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Jean & Alexander Heard Libraries

Anne Potter Wilson Music Library

Collection Development Policy

Adopted October 2006, revised 2009, 2015, 2018

  1. Introduction
    1. Preface
    2. The Music Library's Users
    3. Restrictions
    4. Overview of Library and its Collections
    5. Criteria guiding collection decisions
    6. Cooperative agreements
    7. Administration
  2. General Policies and Guidelines
    1. Materials by specific type/medium
    2. Special categories of materials
    3. Gifts
    4. Preservation
    5. Deselection and withdrawal
  3. Analysis of subject areas
    1. Musicology
    2. Music composition/theory
    3. Performance practice and techniques/pedagogy
    4. Comprehensive areas

I. Introduction

A. Preface

  1. This policy describes the collection development program of the Anne Wilson Potter Music Library of Vanderbilt University Blair School of Music and the goals for collecting in specific media as well as in specific subject areas. The policy is intended to be a straightforward statement of collecting practice for interested faculty, staff, and students.
  2. The mission of the Anne Potter Wilson Music Library is to support the curricular needs for research and performance of the Vanderbilt student, faculty and pre-college communities, provide access to print and electronic resources relating to music in a variety of formats, empower users with the information-seeking skills necessary for the lifelong pursuit of learning, and offer high-quality service in a positive, relevant, and up-to-date learning environment.
    (Adopted 2009)

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B. The Music Library's Users

  1. The facilities of the Music Library are open to the public, and information services are available to anyone who contacts the library. The Music Library lends most circulating materials to other institutions through the University Libraries' interlibrary-loan service.
  2. The primary users of the Music Library are the faculty, staff, pre-college students, and students of the School of Music. The Blair School of Music offers the following programs:
    1. Undergraduate degrees: Bachelor of Music in Integrated Studies, Bachelor of Music in Performance or Composition, and the Bachelor of Musical Arts.
      1. The B.M. in Integrated Studies allows students to major in a voice/instrument or composition and choose a concentration in another area in music, including Teacher Education. The Teacher Education program is a five-year curriculum jointly developed with Peabody College for students interested in earning the Master of Education degree and teacher licensure in addition to the Bachelor of Music degree.
      2. The Performance Major is available in any orchestral instrument, piano, organ, classical guitar, saxophone, euphonium, multiple woodwinds, and voice. The Composition major emphasizes both the creation and analysis of music.
      3. The Musical Arts Major allows students to major in a voice/instrument or composition while working in a specific discipline outside of music.
    2. Pre-College Program: Offers individual instruction in orchestral instruments and in piano, organ, guitar, harp, saxophone, euphonium, record, viola da gamba, harpsichord, fiddle, banjo, mandolin, dulcimer, steel drum/pan, and voice. Class instruction includes elements of music, musicianship, music theory and ear training, and chamber music. Ensemble training is offered through the Nashville Youth Symphony Orchestra Program, the Blair Children’s Chorus Programs, Blair Suzuki Players, guitar ensemble, and chamber music.
      1. The Blair School Certificate Program provides a curriculum integrating advanced levels of performance study with training in music theory and history, performance classes, and recitals.
  3. Other identifiable categories of users include: Vanderbilt University students and faculty outside the School of Music; Vanderbilt University alumni.
  4. Nashville metropolitan area residents who are not affiliated with the university and out-of-town researchers, local music teacher, Nashville Symphony Orchestra members may use the Music Library’s resources onsite, make written requests, or issue requests through their own interlibrary-loan departments. While the Anne Potter Wilson Music Library provides services to these users, we do not collect materials specifically in support of any needs beyond those of the School of Music.
  5. Because the library's primary mission is to provide support for the curriculum and research of the School of Music, the needs of the students, staff, and faculty of the school receive priority over the needs of other user groups, and this priority is reflected in collection development decisions.

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C. Restrictions

  1. The Music Library collects as comprehensively as possible within the parameters stated below, but certain conditions beyond the control of the library might prevent the acquisition of a title that falls within the scope of this policy.
  2. Some of these conditions are: budget reductions; availability; price increases; physical space limitations; and the addition of a new academic program requiring library support without additional funding.

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D. Overview of Library and Its Collections

  1. The Music Library began on the Peabody Campus in 1947. The music collections were housed in the Social Religious Building, now called the Wyatt Center and administered by the Peabody library administration. With the creation of the Blair School of Music in 1985, it was moved to the second floor of the Blair School of Music. Two years later it was named in honor of Anne Potter Wilson. In 2001, the library was renovated and doubled its size to 8,500 sq. ft.
  2. Collection locations:
    1. The majority of the Music Library's holdings are located in the Anne Potter Wilson Music Library in the Blair School of Music building on the south west edge of Vanderbilt University Campus.
    2. Approximately 26,532 volumes are located in the Annex, an off-site storage facility. These materials are low circulated titles, superseded editions, 2nd copies, and bound journals.
    3. The Peabody Education Library houses music curriculum materials and textbooks for K-12 education as well as children's literature about music. The Peabody Library is located on the east side of Vanderbilt University campus.
    4. The Special Collections and University Archives Department is located in the Central Library of the Jean and Alexander Heard Library and contains archival music materials.
  3. Special collections housed in the Anne Potter Wilson Music Library:
    1. Digital Collection of East African Recordings (part of the Global Music Archive)
    2. Alfred H. Bartles (American composer)
    3. David Schnaufer (Dulcimer) (part of the Global Music Archive)
    4. Redvers-Lee (Blues) (part of the Global Music Archive)
    5. Calypso Musician Interviews (part of the Global Music Archive)
  4. Performing Arts Collections housed in The Special Collections and University Archives Department of the Jean and Alexander Heard Library:
    1. Francis Robinson, Vanderbilt alumnus and former assistant manager of the Metropolitan Opera
    2. Louis Nicholas, music critic for the Nashville Banner
    3. Francis Craig, bandleader and composer of “Dynamite!” Vanderbilt’s official fight song
    4. Musician Isabel Howell
    5. George W. Boswell's collection of Middle Tennessee folk songs
    6. The Miller Collection, in honor of George R. Miller '18 (Opera)
    7. Simon Collier Collection (Tango)

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E. Criteria guiding selection decisions

  1. Top priority is given to materials directly related to curricular needs.
  2. Priority is given to materials related to the recognized research interests of School of Music faculty.
  3. Materials may be acquired that provide a comprehensive treatment of a particular topic that would usually fall outside the scope of ongoing collection development.
  4. Textual materials are acquired almost exclusively in Western European languages. Strong preference is given to English-language materials, but scholarly materials are selectively acquired in German, French, Italian, and Spanish as well as in other languages whenever there are no comparable sources available in English and whenever texts in the original language are necessary to support curricular needs and/or recognized research interests of School of Music faculty.
  5. Music-related books and some recordings are acquired through approval plans as well as via firm orders.

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F. Cooperative agreements

  1. The Anne Potter Wilson Music Library is not currently participating in any cooperative collection development agreements. Resource sharing agreements include the following:
    1. Information Alliance - a consortium of three libraries: University of Tennessee, University of Kentucky and Vanderbilt University whose goals are to 1) List and share specialized subject expertise; 2) Develop coordinated collections; 3) improve physical access to materials; 4) Emphasize bibliographic access to partner's collection; and 4) Pursue experimental services.
    2. Association of Southeastern Libraries (ASERL) - a consortium of thirty seven libraries uses a policy for cooperatively retaining print journals as a means of optimizing collection management across the consortium

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G. Administration

  1. The Music Library's collection development program is under the direction of Director of the Anne Potter Wilson Music Library.

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II. General policies and guidelines

A. Materials by specific type/medium

  1. Books. Acquired in English for all relevant subject areas. Books to support faculty research are acquired selectively in major Western European languages. The VU libraries instituted a university press plan in the spring of 2018; the Music Library acquires all monographs in the ML and MT ranges published by the university presses of California, Chicago, Harvard, Illinois, Indiana, Mississippi, Oxford, and Yale. The VU Libraries also provide access to e-books through the ProQuest Academic Complete and EBSCO eBook Academic Collections; additional e-book titles that fit the music profile are offered to our users through Demand Driven Access (DDA) via the library catalog. The Music Library uses online resources, publicity flyers, publisher catalogs, and review articles to select other books. Faculty and student requests are welcome, and those related directly to curricular needs and research are given priority.
    1. Textbooks. Very selectively acquired in single copies for reference and to support the study of music pedagogy. The library does not attempt to meet individual student's instructional needs by acquiring multiple copies of assigned textbooks.
    2. Hardcover editions. Acquired only if a paperback edition is not available.
  2. Periodicals. Acquired for following subjects: musicology, music theory, music education, music performance, world music, and popular music. Electronic access preferred.
  3. Newspapers. Very selectively acquired.
  4. Periodical indexes. Selectively acquired.
  5. Juvenile materials. Acquired selectively as pedagogical examples in support of the music education curriculum.
  6. Reprints. Acquired only if the original was not acquired or has restricted circulation.
  7. Maps. Not acquired.
  8. Dissertations. Acquired for research purposes upon request.
  9. Microforms. Acquired for (1) materials that are unavailable in paper format; (2) materials that are considerably less expensive in microform; or (3) to conserve the shelf space that would be occupied by infrequently used paper materials. Included are: out-of-print monographs, periodicals, dissertations, and music editions.
  10. Pamphlets. Not acquired.
  11. Photocopies. Only authorized photocopies supplied by the publisher are added to the collection.
  12. Posters. Selectively acquired for library display purposes only.
  13. Printed music. The Music Library's acquisitions priorities and guidelines for scores and parts are as follows:
    1. Selection priorities:
      1. Collected editions, complete works, historical sets, monuments of music, as comprehensively as necessary to support curricular and research needs.
      2. A single copy of as many contemporary compositions as possible
      3. Newly edited, high-quality scholarly and performing editions of standard works
      4. Facsimile editions of important manuscripts and early print
    2. Guidelines for selection
      1. Score and performing parts for compositions involving twelve or fewer unique parts
      2. Both full scores and study scores are collected.
      3. Reprint editions are not purchased unless the Music Library holds no other edition in an adequate condition for circulation.
      4. Preference is given to works that are not available in subscription databases and are not the public domain.
    3. The selection process. Selection choices for scores are often made within the context of both short- and long-term collection analysis projects and with a view toward acquiring new editions, especially of works previously unpublished. Primary source materials for selection include new publisher lists, and vendor/distributor correspondence and web sites representing many publishers, both foreign and domestic. Some of these distributors are Theodore Front, Hutchins and Rea, JW Pepper, and Harrassowitz.
    4. Budget. Given the cost of scores, long- and short-term plans are limited by the funds available for each fiscal year.
    5. Collection assessment. Collection analysis projects routinely undergone and include comparing our holdings against benchmarks, publisher’s lists, and Worldcat holdings.   Other projects have grown out of teaching-faculty requests, which may identify areas of the collection that need to be updated.
  14. Rental materials. The library acquires no rental materials and does not fund the rental of printed music.
  15. Print-on-Demand: selectively acquired when this is the only option for purchase
  16. Sound recordings.
    1. Selection priorities:
      1. All requests for materials related to the curriculum and research are filled.
      2. Western art music:
        1. Top priority is given to significant repertoire in all genres issued for the first time.
          1. Operas: full operas are preferred over selections
          2. Song and aria collections: repertoire is favored over performer-centered albums. High priority is given to the purchase of standard repertoire materials used in teaching. These items, in some cases, will duplicate specific performances previously issued on LP and currently in the Music Library's collection.
        2. High priority is given to the purchase of standard repertoire materials used in teaching. These items, in some cases, will duplicate specific performances previously issued on LP and currently in the Music Library's collection.
      3. World music (i.e., art and vernacular traditions outside of Western art music): priority is given to well-documented recordings of indigenous traditions.
      4. Musical theater and musical film: selectively acquired according to historical and critical success.
      5. Jazz: selectively acquired according to historical and critical success
      6. American band music: selectively acquired according to historical and critical success
      7. Anglo-American popular music: selectively acquired according to historical and critical success
    2. Formats acquired. Because the library is not a sound recording archive, it acquires sound recordings only in current formats.
      1. Compact discs. The medium of choice for physical ownership.
      2. LPs. Acquired rarely and only if the recording is not available on compact disc and is of great significance.
      3. Cassettes. Non-commercial unique recordings acquired.
      4. 78s. Very selectively acquired.
    3. The selection process.
      1. Ongoing collection development is conducted through consulting a broad range of review journals, discographies, online sources, and vendor/distributor mailings representing many labels, both foreign and domestic
      2. Vendors used include and Archiv
    4. Standing orders. The Music Library has standing orders for the following four labels:
      1. Dust-to-Digital
      2. Tzadik
      3. Orange Mountain
      4. Pi
    5. Collection assessment. Collection assessment projects of the recordings collection are undertaken as time permits. Projects may be centered on the recordings of a specific composer, a specific form or genre, or a specific culture
  17. Videorecordings. Acquired in support of the curriculum of the School of Music. Majority on request.
    1. DVDs. Medium of choice for newly issued videorecordings
    2. Videotapes. Acquired rarely and only if the videorecording is not available on DVD
    3. Laserdiscs. Not acquired.
  18. Electronic resources. Acquired as needed and as budget permits.
    1. Network access to external databases. Preferred due to of ease of use and campus-wide access.
    2. CD-ROM products. Very selectively acquired.
    3. Software. Rarely acquired.
  19. Performing-ensemble music. The Music Library acquires performance materials for ensembles up to twelve players. Orchestral, band, and choral octavos are acquired by the School of Music but are not housed or maintained by the Music Library. Other School of Music ensembles maintain their own music collections.
  20. Rare books. Accepted as gifts, selectively acquired.
  21. Manuscripts. Selectively acquired.
  22. Realia. Selectively acquired.
  23. Archival materials. Selectively acquired. Archival collections are deposited in The Special Collections and University Archives Department of the Jean and Alexander Heard Library.
  24. Research materials. The Music Library acquires materials in support of faculty research and selectively collects primary source materials and unpublished copies of primary sources.
  25. Musical instruments. Very selectively acquired and only in support of current special collections or comprehensive collecting areas.

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B. Special categories of materials

  1. Faculty publications. Acquired comprehensively, in all formats.
  2. Reserve materials. Receive top priority for acquisition, in all formats
  3. Replacements. Acquired if in print. A subsequent edition, if available, is acquired if out of print.
  4. Duplicate copies. Acquired only for print materials as need demands.
  5. Expensive purchases. Acquired mostly through endowed funds or special one-time funding opportunities.

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C. Gifts

  1. Acceptance.
    1. The Director of the Music Library makes the decision on the acceptance of large gifts and handles the negotiations with the donor. Decisions on smaller gifts may be made by a Reference Assistant.
    2. One condition of acceptance is that the donor will allow the Music Library to selectively choose from the materials the donor has to offer. Often, the relevance of donated materials to the Music Library's collection cannot be determined until the materials are evaluated individually. The Music Library reserves the right to determine the dispensation of donated materials and this right is made clear to the donor. Restrictions placed by the donor on the dispensation of the donated materials may affect the library's ability to accept them.Often, the relevance of donated materials to the Music Library's collection cannot be determined until the materials are evaluated individually. The Music Library reserves the right to determine the dispensation of donated materials and this right is made clear to the donor. Restrictions placed by the donor on the dispensation of the donated materials may affect the library's ability to accept them.
    3. Included among the broad categories of materials that are generally not added to the collection unless they are very unique are:
      1. LP recordings, 78 rpm recordings
      2. Cassette tapes, reel-to-reel tapes, 8-track tapes
      3. Photocopies
      4. Home recordings non-commercial
  2. Accessioning. Arrangements for transporting gift materials to the Music Library are made by the Director of the Music Library.
  3. Evaluating. The Music Library staff cannot perform appraisals. Donors who require an appraisal for tax purposes must make arrangements for the appraisal and pay for the appraisal fee. It must be an independent formal appraisal. Personal appraisals are not accepted. Collections of significant volume may be declined due to the Music Library’s space restrictions.
  4. Acknowledgment. The Director of the Music Library or a Reference Assistant acknowledges all gifts. The Blair Development Officer and the Dean of the Libraries acknowledge significant monetary gifts as well as significant deeds of gifts.
  5. Processing.
    1. Upon receipt of a gift, library staff make initial decisions based on the physical condition of individual items. Those in poor physical condition are either added to the inventory for the library sale or discarded.
    2. The materials eligible for the collection are searched against our holdings by appropriate staff.
    3. The Director of the Music Library then reviews the materials and the searching reports to determine appropriate processing. This decision is made according to the collection development policies stated above.
  6. Unique materials. Gifts that are rare or highly unique are particularly sought out and considered on a case-by-case basis.

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D. Preservation

  1. Decisions on binding. Decisions on binding are made by the Reference Assistant.
  2. Conservation. Conservation in the Music Library is done only on an informal basis. Materials flagged as needing preservation attention are first reviewed by the Director of the Music Library, who makes one of the following decisions:
    1. Preservation. If the copy can be easily repaired, the Director of the Music Library refers the item to the Heard Libraries Preservation Librarian.
    2. Replacement. If replacement would be more cost effective than preservation, the Director of the Music Library initiates an order for a replacement copy. The current copy is held until the replacement arrives.
    3. Withdrawal. If preservation would be difficult or costly and there are a sufficient number of comparable editions in the library's holdings, the item may be withdrawn without replacement.

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E. Deselection and withdrawal

  1. Appropriate staff in the Music Library deselect materials in the music reference collection on a regular basis.
  2. Rather than deselecting materials, some low-use materials may be transferred to the Annex, an off-site storage facility.
  3. Other subject areas are deselected by Music Library staff in collaboration with music faculty who have an expertise in an specific area.

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III. Analysis of subject areas

A. Musicology

  1. Scope: textual materials are primarily collected in English; materials in Western European languages, with a particular focus on English and German, are collected as particular research interests dictate; compact discs are acquired to support both curricular and research needs; the library attempts to acquire major critical editions and facsimiles. For ethnomusicology, compact discs and textual materials are acquired as a part of ongoing collection building for the broad range of world music.
  2. Levels:
    1. Reference materials: research
    2. General, regional, and topical histories, criticisms, biographies: undergraduate
    3. Western music, antiquity to present: undergraduate
    4. Ethnomusicology: General, regional ethnomusicological histories/studies, methodology, anthropological/social aspects with focus on African and Latin American Music: undergraduate
    5. Musical instruments: undergraduate study (primarily English language)
    6. Music philosophy and aesthetics: undergraduate
    7. Popular music: undergraduate (focused on the history and record of contemporary popular culture; largely confined to English language)
    8. Country Music: undergraduate (focused on music of the region)
    9. Jazz: undergraduate study (largely confined to English language)
    10. Film music: undergraduate (largely confined to English language)
    11. Methodology: undergraduate study (primarily English language)

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B. Music composition/theory

  1. Scope: books and journals in English on music theory, analysis, composition, and the use of computers and technology in music composition; scores and recordings for a broad range of contemporary music.
  2. Levels:
    1. Rudiments of music (harmony, counterpoint, form, orchestration, etc.): undergraduate (selective acquisition of textbooks, with emphasis on current editions)
    2. Music theory (analysis, analytical techniques): undergraduate
    3. Composition: Emphasis on the techniques of composition, with current imprints stressed: undergraduate

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C. Performance Practice and Techniques/Pedagogy

  1. Scope: book and journals in English on performance practice, pedagogy, methods, techniques, and music education; recordings representing a broad range of compositions and variety of performers
  2. Levels:
    1. General and historical treatments: undergraduate
    2. Conducting: undergraduate (emphasis on current imprints)
    3. Instrument maintenance and repair: selective/basic
    4. Instrumental and vocal techniques/methods: undergraduate study/research (emphasis is on both historical treatments and contemporary pedagogy)
    5. Dramatic music (including performance histories and criticisms): undergraduate
    6. Music education: undergraduate

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D. Comprehensive Areas

  1. The Music Library attempts to collect comprehensively in these areas based on faculty interests and holdings of Special Collections materials:
    1. East Africa
    2. Dulcimer (including TN music box)
    3. Tango
    4. Astor Piazzolla
    5. Thematic catalogs
    6. Vocal diction
    7. Baudelaire/Verlaine (in relation to music)
    8. Enrico Caruso
    9. Michael Hersch
    10. Alfred Schnittke
    11. John Hartford
    12. Mark O'Connor
    13. Mandolin
    14. Folk instruments in general but specifically in East Africa, North America, and Latin American countries
    15. Calypso