Music Collection Development Policy

  • The Cogswell Music Library collects music and music-related materials to meet the needs of the IUP Music Department, the university at large, and the community. These materials include music monuments and collected editions, reference books, circulating books, circulating scores, and sound recordings. In building our collection, we follow the general policies of the IUP Libraries.

    Monuments and Collected Editions

    These are the most reliable and authoritative scores for the study of significant works. They are essential for first-rate reference service in music. Through the efforts of previous music librarians, the Cogswell Music Library has one of the best collections of such works in the state. The maintenance of this high-quality collection should be a top priority. In order to ensure that we acquire each volume of a set, these works have been purchased through long-term standing order agreements.

    Reference Books 

    The Cogswell Music Library has a substantial collection of reference books on music, which are indispensable for the reference and research needs of music library patrons. While there is some duplication of standard works with the general Reference Department, the vast majority of titles are found only in the music library. We will continue to collect the most important reference works in music.

    Circulating Books 

    The Cogswell Music Library contains the bulk of the Libraries collection in the ML and MT classes. These works are broad and representative, with particular strengths in the areas of composer’s biographies (ML 410), music history, theory, and education. This collection serves the curricular and research needs of the music library’s diverse patrons. We will continue to build a broad and representative collection, particularly in the areas of our strengths and in the teaching and research interests of the university community.

    Circulating Scores

    The entire M class of the Libraries is housed in the Cogswell Music Library. Students, faculty, and the community use these scores for musical performances, study, and research. Over the past ten years, the music library staff has bound and repaired this collection and cataloged it for our on-line catalog, together with a vast backlog of unprocessed scores. Our goal is to build a representative collection, making available those works considered essential to the musical repertory of our culture. As we continue to catalog this collection, various gaps have become apparent. We have been able to purchase scores on approval through commercial websites and filled these gaps quickly. We have a particularly strong collection of piano-vocal scores of operas and musical theater and will continue to build in that area.

    Sound Recordings 

    The Cogswell Music Library has a substantial collection of 12” vinyl LP sound recordings, primarily of Western art music. This collection is still heavily used for the listening needs of library patrons. However, we no longer collect LP sound recordings. Neither do we collect cassette or reel-to-reel tape recordings. We only collect commercial recordings in compact disc (CD) format. The CD collection currently contains over 2,000 items and is growing at a rate of approximately 300 items per year. Just as with the score collection, we will strive to build a representative collection, containing the essential works of music supporting the listening needs of music library patrons.

    Special Collections and Gifts 

    The Cogswell Music Library maintains a small collection of specialized, rare, or valuable materials. No special funds are available for acquiring new materials in this area, but some items have come to the music library by way of gifts. These include the uncataloged Albert R. Casavant research collection of marching band and drill team materials and the Edward R. Sims collection of ethnic musical instruments, with instruments representing every continent.

    Recent gifts that have been added to our circulating collections include the Milton Blazakis collection of horn and brass music, the Robert Bloom collection of oboe music, the Roger Stone collection of violin music, the Ruth Neal collection of vocal music, and the Charles Davis collection of jazz, musical theatre, and band music, purchased from an endowment left by Davis to the IUP Foundation.

    In recent years the Cogswell Music Library has received numerous gifts from retiring faculty and elderly community members. We particularly appreciate gifts of musical scores in good condition, which have generally been added to the collection. Scores in worn-out or brittle condition, that can’t withstand binding, cannot be added. Most of the books on music were either duplicates or old textbooks of little value. Occasionally we’ve found a rare “golden nugget” which has been added to the collection. We can no longer accept gifts of LPs or 78 rpm sound recordings due to limitations of space and floor load. We will accept gifts of other music materials, but the giver should be aware that only those items valuable to the collection will be retained.

    Collecting Interests and Requests 

    We are committed to collecting materials supporting the strengths and research interests of the university community. Specialized areas have included women composers, with the bi-annual IUP Women’s Composers Festival, contemporary American music, wind ensemble music, opera, and musical theatre. We also support all general areas of interest, such as performance and study scores, musicology, ethnomusicology, music theory, and music education.

    The Music Librarian has made every effort to acquire materials that have been requested by faculty members, students, and other patrons of the music library. If acquisition funds are not available at the time of a request, it is placed in a file of desiderata and is purchased when funds become available. Rarely a request is made for something inappropriate to the collection, which the Music Librarian addresses personally.