Collections Librarian : Pamela Bristah (x2076)
The collection development policy for music guides the development and management of the Music Library collection. This policy is for the use of the Wellesley community and the Music Librarian. Building the Library's collection is a collaborative process, and faculty and students are encouraged to provide recommendations for library materials.
General purpose of the collection
The Music Library collection supports undergraduate study, faculty instruction, and basic faculty research in Western art music, jazz, musical theatre, and traditional and popular music. While the primary purpose of the music collection is to support the undergraduate Department of Music curriculum in music history, theory, composition, and performance, it also provides resources for area studies and cultural studies programs at Wellesley. The Music Library is a campus-wide resource for other curricula, for theatre productions, and for general listening.
The Music Department awards the Bachelor of Arts degree in music. Students with a major or minor in music take applied lessons in a solo instrument or in voice, and rehearse and perform in chamber ensembles, orchestra, and choir. Music majors and minors take required and elective courses in music theory, ear training, music history, keyboard skills, and composition. Majors are encouraged to take languages, German and French in particular. Honors students may conduct independent research leading to a written thesis and oral exam, or compose a major work of music and take an oral exam, or give a lecture-recital with accompanying essay. A large number of students who are neither majors or minors take music courses and lessons, and participate in Music Department-sponsored performance; these students represent a significant population, far outnumbering music majors and minors.
Music performance at Wellesley is wide-ranging. Music Department ensembles and programs include the Brandeis-Wellesley Orchestra, Wellesley College Choir, Glee Club, Chamber Singers, Collegium Musicum, Wellesley Blue Jazz, Synergy, Yanvalou, Works-in-Progress concerts, numerous chamber ensembles as part of the Department's chamber music program, master classes, opera workshops, performances by visiting artists, and a large number of student recitals. Outside the Department, the musical life of Wellesley includes a number of student a cappella groups, the radio station WZLY, and South Asian, East Asian and Latin American cultural shows, among other activities. Performances take place in Jewett Auditorium, Houghton Memorial Chapel, Pendleton Music Salon, the Wang Campus Center, Molly's Pub, Slater International Center, and other campus spaces. Musical repertoire ranges from unaccompanied Gregorian chant and choral works for women's voices to Haitian drumming and dance, from symphonies by Beethoven and Brahms to Celtic fiddling, opera arias, songs from musicals, and jazz vocals.
Faculty interests in teaching, composition, and research are equally diverse, and include jazz history, 19th- and 20th-century piano repertoire, American popular music, improvisation, French music, contemporary music and composition, women composers, and music, gender, and sexuality.
Description of the collection
The scope of the Music Library's collection includes Western art music, jazz, world music, musical theater, and, as used in courses, popular music. The Music Library attempts to include major works of Western art music in both score and sound recording, and secondary repertoire as possible, for both academic study and performance. Jazz standards are collected in sound recording, again for both academic study and for applied performance and pedagogy, along with critical studies on jazz and its composers and musicians. World music and critical studies of world music are collected for musically important regions and for areas covered by Wellesley's area studies curricula. Significant musicals are collected in score, sound recording, and video. Popular music and critical studies of popular music are collected in conjunction with music courses and by courses in other Wellesley curricula.
The music collection is housed in the Music Library, a branch library in the Jewett Arts Center. Formats in the Music Library collection include books, periodicals, scores, performing sets of scores and parts, sound recordings, and video recordings. The Library also provides electronic resources for the study of music, including online encyclopedias, full-text articles, periodical indexes, and sound recordings. The Music Library's facilities include a lab with listening, audio, and computer equipment, software for composition and ear-training, areas for individual and group study, a seminar room, and a collection of rare materials.
A common thread running through the curricula at Wellesley College is an emphasis on the roles and contributions of women, exemplified in the Music Library by critical studies and biographies of women composers, musicians, singer-songwriters, patrons, and scholars, critical works on gender studies and music, feminism and music, and the depiction of women in opera, as well as scores and recordings of works written by women composers, and recordings of world music performed by women.
Readership level: The music collection includes works written for basic through advanced undergraduate level and for basic faculty research; masters-level publications are collected selectively; research-level publications are collected very selectively.
Languages collected: English is the preferred language for writings about music, although books and periodicals in other languages are present in the collection. Important monographs and reference works in Western European languages are collected selectively. Writings on music in non-Roman alphabets are generally excluded. For vocal works, scores and recordings in the original language are preferred, with scores including English translations, as available.
Geographical areas covered (intellectual content or publication source): All geographical areas are included.
Chronological periods covered (intellectual content): All chronological periods are included.
Chronological period covered (publication dates): For books and scores, the emphasis is on works of recent publication, representing current scholarship. For sound recordings, newer and older releases are collected equally, to provide a listening collection of artistically significant works and performances, and a diversity of performance styles.
Genres of music collected or excluded: Western art music, jazz, world music, musical theater, and popular music are collected. The Library attempts to acquire complete works in score for major composers, and representative works by secondary composers. The Library does not collect sound recordings intended chiefly for recreational listening.
Special emphases: Women composers; significant women musicians; scholarly editions of composers' complete works, in score; scholarly anthologies of works in score, compiled by historical period or geographical area; recordings, programs, posters, and other documentation of concerts by Wellesley College Music Department ensembles, housed in the Wellesley College Archives.
Reference: The reference collection for music follows the general subject parameters of the circulating music collection. The collection includes, but is not limited to, encyclopedias, including Grove Music Online, biographical and subject-specific dictionaries, foreign-language dictionaries, thematic catalogs, research guides and bibliographies, repertoire guides, and indexing and abstracting databases for periodical articles and other writings on music, including RILM Abstracts of Music Literature and the Music Index. Reference works may be acquired in print or online, with online generally preferred. English is the preferred language for reference works; works in non-Roman alphabets are generally excluded. Reference materials are selected by the Music Librarian.
Current collecting priorities: Online resources, including collections of sound recordings, full text periodicals, encyclopedias, and indexing/abstracting databases; performing editions of standard repertoire; world music in studies areas taught at Wellesley; critical studies of music in social context; compact discs; DVDs.
Types of materials collected:
- Books, including biographies, studies of composers' works, histories, theoretical studies, music pedagogy and instruction, libretti, and song texts.
- Periodicals on music history, theory, musical genres, and music performance, online if available.
- Scores, including scholarly reference sets, full-size and study-size orchestral scores, piano-vocal scores, and chamber music scores and parts for up to nine players; variant editions of major repertoire (Urtext editions and editions reflecting current scholarship preferred); major art song repertoire in all available keys; fake books; methods and studies for applied performance pedagogy for all instruments and musical genres taught by the Music Department.
- Sound recordings: Western art music, jazz, world music, musical theatre and popular music on compact disc or online; multiple performances of important works, reflecting artistically significant performances and a diversity of performance styles.
- Music in general: when adding musical works that are new to the Library, the Library will get both a score and a recording, as available.
- Video recordings: DVDs of significant performances, particularly of opera and staged works, documentaries, and pedagogical material, in region one coding.
NB: two categories of materials come in automatically:
- Monographs published by major university press and selected trade publishers are added to the Library via its approval plan, after review by the Music Librarian
- Scholarly scores published in series, as well as New World Records compact discs, are added to the Library via standing order.
Types of materials collected selectively: Multiple copies; bibliographies, discographies, foreign-language reference works; foreign-language monographs; research-level monographs; dissertations and theses; Festschriften, congress proceedings, and other essay anthologies by more than one author; foreign-language periodicals; chamber music score and parts for 10 players or more; scores of solo vocal works for tenor, baritone, or bass; score manuscript facsimiles; compact discs of commercial popular music; VHS videos; DVDs in other than region one coding. Rare materials: books, scores, scores and parts, early editions, numbered editions.
Types of materials not collected: Compact discs intended principally for recreational listening; foreign-language dissertations; pamphlets and other ephemera; memoirs; single or discrete issues of periodicals; parts for orchestra, band, or jazz band; multiple copies of choral works for choral performance; arrangements in score for other than the original solo instrument; lead sheets; LP sound recordings and pre-LP formats; reel-to-reel or cassette tapes; laser discs; textbooks; workbooks; microforms.
Library locations: Music materials are housed in the Music Library, with a few exceptions:
- a very small number of highly important rare scores are housed in Special Collections, Margaret Clapp Library
- books on the acoustics and physics of music are located in either the Music Library or the Science Library, depending on their emphasis on music or science
- videos of musicals are divided between the Music Library and Clapp Library; musical theatre scores and sound recordings are located in the Music Library
Books on dance and videos of dance are generally located in Clapp Library, under Library of Congress call number GV. Spoken-word sound recordings are located offsite in a library storage facility, and are available on request.
Related subjects and interdisciplinary relationships
For all area and cultural studies programs (Africana Studies, American Studies, East Asian Studies, Jewish Studies, Middle Eastern Studies, and so on), the Music Librarian has primary responsibility for selecting music on sound recordings and video recordings, and for selecting secondary materials (histories, geographic studies, cultural studies, and the like) on music. However, area studies/cultural studies collections librarians may also select these kinds of materials in their areas.
Anthropology: The Music Librarian selects works relating to music and cultures, but the anthropology collections librarian may also select works dealing with music from an anthropological perspective.
Art: The Art Librarian and Music Librarian collaborate on works dealing with the relationship between art and music. The Music Librarian selects works dealing with musical iconography, as well as the architecture and acoustics of opera theaters, concert halls and other buildings for music performance.
Cinema & Media Studies/CAMS : The Music Librarian has primary responsibility for selecting works on music in film, television, and radio, but the CAMS collections librarian may also select works in this area.
English: For critical works dealing with the relationship of literature and music, the English collections librarian is responsible for selecting works having primarily a literary approach or focus (e.g., Music in the works of Broch, Mann, and Kafka ); the Music Librarian has primary responsibility for works where the focus or approach is chiefly on music (e.g., A Shakespeare music catalogue ).
Media Arts & Sciences: Both Art and Music Librarians select material related to music and media arts.
Physics: Both Music and Science Librarians select works dealing with music and acoustics.
Philosophy: The Music Librarian has primary responsibility for selecting materials on musical aesthetics, but the philosophy collections librarian may also select works in this area.
Physical Education/PERA: The Physical Education/PERA collections librarian has primary responsibility for selecting works on dance and movement in general. The Music Librarian collections librarian may select titles on music for dance (e.g. ballet or folk dance), on music that was originally written for dance (e.g., The Firebird), and videos on ballet or dance where the music is significant.
Psychology: The Music Librarian has primary responsibility for selecting works dealing with the creativity of musicians and other performing artists, and works on music therapy, but the psychology collections librarian may also select works in this area.
Religion: The Music Librarian has primary responsibility for on works dealing with religion and music, specifically liturgy and music, liturgical sung texts and translations, hymnology, and the role of music in religion, but the religion collections librarian may also select works in this area.
Theatre Studies: The Music Librarian has primary responsibility for selecting works dealing with musical theatre, incidental music to plays, and sound effects, but the theatre subject may also select works in this area.
Women's & Gender Studies: The Music Librarian has primary responsibility for selecting works dealing with women composers and musicians, but the women's studies collections librarian may also select works in this area.