Greetings from the Subject Librarian for Music

The Music Library at Aberdare Hall

The Music Library at Aberdare Hall

Now that the academic year is winding down a bit and students are sitting the last of their exams, I thought I’d take a moment to introduce myself as someone connected to the project.

1st November 2012 will mark my fifth anniversary with Cardiff University as the Subject Librarian for Music. When I started here, the Mackworth, Aylward, and BBC Collections were housed two floors above the Music Library in locked cabinets lining a small ensemble/seminar room. This JISC-funded project marks the culmination of plans begun back in 2008 on how best to maximise access to the Music Library’s Special Collections.

In addition to holding a basic consultant position in the Project Team, I also co-presented with David Wyn Jones and Richard Chesser on the project at this year’s Annual Study Weekend (ASW) for the International Association of Music Libraries, Archives, and Documentation Centres’ United Kingdom and Ireland Branch (IAML UK & Irl). This is the annual national conference held for professionals (future, current, and past) in the business of curating and providing access services to music information resources.

For more information on our conference, please see my recent post on the Cardiff University ‘Library News’ Blog.

A week after the conference (which was held at the Cardiff University School of Music this year, the weekend after Easter), I attended a 2-day JISC meeting on behalf of our project team. It was really terrific to be able to put some human faces to the JISC brand and to forge connections with other JISC project participants.

More recently, I was thrilled to meet up yesterday with our new project cataloguer, Loukia. I first met Loukia when she attended the ASW a little over a month ago, and was quite excited to learn that she was given the appointment.

Loukia and I have already begun to talk about how to draw Music Library staff and School of Music students into her work on the project to increase visibility and personal investment from our community. Some ideas include having Loukia give a 50 minute presentation to our Third Year Dissertation students in November, and to perhaps arrange some job shadow opportunities with the Library staff.

It’s been amazing to see this project come together and I’m eternally grateful to the active members of the Project Team and to JISC for making it happen. I’ve very much enjoyed the exhibition these past two months, and can’t wait to see cataloguing records emerge from what was once obscured.


Music Collections at Cardiff – Welcome to the Project !

“Welcome to the blog of the Cardiff University project, funded by JISC, to make available online detailed catalogue descriptions of nearly 3,000 pieces of European music, dating from the 18th and 19th centuries.

“These rare and unique resources are not widely known to the international scholarly music community, so the School of Music and the University Library will collaborate to ensure we open up access to as many audiences as possible, who may have an interest in this material, which will be freely accessible over the web.

“We will work in partnership with colleagues in Royal Holloway – University of London, with RISM (UK) at the British Library, and with academic colleagues in Queen’s University Belfast,  the University of Utrecht, and colleagues at  JISC also. We will welcome comments to the blog from not only the partners in the project, but others with an interest in our work. We will be engaging with a wide range of external stakeholders during the project, so all are encouraged to contribute to this new venture.”

Professor David Wyn Jones, Project Director, Head of School of Music, Cardiff University.


“Staff in Cardiff University Library’s Information Services will be coordinating the activities on this project, to help ensure we successfully complete the work for which JISC has provided the funding.

“This blog will be the main communication medium for the project, and all partners will have access to the blog – to post their own messages, comment on other’s messages, update  project partners on progress in various strands of the work, and so on. Please feel free to contact us with any enquiries also, as the project develops.

“The blog will cover the following elements of the project’s work  over the next six or seven months (and possibly beyond), to allow a broad sweep of communications on all aspects of our work, and to maintain progress on milestones we will be setting, to ensure timely completion of the project. These are: the project plan (available via the web); problems to be addressed in the project; issues around use and users of our project outputs; any licensing, legal, or ethical issues; our technological approach; what lessons we can learn; and benefits for others from our project approach. We look forward to a lively and interesting discussion!”

Peter Keelan, Project Manager, Head of Special Collections and Archives, Cardiff University Library.