Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Poster Session Recap: Online College of Music Recordings at the University of North Texas

The College of Music at the University of North Texas (UNT) is among the largest music schools in the country and offers nearly 1,000 performances annually. Of these, archival recordings of doctoral, faculty, ensemble, and guest artist concerts have been archived from the early 1950s, on formats of reel-to-reel tape, PCM F1 Rotating Digital Audio Tape (R-DAT), compact disc, and (since 2006) digital files.

A project between the UNT Music Library and the libraries' Digital Projects Unit (DPU) has made the latter accessible online both on-campus and off- to members of the UNT community (password-protected at the university level) via a homegrown system, stored on a Capricorn PS3000 server.

Metadata is entered on a system based on the Keystone Digital Library (soon to be moved to a Django-based Python Web framework); the schema is locally-qualified Dublin Core system that the UNT Libraries have been using for several years, using PDFs of the concert programs and Library of Congress subject headings.

Here are 6 screen shots of our current metadata entry form:

To compare, here is a link to the public view of the same record.

The DPU is also digitizing the College of Music Program Books, allowing us to link recordings to programs in the future. Other prospective plans for the project include retroactively preserving and adding recordings on R-DAT and reel-to-reel tapes, including guest performances by Robert Gauldin (8.13.52), Maynard Ferguson (4.9.63), Stan Kenton (4.27.65), and John Cage (4.18.90), as well as the UNT Jazz Lecture Series and One O'Clock Lab Band recordings.

Dr. Mark McKnight, Associate Head Music Librarian
Andrew Justice, Music Librarian for Audio and Digital Services
Katie Buehner, Graduate Library Assistant (poster/graphic design)

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Poster Session Recap: Vanderbilt University's Global Music Archive

Steven Nordstrom, Vanderbilt University

The Global Music Archive (www.globalmusicarchive.org) is a free multi-media reference archive and resource center for traditional and popular song, music, and dance of Africa and the Americas. It is a freely-accessible public facility that promotes education in African and American traditional and popular music through its own activities and by supporting the activities of others. Founded in 2003 by Gregory Barz, Associate Professor of Musicology (Ethnomusicology) at Vanderbilt University, and by Dennis Clark, former director of the Anne Potter Wilson Music Library, the GMA recently launched its first database in a series of databases, the Digital Collection of East African Recordings (DCEAR), which currently consists of over 1,100 discrete musical performances recorded by East African ethnomusicologist Centurio Balikoowa.

The poster session highlighted the process of collection, description and organization, and digital delivery of ethnographic materials through the GMA thus far. The collaboration between Vanderbilt University and Balikoowa has been particularly interesting in regard to developing a working model for managing an organized effort of collecting music recordings, images, and metadata from half a world away. Part of the poster session also showcased the preservation and digital delivery of the materials through the collection’s online database.

The following documents were available at the poster session, and are available for download:

Monday, March 17, 2008

Similar Steps for Differing Formats: Digitizing Rare Media in the University of Tennessee Libraries

Chris Durman, University of Tennessee
Mark Puente, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Important audio or video in outdated formats can languish unused in a music collection unless steps are taken to reformat these materials. It is vital to follow standards to ensure that such materials will remain playable and discoverable to modern day scholars and performers. Two projects undertaken by the University of Tennessee Music Library in 2006-2007 illustrate the procedures and problems encountered in reformatting and archiving materials previously recorded in now obsolete audio and video formats. Composer, instructor, and conductor David Van Vactor donated more than 700 recordings, in a variety of formats, of various ensembles performing his compositions. Instructor and early Suzuki method researcher William Starr likewise donated several videos, filmed by UT researchers, of classes offered by Shin’ichi Suzuki and other early Japanese and American music teachers using the Suzuki Method. While very different in content and format, similar equipment, software, and procedures were used to make these unique materials usable for students today and tomorrow. This poster session discussed the fact that many librarians will already have access to most of the necessary and relatively inexpensive equipment and software, showed the similar digitization procedures, explained where the procedures diverged, and encouraged librarians to consider digitizing their own unique collections.

Friday, March 14, 2008

"Music for Almost Everybody": The Barney Childs Collection

Allison Fox and Verletta Kern, University of Redlands

Born in 1926, Barney Childs was largely a self-taught composer. In the 1950's he had the opportunity to study with Carlos Chavez and Aaron Copland at Tanglewood. He also spent time studying with Elliott Carter in New York. He was co-founder of Advance Recordings and served as an associate editor for Perspectives of New Music. He also served as co-editor, with Elliott Schwartz, of the book Contemporary Composers on Contemporary Music. Childs began his career in the English Department at the University of Arizona. He later served as dean of Deep Springs College and composer-in-residence at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music in Milwaukee. The remainder of his career was spent teaching with Johnston College and the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Redlands. Following his death in the year 2000, a collection of Childs' manuscripts was donated to the University of Redlands. This poster showcased his personal photographs, score manuscripts, and scholarly writings.


Presentation handout

Collection Finding Aid

Poster Session Recap: Creating a Search Portal for Sound Recordings

Here's a brief intro to the poster "Creating a Search Portal for Sound Recordings":

The development of digital collections and technology applications has revolutionized libraries, offering them new opportunities to disseminate metadata about their collections, such as sound recordings. However, as the number of digital sound recording collections increases, it becomes impractical for users to know about and search databases for these recordings at each holding institution. Metadata aggregations have attempted to mitigate these problems; for example, the Sheet Music Consortium has built a Web portal where several collections of sheet music in distributed locations can be accessed. The collaborative “Metadata Infrastructure for Sound Recordings” project was designed to conduct preliminary investigations into whether a similar portal could be developed for sound recordings.

Three digital repositories of sound recordings participated in the development of the project prototype: FolkwaysAlive! at the University of Alberta, Variations2 at Indiana University, and the digital archive of Handel LPs at McGill University.

Here's a pdf of the MLA 2008 poster and the accompanying handout.

Read a more in-depth report on this project, “Metadata Infrastructure for Sound Recordings,” which was presented at ISMIR 2007.

For more information, please contact Jenn Riley of Indiana University, or Ichiro Fujinaga, Joseph Hafner, or Brian McMillan of McGill University.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Poster Session Recap: So Easy...A(ny) Library Can Do it

Sibley Music Library began to digitize public domain music scores and make them freely available on the web in July of 2004. At the time this was merely the end result of a revised preservation workflow. Since then, however, during which time we have digitized over 2600 items, we have unwittingly become part of a worldwide community of musicians and scholars who use these resources daily in their performance, teaching, and scholarship. We are now experiencing up to 2000 downloads a day from people who discover our digital music collection. Click here for a more detailed description of what we're doing.

We were able to accomplish this without any additional staffing or funding, just the addition of a sheetfeed scanner into our long-established conservation workflows. By utilizing the University's Digital Repository, we have also served to raise its presence (our downloads account for 80% of the Repository's total). This Poster Session showed exactly what our equipment and workflows are, and how other libraries can adapt their existing preservation workflows in a similar way.

Here are some pictures of the event:

The handout that we had can be found here, and a pdf of the poster itself can be found here. Our thanks to Amy Harrell for hosting the pdfs. For more information, you can contact Jim Farrington, Alice Carli, or Linda Blair.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Good food, good wine, good company...

Tonight, my roommate and I braved the never-ceasing cold winds, and walked down lower Thames street with the simple mission of a bit of shopping and some dinner at Mamma Luisa Restaurante. A better writer would be able to justly describe what the walk was like - quaint New England architecture, cozy little shops, kids who obviously think nothing of the cold and wear clothing more suited for September... but I'll just cut to the chase, and tell you about what a fabulous place I think Mamma Luisa's is.

Granted, as a vegetarian, any restaurant with a whole sort of submenu devoted to meatless appetizers and entrees automatically receives plenty of bonus points from me. And, decor and ambience also rank high in my book, so Mamma Luisa's was doing really well before any food was actually served. The restaurant is formally a house with only minimal renovations, so in some ways you feel like you're having dinner at a friend's house. It has warm yellow walls and dim lighting, and we got a little booth by the window so we could make up stories and wonder about the people who live across the street.

So I started with a salad of arugula, dates, goat cheese, walnuts, radicchio, & grapes. The main course was a ricotta and basil-stuffed ravioli with a tomato-based sauce including fava beans and plenty of garlic. And then, of course there was the chocolate cake, and the wine... It was all so satisfying, so delicious, I could have sat there for three more courses. There were so many other things on the menu I wanted to try: different kinds of bruschetta, the butternut squash ravioli. I cannot imagine a better meal.

Last time till 2015, I heard

Hope you all caught the lunar eclipse last night! An auspicious omen for the beginning of our conference, I'd say.

Monday, February 18, 2008

The Original Goat Island?

As we all converge on Goat Island, I am wondering why there are so many islands in the world named Goat Island. Which one is the original Goat Island? I have only made a cursory attempt at answering this query. Anyone able to offer me a definitive answer will receive the beverage of his/her choice--either at this MLA, or a future MLA, if the answer comes from someone not in attendance.

Is it this Goat Island, the oldest state park in the U.S.A.?
What about this Goat Island?
You might be able to buy this Goat Island.
This Goat Island is also known as Mokuauia.
Goat Island is the former name of Yerba Buena Island, although the author of this encyclopedia entry was "not available."
Goat Island is the name of two different islands off the New Zealand coast!
Could the original Goat Island be an IBA (Important Bird Area)?
I know it isn't this particular Goat Island, but they have somehow managed to work the Google algorithm in their favor.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Goat Island Light

There is a lighthouse on the north end of Goat Island, and in true New England fashion it is known by several names: Newport Harbor Light, Goat Island Light, or simply The Green Light. At first glance, it almost looks like a prop, as if the Hyatt Regency Newport wanted to up the seaside charm quotient for its guests, but this little lighthouse has quite a history. According to the Newport Harbor Lighthouse History, there has been a light on Goat Island since January 1, 1824, and the light has been automated since 1963. The picket fence surrounding the current lighthouse was built in late 2006. I imagine there will be many photos taken of this little charmer during MLA, weather permitting. I hope no one goes over the fence and into the bay.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Hyatt Security

We have heard from the Hyatt Regency Newport that their renovations are behind schedule, and so we will have to endure another MLA meeting with construction crews around us as an occupying force. I am including a photo I took back in October of the mighty Hyatt Security golf cart, which gave me an early indication that the projected deadlines for renovation would not be met. Let's hope the shuttle between the Hyatt and the Marriott isn't a similar vehicle.

New items in the MLA Shop!

As always, the MLA Shop will be open, and we have two new items for Newport:

  • back by popular demand: MLA luggage tags!
  • to keep you singing in the rain: MLA umbrellas!
We'll have plenty of MLA corkscrews, sticky notes, coffee mugs, Yo Yo Ma posters and more to keep your home and office in MLA style!

Silent Auction news!

Be sure to save space in your suitcase for that special something for the MLA Silent Auction! Will the famed pink corset make an appearance this year? I've already received responses from folks who will be bringing unique items sure to get the bidding going!

New for Newport: a LIVE auction post-cocktail hour and pre-banquet. Now you know we'd only have a LIVE auction if the offerings were truly spectacular. How spectacular? You'll have to wait and see! And of course, who will be the auctioneer??? You never know with the extraordinarily talents of this group!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Causeway (Caw's Way)

I am proposing the causeway connecting mainland Newport and Goat Island be named Caw's Way for the duration of MLA's 77th Annual Meeting. This will not be the only name for it, of course, but it should be one of the names. I was met with confusion when driving down America's Cup Avenue trying to find a sign for the Goat Island Connector Road (as Google Maps had indicated the street was named) back in October when I arrived for the NEMLA meeting. I don't remember what it was called, but it wasn't Goat Island Connector Road. The map the Hyatt Regency Newport gave us says Goat Island Connector, which also appears on the Newport Cybermap. Call it what you will--I will call it Caw's Way.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Claiborne Pell (Newport) Bridge

Come Sea The View! That's what the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority has to say, and the route most of us heading to MLA will use will take us across Narragansett Bay on the Pell Bridge. I took the above photo looking Northwest from Goat Island, standing just outside the Hyatt Regency Newport, while there for the Fall NEMLA Meeting on October 23, 2007. The toll is $2 one way for most all cars, pickups and vans. Like many roadways in New England, the bridge seems to have several different names: Claiborne Pell Bridge, Pell Bridge Newport, and Newport Bridge, to name a few. No matter what you call the bridge, the road it elevates above the bay is RI 138. It opened for traffic on June 28, 1969. For a history of the bridge, and to learn who Claiborne Pell was (you might have heard of his Grants), visit any or all of these sites:
Claiborne Pell (Newport) Bridge (RI 138)
Pell Bridge Newport Background & History
Claiborne Pell Newport Bridge

Friday, February 1, 2008

Restaurant list now available!

If you're a Foodie like me, you will want to take stock of the eating options in Newport! Catherine Gick has put together a big list of restaurants close to our hotels, which will appear on paper in your registration packets, but you can now preview the online version here: http://www.trincoll.edu/mla2008/restaurants.htm

Many of these restaurants have Web sites, and I must say, some of them were making me hungry!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

ATM at Conference Hotel

A quick word of caution about the ATM in the lobby of the Hyatt (this I learned the hard way during NEMLA's fall meeting there): the machine charges you a larger-than-normal fee, AND your bank may also charge you an additional larger-than-normal fee, as mine did. (I have Bank of America.) It might be wise to include, in your list of your chores to do before leaving for Newport, a quick search to find the closest ATM your bank has in the area.

Important Update on Newport Conference

The following message was sent to the MLA-L listserv on January 24, regarding the conference hotel:


> Plans for an outstanding annual conference in Newport are moving ahead steadily. The Program Committee has prepared an outstanding series of events, and the program booklet is already in the first round of proofing. Final details are being worked out for special entertainment, logistics, A/V equipment, and catering. The Local Arrangements Committee continues to add special features, the most recent being entertainment by the Navy Band during lunch on Thursday.
> In the midst of these preparations, however, we want to make you aware of a very recent change in circumstances at the Hyatt that will have an impact on our conference. Progress on renovations at the Hyatt Newport is being slowed by delays in shipments of materials; work is not proceeding on schedule. The Hyatt informed us that its guest room availability will be further reduced. More attendees than previously expected will be staying at the Marriott, which fortunately has guest rooms to accommodate the relocation of all existing reservations the Hyatt is not able to host. The Hyatt deeply regrets this inconvenience (see the letter from General Manager John Karchner at the end of this posting). Be assured that staffs at both hotels are working in earnest with our convention managers and Local Arrangements Committee to make the appropriate and necessary arrangements to ensure that our conference is pleasant, productive, and successful.
> If your existing reservation at the Hyatt needs to be relocated to the Marriott, staff at the Hyatt will contact you directly to inform you of this. Your room booking will be transferred directly to the Marriott by the Hyatt, and the Marriott will provide confirmation of the change. All guest rooms at the Marriott were completely redone in 2006, so the amenities there are first rate. Room rates at the Marriott are guaranteed at MLA's contracted rate (same as rates at the Hyatt). The restaurant at the Marriott has a hot/cold breakfast buffet and menu service for other meals; room service is also available. A fitness center and spa are available. (See the conference web site for more information.)
> The Hyatt will provide complimentary shuttle service between the two hotels and on a demand basis to local points of interest. The hotel is working with the Newport Convention Bureau and Viking Tours to have a fleet of buses and vans running throughout our peak days. MLA's Local Arrangements Committee is adapting its plans to provide information and assistance that will cover both hotels. For exercise enthusiasts the walking time between the two hotels is about ten minutes.
> All program events and sponsored meal functions (including the banquet) will take place at the Hyatt, as originally planned. As an expression of its regret at causing MLA to cope with the disruption caused by the renovation, the Hyatt is underwriting a lunch for our entire group on Thursday. Coffee breaks in the exhibits and ballroom foyer, both morning and afternoon, will provide complimentary beverages, as has been MLA's custom. MLA's breakfast package (Thursday and Friday) will be available at the Hyatt for those who purchased it. On days when attendees are on their own for meals, food and bar service will be available on concession at the Hyatt, although not in its restaurant, which will be closed due to the renovation.
> The convention managers, program planners, and local arrangements are going forward with the full complement of activities one expects at a MLA annual conference. Staffs at both the Hyatt and the Marriot are committed to working with us toward our goal of another exhilarating and successful annual meeting. To help us achieve this goal we ask your understanding, patience, and cooperation. Knowing that MLA has surmounted such challenges in the past, we are confident that when we gather in Newport, we will experience yet another wonderful and stimulating conference.
> Philip Vandermeer, President
> Gordon Rowley, Convention Manager
> Hyatt Regency Newport One Goat Island Newport, RI 02840 USA
> Telephone: 401-851-1234 Fax: 401-851-3201
> R E G E N C Y
> N E W P O RT
> January 18, 2008
> Dear Music Library Association Guests,
> You may have heard recently that the Hyatt Regency Newport Hotel and Spa has run into some unforeseen renovation delays. As a result of these delays we have unfortunately had to relocate some M.L.A. guests to the nearby Newport Marriott Hotel. For that we sincerely apologize. We are however, still very excited to host your events here in the Hyatt Regency Conference Center. Our hotel will be providing complimentary transportation between the two hotels. We are currently working out the details but are confident that the conference will go off without a hitch.
> We thank you for your understanding and look forward to seeing you in February.
> John Karchner General Manager
> JK/sj n