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Music Library Association-Atlantic Chapter

Annual Report 2000

Last update: August 26, 2003
The proposed merger of the former Chesapeake and Pennsylvania Chapters has become a reality. Thanks to the hard work of former chairs, Brian Cockburn (James Madison University) and Betsy Walker (The Curtis Institute), a new constitution was written, ballots were cast and counted, and, by unanimous decision, a new chapter was born! A nominating committee was then formed to elect a new chair (Donna Fournier, Haverford College) and a new secretary/treasurer (Catherine Dixon, DC Public Library). more information on officers and committees...

Betsy Walker and the Curtis Institute hosted the chapter's first meeting on November 19th-20th. Thirty six of us made the trip to Philadelphia where we able to essentially take over Curtis while most of the students were away. Our first session, held jointly with the local chapter of the Art Libraries Society, was about the art treasures of the Curtis Institute.

Allen Townsend, Head Librarian of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, presented a slide show with commentary of the paintings, sculpture, stained glass, and iron work which decorate the former mansions, now the home of Curtis. We had ample time for a walk around the premises to see the art works on display. Afterwards, we were graciously treated to "Afternoon Tea," a weekly tradition at Curtis.

Our next session was entitled, "Breaking the Historical Sound Barrier," a presentation about the remastering and reissuing of historical recordings. Ward Marston, remastering engineer with Marston Records and Eric Wen, an independent producer with Biddulph Recordings talked about the tremendous value of making historic recordings available to the public, both in the commercial market place and in libraries.

 Together they shared their passion for collecting and their passion for preservation. We were treated to fascinating sound excepts, amusing anecdotes, and insightful advice. Mr. Marston and Mr. Wen reminded us of the very important role that we music librarians have in helping to collect, preserve, and disseminate historic recordings. 

  The next morning we reassembled for breakfast and a session called, "Indispensable Internet: sites vital to my job." Previous to our meeting, Betsy Walker had solicited the membership to contribute a list of websites for discussion. These ranged from sites organizing music associations, societies, publishers, vendors, song texts, and librettos, to a webpage where one can find the location of a composer's grave!

Atlantic Chapter business has been discussed at two meetings since our last MLA Newsletter report--in November at Curtis and in February during Louisville MLA Y2K. We talked about putting the old chapters to rest by merging bank accounts and sending Chesapeake and Philadelphia Chapter materials to the MLA archives at the University of Maryland. We also talked about proposing our "Breaking the Historical Sound Barrier" program to MLA's Best of Chapters session and hope to bring Ward and Eric's talk to New York in 2001.

We agreed that outreach to students and paraprofessionals was important to us. This will be one of the primary goals of our new membership committee chaired by Carl Rahkonen (Indiana University of Pennsylvania). We also talked how best to use our chapter website, newsletter, and listserv. Robert Freeborn (Penn State University) will serve as communications coordinator working with Brian Cockburn, webmaster, Kile Smith (Free Library of Philadelphia), newsletter editor, and Alice LaSota (University of Maryland), listserv owner.

With the support of our chapter, the Library of Congress has proposed that MLA 2004 be held in Washington, DC. Conventions manager, Don Roberts will be visiting DC in April to investigate conference hotel possibilities.

Jim Cassaro at the University of Pittsburgh will be hosting our next chapter meeting on November 17th-18th, 2000. One of our sessions will feature music collections in Pittsburgh. For those of you in our chapter area, we hope to see you there.

 Donna Fournier, Atlantic Chapter Chair


Send comments or suggestions to:  Brian Cockburn