Dave Lampson wrote:
>It is surprising. I've always seen a librarian as a curator of
>information in its various forms, just like a museum curator. I
>guess I was wrong.
There is a difference between archives and libraries. The trend in
libraries seems to be more towards the grocery store mentality...if it
doesn't circulate, get rid of it. That is true for public libraries as
well as "research" libraries. This is what is being taught in library
schools and is more and more, becoming practice.
I recently posed questions regarding this on the email list of the
Association for Recorded Sound Collections. Most of us on the list are,
or have been, archivists. The stories of collections being refused,
things being sold are horrific. I sincerely believe that libraries have
lost their way. As for archives, they just haven't discovered cost
recovery and/or the need for it. Many archives will no longer accept
collections unless an endowment comes along with the materials.
When we had an active collecting program here at our University, I
would often have the opportunity to acquire materials refused by other
collections...in at least one instance...some materials made their way
to releases on Pearl and Arbiter.
I may have mentioned another example, a collector friend of mine recently
passed away unexpectedly. Due to the changes in our library, his widow
donated the collection to my record company, a 501 c 3. I now have a
garage full of about 7,000 tapes of broadcast and inhouse recording, and
a sizable collection of LPs of esoteric repertoire.
>I would consider just about anything non-commercial in Karl's
>collection (still browsing) as being rare, though as Karl points out not
Fortunately, I would say that I have very few unique items. I say
fortunately, because for me, I don't like to have anything unique. I
believe that one of the best means to preservation is having duplicate
And on the subject of audio preservation...if any of you have the
The issues are so complex and most of the energy being spent is on
discussion! On the other hand, at least the issues are being discussed.
However, while attention is finally being brought to these issues, places
like our University are taking GIANT steps backwards.
>time. As proud as I am of my collection, it's obvious to me that Karl's
>collection probably has more value, at least in terms of preservation
>and probably in terms of research as well.
The question of research is something I have considered. Obviously
our university Library sees research in more of the grocery store
mentality...if it isn't being used this year, get rid of it. However,
a case can be made for there being too much available information. I
am reminded of all of those seemingly endless doctoral committees where
I had to read dissertations on Beethoven, Schubert, etc. If it was a
DMA in performance...and the teacher wanted them to do something about
"modern" music...well it was about the Barber Piano Sonata. It would
seem to me that access to a bunch of recordings and scores of the music
of a fine composer like Roger Goeb, won't mean much in the mind of our
head librarian, unless several people are writing about Goeb...but then,
nobody will unless they can find the material, assuming it survives...the
Sorry for dragging on about libraries, but I sincerely believe they
have lost their way. They will never be able to compete with Yahoo and
Google...or even Amazon and Barnes and Noble. I consider what information
Dave has given us all. Classical.net is something a library could have
done, but they don't have the technical expertise and subject background
and interest to do so. My collection is something a library could have
done...and was doing until we got a new director...I should add that
other recordings archives have gotten the short end of the stick...Yale,
Stanford et al.
By the way, if you have been reading this thread...I was pleased to hear
back from the University of Iowa...they are interested in the Clapp
recordings I transferred...however, I should add, that it turns out I know
the music librarian there...she is from the old school...