The Music Library & Music Media Center, 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 Duke University. It now occupies some 5,000 square feet on two levels of this building. The library staff includes four full-time members and more than one dozen student assistants, most of whom work during the fall and spring terms of the academic year.
In 1974, the library contained about 42,000 volumes transferred form the Women's College Library (now the Lilly Library, also on the East Campus). During the past nineteen years the music collection has more than doubled in size and now stands at over 90,000 volumes (including books, music scores, and bound journals), plus about 10,000 microform units (including microfilm, microfiche, and a small collection of microcards). Current journal subscriptions alone comprise about 200 current titles, and ongoing serials as a whole (including national monumenta, composer editions, and other series and sets) total about 400 titles. In 1989, with the merger of the Music Library and the former Record Library, now the Music Media Center (located in the lower level of the Mary Duke Biddle Building), a collection of recordings was added. The media collection is presently comprised of about 20,000 sound recordings (including 6,000 CDs), more than 340 music videos, 200 laser disks, and a collection of educational software.
Most of the rare collections and rare individual items in music are housed in the Rubenstein Library in the Perkins Library. Among these materials are the Alexander Weinmann Collection (over 8,000 items in various printed and photographic formats related primarily to publishing in 19th-century Vienna and to the Strauss family of waltz composers), the Peter Riethus Collection (several thousand monographs on music in Central and Eastern Europe), the Justin Herman Collection of American popular sheet music (an estimated 22,000 items), and the Confederate Sheet Music Collection (nearly 500 items, comprising a majority of Confederate musical imprints). The personal archive of the Pulitzer-prize-winning composer Robert Ward (b.1917), who taught at Duke until his retirement in 1987, is maintained in the Music Library. In 1992 the Perkins Library system acquired a large collection (mostly in facsimile) related to the American composer William Grant Still (1895-1978) and comprising almost all of his musical compositions. During the same year we received the gift of a large collection of organ music from the estate of George Faxon. In October of 1993, the library was given a large collection of research papers related to music in Venice in memory of Jane L. Berdes.
The music collection is intended primarily for teaching and research in the areas of musicology, historical performance practice, and composition; it is very strong in keyboard music (monographs as well as scores), music and art, musical instruments, Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy (1809-1847), the Strauss Family (Johann Sr. and Jr., Eduard, and Joseph), Viennese printing and publishing in the 19th century, British music in general, Venetian music in the baroque and early classic periods, and music of the Indian subcontinent. The collection supports an undergraduate degree in music (A.B.) plus graduate programs in musicology and composition (A.M. and Ph.D). It also serves as a general resource for the university and surrounding urban community.
The library offers a wide range of consultative and interlibrary services for the university community. Individual and class reference services and online services are available by appointment through the office of the User Services Librarian. Media and computer facilities for public use include six computer terminals (three of which are equipped with CD-ROM drives) for the online library catalog and associated databases, two video terminals, and a variety of playback equipment for sound recordings.
Kirstin Dougan, Public Services Librarian and Interim Director
113 Mary Duke Biddle Building Box 90661
Durham, NC 27708-0661
Music Media Center
027 Mary Duke Biddle Building
Durham, NC 27708-0661
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