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About Scores & Recordings

About the Collection

Music Library Facilities

Frequently Asked Questions

About the Collection

The Music Library, located on the third floor of Olin Library, houses the library collections of musical scores and sound recordings of both spoken word and music. The Music Library also includes the World Music Archives.

The majority of books about music (classed ML and MT) are in the Olin Stacks (floors 2 and 3A). However the Music Library holds a small number of these books as well, while others may be found in the Cutter Collection and compact storage. Reference books for graduate-level study in music are located in Scores & Recordings while the general reference collection on the main floor of Olin Library keeps general and undergraduate-level reference books. Scores & Recordings also has copies of Wesleyan masters theses and doctoral dissertations in music. Videos, except for World Music Archives material, are kept with other library videos at the Science Library circulation desk.

Most scores circulate just like books, the only exception being Denkmäler (historical sets) and collected works (classed in M1-3) which are limited to faculty and graduate students. LPs also do not circulate outside Scores & Recordings to undergraduate students, but CDs and cassettes may be taken out by all students, faculty, and staff. Users can listen to LPs, CDs, and reserve tapes via headphones at any of our twenty individual listening stations.

Mirroring the Music Department, the strengths of the library's music collection are world music and 20th-century experimental music. In particular, the collections of music from India, Indonesia, Japan, and Native Americans are among the most significant in the world. We have many scores of folk music and of instrumental music from classical traditions in Japan, China, Iran, and elsewhere. Special Collections & Archives holds one of three John Cage Collections in the world.

Music Library Facilities

Listening Stations - The Scores & Recordings collection houses 20 individual listening carrels. These include facilities for playing CDs, cassette tapes, and LPs. Recording facilities are not available for individual use. Headphones can be checked out at the service window of the Scores & Recordings office with a Wesleyan ID or a driver's license. CDs are also checked out here. IDs are held while materials are being used at the listening stations.

Reading Room - is available as a study area whenever Olin Library is open.

Seminar Room - The Music Seminar Room (Olin room 327b) is used for classes and meetings. Playback equipment for LPs, CDs, cassettes, and videotapes is available in the Seminar Room for classroom use only (it cannot be used as a group study room). To enquire about the policies and scheduling of this facility, contact the Music Library staff.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why can't I tape recordings for my own use?

For the most part, making tape copies of recordings you did not purchase yourself is illegal, even for so-called "educational purposes," without the written consent of the copyright holder(s). To ensure accordance with U.S. Copyright law, Title 17 of the U.S. Code, all of our cassette decks have been mechanically altered so that they cannot be used to record. This prevents users from making illicit copies of Wesleyan-owned material and protects us from potential copyright violation.

Can I browse through your CDs?

All of our CDs are kept behind the desk and are unavailable for browsing. First, the office is rather small and cramped, so there isn't the space to allow for it. Second, the CDs are not in jewel cases (again for space reasons), but rather are kept in thin, tyvek sleeves that do not show the spine label. Third, they are shelved in numerical sequence in the order cataloged, so like materials are not next to one another.

Nevertheless, one can browse CDs online. Go to the "Complex Search" screen of the CTW online catalog, scroll down to the "Search Limits" section and choose WU-MUSIC as the "library" and CD-AUDIO as the "itemtype" Then click on the "Search catalog" button. That will bring up all of the CDs in our collection, including those on order and those in process. Further limiting could be done by adding something to the "words or phrase" box at the top. For example, typing "jazz"  in that space would bring up all of Wesleyan's jazz CDs; typing "haydn and symphonies" would bring up all of the CD recordings we have of Haydn symphonies, be they by Franz Joseph or Michael. You may sort your search by author, title, year of publication, or call number.

Who decides what to buy?

The Music Librarian has primary responsibility for what music materials are acquired by the library and welcomes suggestions and requests for additional scores, recordings, and books. An online request form is also available from the Olin Library home page by following the "Recommend a Purchase" link.

Can I get a carrel in the Music Library?

There are six study carrels available to music graduate students. These are located immediately outside the door to Scores & Recordings. While not exactly spacious, they have comfortable chairs and enough room for a computer and books. A form is mailed to each graduate student at the beginning of the fall term, and the music librarian makes assignments based on the response and need. People writing theses or dissertations have first priority, followed by students willing to double up (note: there is not enough room for two people to work simultaneously). Preference is also given to those who have not previously had a carrel. There is a refundable $5 fee for the carrel key.