Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Real thing or a tourist copy?

The Conservatory Library is pleased to have on display a collection of instruments, curated by Professor Rod Knight. The display consists of pairs of instruments, the real thing and a tourist copy. According to Prof. Knight, "The prize for me is the one in this photo--a block of wood with 3 holes. It was made by a student in my instruments class in 1978, and she just sent it to me to put in the collection. It might be the only one in the USA. The photos of it, on which she based her model, are from 1912, and it was already rare then."

The Roderic C. Knight Musical Instrument Collection is available online and is devoted to organology (the scientific study of musical instruments) as well as the stories about the instruments in the collection. The companion blog for his instrument collection can be seen here

We hope you stop in and take a look at this rare exhibit. Special thanks to Prof. Knight for curating this fabulous exhibit.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

NYTimes quotes Oberlin Conservatory Librarian, Deborah Campana!

Music Museum Expands Reach With Archive, Library

CLEVELAND (AP) -- There's always been room at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum for the exciting, most popular relics, like Michael Jackson's ''Thriller'' jacket and John Lennon's Sgt. Pepper uniform. But most of the not-so-flashy mementos were tucked away in storage.

Visitors will get a chance to see those hidden artifacts beginning later this year, when the museum opens its library and archives in a recently completed high-tech building it shares with Cuyahoga Community College's creative arts programs.

The museum has begun moving photos, recordings, albums and covers, oral histories, scrap books and other packed materials from its iconic glass pyramid overlooking Lake Erie to the new, low-key building two miles away.

The items also include such gems as Jim Morrison's first poem, video from the 1981-82 Rolling Stones tour and personal letters from the Grateful Dead, Whitney Houston, Patti Smith and others. Posters of Alan Freed, the DJ credited with coining the phrase rock 'n' roll, and aging LP records also will find a home in the $12 million building. The records will be digitalized and available for listening.

The library will be the most comprehensive repository of rock history, with materials donated by hall of fame inductees and wannabes who see it as a way to preserve their stories, said Deborah Campana, librarian of the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. Read More

Monday, March 1, 2010

Music history finds a new home inside Rock Hall's library and archives at Tri-C's Center for Creative Arts

By John Soeder, The Plain Dealer

February 28, 2010, 6:30AM

In the conservation lab, a movie poster for "Love Me Tender" starring Elvis Presley in his big-screen debut ("Mr. Rock 'n' Roll in the story he was born to play!") is unfurled on a table, awaiting inspection. Around the corner, a worker pulls a "We Are the World" album off a stack of LPs as she takes inventory for a computer database. In another room, pallets are piled high with boxes containing everything from David Bowie and Jefferson Starship videos to a vinyl copy of "Gary Puckett & the Union Gap's Greatest Hits" -- a fresh shipment of history, ready to be processed.

Welcome to the attic of rock 'n' roll heaven, otherwise known as the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum's library and archives.

Rock around the archives

Here's a taste of some of the cool items in the Rock Hall archives:

  • Buddy Holly's diploma from Lubbock Senior High School in Lubbock, Texas.
  • Jimi Hendrix's handwritten lyrics to "Purple Haze," originally subtitled "Jesus Saves."
  • Record mogul Ahmet Ertegun's 1969 appointment book, in which the evening of May 26 is blocked off for an Incredible String Band concert.
  • Documentation from Alan Freed's 1959 payola trial, including testimony from promotion manager Bernard Friedlander of United Artists, which paid Freed to play its records on his radio show.
  • Jim Morrison's death certificate, which lists the cause of death as "Unknown, pending Doctor's statement."
  • The passport of Joseph Vernon Turner, aka Big Joe Turner, the blues singer whose hits included "Shake, Rattle and Roll" and "Corrina, Corrina."
  • -- John Soeder

    The facility won't open to the public until November or December, but staffers are hard at work there already.

    Read More