|The Sibley Muse|
Newsletter of the Sibley Music Library
INSIDE THIS ISSUE:
Sibley Music Library is a place where Eastman students and faculty pursue their passion for music by listening, reading, and studying in a comfortable facility surrounded by the materials of the largest academic music collection in the country. We think of this library as a safe place that engenders a sense of community among students and teachers as well as guests from outside Eastman. Recently Sibley proved not to be a safe place. On a Sunday afternoon in late November two Eastman students stepped away from their study carrels only briefly and in so doing lost valued personal items to thieves. University of Rochester Security officers responded quickly and, working with the Rochester Police Department, were able to apprehend one of the thieves and recover a few of the stolen items that same afternoon. That person identified the other suspect; neither has any connection with Eastman.
Where does such an incident leave us? First, it serves as a reminder to all of usstudents, faculty, and staffto safeguard personal items such as purses, backpacks, and laptops. Second, it suggests that we at Sibley think critically about our security procedures.
All users of Sibley will have observed that, while the entrance door is always locked, we admitwithout questionall who ring the bell for admission. We will continue to do so but with a significant difference. On the advice of U of R Security, and with the agreement of Sibley and ESM colleagues with whom I have consulted, we will institute a new practice beginning with the spring semester. All who gain access to Sibley by ringing the bell will be asked to write their name and address in a register at the circulation desk and to show identification verifying their name. Then they are free to use Sibley Music Library, as has always been the case. This new system has no effect on current Eastman students, faculty, and staff, who will continue to use their University of Rochester ID cards to unlock the entrance door to the library. If you forget your ID you will be asked to sign the register and produce some other form of identification, so remember to carry your U of R identification card.
Clearly, such a change in procedure will not obviate all issues of theft. While the most recent incident was perpetrated by people from outside the Eastman community, one could never assume that this would invariably be the case. Still, this new practice does underscore the fact that entrance to Sibley Music Library is very much a privilege for those outside of the ESM community. Asking such guests to sign a register is not uncommon in privately funded libraries and archives, nor will it change our desire to be hospitable and helpful to those outside the Eastman community who come to use the resources of Sibley Music Library. But our primary concern is to provide Eastman students, faculty, and staff a facility that is as safe and inviting as we can make it.
This new procedure will go into effect during the second week of the spring semester. The first week will allow us an additional opportunity to provide advance announcements and reminders of this new procedure as we begin the new semester. Further, an extensive score/recordings/book sale will take place during the first week of the semester, with items to be paid for at the circulation deskthus, not the optimum time to implement the new registration procedure at the same desk. Read more about the sale on page one of this issue of The Sibley Muse.
Sibley welcomes a new staff person to the Conservation Department: Ruth DuMont comes to us from another University of Rochester library-Bibby Library at the Eastman Dental Center. As Ruth noted, sheŠs coming to Eastman from Eastman, but she likes music better than teeth! At Bibby Ruth was responsible for the day-to-day functioning of the entire library. The job of bindery supervisor at Sibley is a little like taking one part of her former work and putting it under a microscope: those particular functions are very much magnified.
Another new face also to be seen in the Conservation Lab and around the library is that of Donna Iannapollo. Donna is "on loan" from Rush Rhees to Sibley Tuesdays and Thursdays to help with pulling and preparing books to be sent out for deacidification [see related article]. Donna is not only a crack puller of volumes, she is also a trained chef! She is already familiar to at least one Sibley staff person, though; she's married to Circulation Supervisor Robert Iannapollo.
The New York State/Ontario Chapter held its annual meeting on October 12th and 13th at Syracuse University. Sibley Library staff Jennifer Bowen, David Peter Coppen, Jim Farrington, Esther Gillie, Gerry Szymanski, and Dale Vargason explored the music holdings in the Special Collections Department at Bird Library, and toured the Belfer Audio Archives. Gerry, current NYS/O Chair, led a session called "Digitizing Music Recordings Projects, Prospects and Issues," and also read a paper, "Franz Waxman and 'Bride of Frankenstein' Beautiful Terror." Dale Vargason, Sibley Catalog Librarian, read his paper, "The Ernst Bacon Archive at Syracuse University," which was preceded by some brief reminiscences by the composerŠs widow, Ellen Bacon.
In September Jim Farrington attended a joint meeting of the Association for Recorded Sound Collections (for which he was just elected President-Elect) and the International Association of Sound Archives, hosted by the National Sound Archives at the British Museum. ARSC Past-President and Eastman Director of Foundation Relations Suzanne Stover also attended the meeting.
The University of Rochester recently received a grant for the deacidification of library materials, and the funds are being used to preserve about 6,000 Sibley scores. These scores will be pulled from the collection and sent out in lots of 600-900 items, with the first shipment of 900 scores due out on December 14th and expected back by the second week of January. Over the next three years, further materials will be identified, then collected, boxed, sent, processed, and returned in batches. The material we send will be unavailable for 3-4 weeks, so the shipments will be timed for school breaks. The scores sent in the first shipment did not receive a special temporary location, but are instead checked out to "Deacidification Project" as if the project were a library patron.
The process by which the materials are being deacidified is called "Bookkeeper," and is carried out by Preservation Technologies, Inc. (PTI), in Cranberry Twp., PA. The process permeates the paper fibers with tiny particles of magnesium oxide (MgO) that gradually absorb hydrogen ions from acids in the paper, thereby neutralizing the acid and leaving an "alkaline reserve" (an excess of alkaline particles that neutralizes acid that continues to form as a product of other chemical reactions that continue to take place in the paper). The method by which the MgO particles are introduced into the paper varies depending on the type of material, but always involves suspending the particles in a non-toxic, non-aqueous carrier solution, in which unbound scores are soaked in slotted trays, sprayed (if they are fragile), or gently agitated (washing-machine style) while clamped in book holders (if they are sturdy). Since the carrier solution includes no water, the paper or bindings do not swell, curl, or discolor. The carrier solution is drained and evaporated completely in a vacuum tank at the plant, leaving a relatively uniform spread of MgO particles throughout the pages and bindings of the materials.
Glossy paper and plasticized bindings are relatively impenetrable to the solution, so glossy papers are avoided in the selection process and some bindings will come back with a thin white powder of MgO particles on them. The paper of treated items will also have a distinctive velvety, sometimes even dusty, feel. The dustiness will gradually go away as the MgO particles form the hydrogen bonds that embed them more firmly into the paper fibers, but the velvety feel will stay. Only scores whose paper is acidic will be sent, but this category includes nearly all scores produced before 1990. Deacidification prolongs the life of paper by a factor of 2-5, depending on the quality of the paper involved and the amount of damage already done by the acid. Neutralizing the acid cannot reverse the damage, so materials that are already brittle will not be sent, but will continue to be replaced by new scores or reproductions in the usual way. We in the Conservation Lab certainly hope that the 6,000 scores sent now will save us from the need to make 6,000 preservation replacements or photocopies in the years to come!
During the first week of classes in the spring semester, January 14-18, Sibley Library will have what it is calling its Millennial Sale. The staff have been sorting through hundreds of boxes of gift material, keeping the items that Sibley needs. The rest will be made available for sale. The Alec Wilder Reading Room (near the Reference stacks) will be packed with boxes of books, scores, and LPs. Prices for the first three days of the sale (Monday through Wednesday) will be $.25 per item; on Thursday, everything is $.10 each; and Friday we will simply be giving away anything that does not sell. Bring some bags and load them up! The money will be collected at the circulation desk, and we welcome especially those who can pay in exact change.
Most of these items have been occupying shelf space-in some cases for years-in the Cage on the fourth floor. That space is now needed for other things, such as the new collections acquired by Special Collections (see pages 3-4). This is also a chance for students to build their own libraries for very little money. The proceeds from this sale will be used to ship the duplicate periodical runs we have to libraries in developing countries where scholarly resources are in short supply.
Claire Michelle Viola
Scores and parts for around 950 small ensemble pieces once owned by and kept at the Ensemble Library have been transferred to the Sibley Music LibraryŠs circulating collection. Items transferred include works for seven or fewer players, unless the parts are for only one type of instrument (e.g., all horns or all tubas). This process began in November 1999, and is now finished. The reasoning behind this move is that it would help the Ensemble Library to more efficiently serve the existing Eastman ensembles while enhancing Sibley's collection. Brass quintets and wind quintets make up the larger part of the works transferred. All are fully cataloged and appear in Voyager. The Ensemble Library has a master list of all works transferred., including the new Sibley call numbers.
The Special Collections department acquired six collections this calendar year; three arrived in the fall semester alone. Three were gifts outright; two came on deposit, placed here for the use of researchers and performers; and one was purchased out of the gracious assistance of the Eastman School administration.
Last winter Universal-Edition (Vienna) placed on deposit a collection of correspondence generated by composer Kurt Weill (1900-50) and the officers of Universal. Containing 1,471 separate items, the collection constitutes a chronicle of the business that was transacted between composer and publisher during the years 1924-50. The collection complements the Weill manuscripts placed here on deposit in 1997.
In the spring, the department accessioned the papers of composer Malcolm Robert Seagrave (1928-2001), MM '52, DMA '62. Dr. Seagrave, having spent the bulk of his professional life on the West Coast, died last winter, leaving yet unperformed the largest of his several stage works, The Fall of Freddie the Leaf, based on the story of that title by Dr. Leo Buscaglia. The surviving family members made a gift to the Library of the Seagrave papers, including the performing materials for Freddie.
In the summer, the department received the first installment of the papers of music educator Marvin J. Rabin (b. 1916), MM '48. A 1968 recipient of the Ed.D. degree from the University of Illinois, Dr. Rabin is nationally recognized as an authority on string pedagogy. Although he spent the greater part of his professional life at the University of Wisconsin (Madison), he considered the Sibley Music Library the most suitably positioned repository to offer the requisite conditions for accessibility of his papers to researchers. DMA candidate Laura Salzwedel Rooney, who will focus on Dr. Rabin's career in her DMA paper, is processing the collection.
In September, the department received on deposit the large performance collection of composer and faculty member Wayne Brewster Barlow (1912-96), BM '34, MM'35, PhD '37. The latest faculty collection to arrive in the SML, Professor Barlow's collection represents the largest collection of his music to be found anywhere, and is noteworthy for containing performing scores and ensemble sets of all of his major and many of his smaller works. The music of Wayne Barlow was frequently performed in the Eastman School's American Composers' Concerts and annual Festivals of American Music (1925-71), at which he was the third most-frequently programmed composer, ranking behind only Howard Hanson and Bernard Rogers.
At the beginning of November, the Eastman School purchased on behalf of the Special Collections department the collection of harpist-pedagogue Artiss de Volt Zacharias (1907-2000). Mme de Volt, a student of legendary harpist and composer Alfred Hol? (1866-1948), built up an extensive collection of imprints and manuscripts, numerous of which had been in the possession of Maestro Hol?½. Particularly noteworthy among the collection's holdings is a scrapbook put together by Hol?, representing an international compilation of information on all aspects of the harp during the years 1881-1937.
At the end of November, the department received the papers of composer D. Lee Gannon (1960-96), BM '88, the gift of his sisters Lynn Gannon Patterson (Murfreesboro, TN) and Gail Gannon Curtis (Nashville, TN). After receiving his Eastman degree Mr. Gannon earned the MM degree from the University of Texas (Austin), and thereafter enrolled in that institution's doctoral program in composition. At the time of his death, Mr. Gannon was working full-time as a free-lance composer in his native Nashville, and had gained nationwide recognition. The recipient of numerous awards and commissions, he had also played a vital role as a spokesman for artists living with AIDS.