The Music Library, a branch of the Perkins Library System at Duke University, was established in the fall of 1974 and installed in the upper east wing of the newly completed Mary Duke Biddle Music Building on the East Campus of the university. When the library opened, it contained about 42,000 volumes, which had been transferred from the Woman's College Library (now the Lilly Library, also on the East Campus). Since then, the music collection has more than doubled in size: it now numbers well over 100,000 volumes or volume equivalents (books, bound journals, and scores). Current periodical subscriptions comprise about 300 titles.
In 1989, the upper level library was merged with the Music Media Center (formerly, the Record Library) in the lower level of the Biddle Building, thereby adding to the collection a considerable number of LP recordings and sound cassettes. The media collections now include over 14,000 CDs, 14,000 LPs, 600 cassettes, and 1,300 videos in various formats (DVDs, VHS cassettes, laser discs). In addition there are more than 10,000 microforms (including microfilm, microfiche, microcards).
The music collection is generally intended for teaching and research in the areas of musicology, historical performance practice, and composition. The collection supports one undergraduate degree in Music (A.B.), plus graduate degrees in musicology (Ph.D.) and composition (Ph.D.). Increasingly, scholars in departments across the university, such as Cultural Anthropolgy, Theater, and the Divinity School, to name a few, utilize the Music Library and Music Media Center's collections in their research. Scholars from TRLN institutions and the community at large also make use of Duke's music resources.
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