The Music, Monograph and Online Collections at the College-Conservatory of Music Library, University of Cincinnati Libraries
By David Sandor, Circulation Supervisor
The collections of the Albino Gorno Memorial Music Library at the University of Cincinnati are a dynamic resource for students and faculty at the College-Conservatory of Music (CCM). CCM is the third largest conservatory in the United States in terms of enrollment, with nearly 1,500 students. Its academic programs include music theory, history, education, arts administration, and electronic media. CCM programs in musical theater, piano and voice are particularly strong. With its emphasis on performance, CCM is a major performing arts venue in Ohio. The Library supports academic research and the activities of the Conservatory’s performing ensembles with a collection of more than 40,000 books and periodical volumes, 75,000 scores, 60,000 sound recordings and other audiovisual items, and an array of electronic resources, such as audio and video databases and databases of music scores.
Among the valuable materials in the Library’s music collections are composer collected works, monuments of music, and critical editions published in multi-volume sets. Another highlight consists of performing editions for ensemble players and singers. Typical examples of these include scores with separate parts for each player (such as the four instruments of a string quartet) and piano-vocal scores of art songs, operas and Broadway musicals, which enable a singer to rehearse with a piano accompanist. There are thousands of full scores of operas, musicals and choral works.
The Library’s information commons delivers recorded music online, on compact discs and on long-playing records. Twenty computer stations connect listeners to streaming audio and video from Naxos, as well as audio from Classical Music Library and DRAM. The sound recordings include 18,000 vinyl LPs that preserve many works and performances not released on CD. Subscriptions to the Naxos and Library Music Source online services supply tens of thousands of scores that are in the public domain and available for printing on demand. The audiovisual collections include nearly 3,000 videos and DVDs, many of which are videos of opera performances.
The monograph collection consists mostly of books about music history, theory and instruction, biographies of musicians, and books about dance. The Library holds nearly 700 serial titles and has approximately 150 current periodical subscriptions. Although most music periodicals are still in print form, more of them are moving online.
The library operates with two librarians and two support staff, all in full-time positions. Due to the special characteristics of many music materials, acquisition and cataloging are done on-site. One librarian and one staff person spend much of their time creating bibliographic records for scores and audiovisual materials, in addition to their other duties. Mark Palkovic has been Head Librarian since 2001. Previous Head Librarians were Theresa Noak (1949-1966), Samuel Douglas (1967-1968), and Robert Johnson (1968-2000).
In January 2010, the Library moved to a new location on the sixth floor of the historic Blegen Library building, adjacent to the CCM complex. The sixth floor space was renovated to highlight the lofty ceilings, oak shelves, and Art Deco architectural details of the structure, built in 1930. The floor plan of the new facility allows for a more convenient organization of the stacks and information commons and more economical service delivery.