Music libraries often contain much more than books, scores, and recordings; they are also home to a wealth of archival music materials. Despite having archival holdings, many music librarians struggle to provide adequate storage, description, and access to these materials. Remaining cognizant of the wide variety of funding and staffing available to music libraries across North America, this basic manual provides an entry point into the archival profession for music librarians without formal archival training. At the same time the manual also serves as a ready-reference book for those already familiar with basic archival practices. This manual discusses archival theory alongside archival principles and practices, explaining key concepts and developments in acquisition, appraisal, arrangement, description, preservation, digitization, and funding. These fundamentals are demonstrated throughout the manual by numerous examples and hypothetical situations a music librarian is likely to encounter while managing archival music collections.
The Music Library Association is the professional association for music libraries and librarianship in the United States. Founded in 1931, it has an international membership of librarians, musicians, scholars, educators, and members of the book and music trades. Complementing the Association’s national and international activities are ten regional chapters that carry out its programs on the local level. The MLA is the U.S. Branch of the International Association of Music Libraries, Archives, and Documentation Centres.
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