were noted after his book had gone to press, for inclusion in a second edition that never materialized.
Among these cards were notes from his friends and associates with further citations or suggestions. One of the latter, reproduced below, includes the question “Who he?”—a humorous catch-phrase from a bygone era, perhaps originating in an old radio comedy.