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Collection Policies

Collection Policies by Subject

College-Conservatory of Music

College-Conservatory of Music Library


Subjects covered:   The programs offered in the College-Conservatory of Music cover most aspects of the field of music (performance, music theory, musicology, music education, etc.), as well as dance, electronic media, and theatre and drama.  It is, however, important to note that the collections serving two of the programs mentioned-electronic media and theatre-are not housed in the CCM Library.

Divisions and users served:   The College-Conservatory of Music is organized into nine academic divisions: Composition, Musicology, and Theory; Dance; Electronic Media; Ensembles and Conducting; Keyboard Studies; Music Education; Opera, Musical Theater, Drama, and Arts Administration (OMDA); Performance Studies; and the Preparatory Department.  (The Library does not serve students in the latter, except as GCLC patrons.  Faculty in this Division, however, are served.)  The Drama section of OMDA is likewise not served by the CCM Library.  Historically, the theatre and drama collection has been housed in the Langsam Library, and this program has its own bibliographer.  The CCM Library also serves local GCLC patrons and OhioLINK users (both through the p-circ system and in person).

Quantitative information

Users :  The College-Conservatory has about 130 full-time faculty and 20 adjunct faculty.  There are approximately 1375 students, of which 700 are undergraduate students and 675 are graduate students.  Graduate students are by far the heaviest library users, however.  Over 44% of all UCLID checkouts are to graduate students (as opposed to 15% to undergraduates), and this fact drives the collection development policy.
Circulation:   Total checkouts are 41,100 annually.  Total renewals are 15,500.  Another 20,000 are used in-house annually.

Degrees granted:   Degrees in eight undergraduate programs (B.M., B.A., and B.F.A.) and 16 graduate programs (M.M., M.A., M.F.A., D.M.A., D.M.E., and Ph.D.) are offered.

Special Programs and accreditation requirements:   Artist's Diploma (For performing artists beyond the Master of Music Degree).  The library's holdings and staffing are an important part of the accreditation process.  The library must pass the requirements of the Accreditation Board of the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM).

Research focus, grants, special funding:   The College-Conservatory is primarily a performance-oriented school.  Therefore, collection development policies are primarily focused on materials needed in performance preparation-scores, recordings, and videos.  It is difficult, however, to distinguish between research and performance materials in a music library because any musical work can be studied, as well as performed.  While those in the research fields of musicology and music theory devote themselves to the intellectual understanding of music, performers must also possess this intellectual understanding of the structure, style and historical context of the music they are performing.  In addition, research programs affect all students and faculty, as all students are required to study music theory and music history.  Therefore a large portion of the library's resources is devoted to so-called research materials-collected editions, microforms, facsimile editions, books, and journals. 


Location:   The part of the collection having to do with music and dance is housed in the Gorno Memorial Music Library on the 4th floor of the Carl Blegen Library.  This includes sound recordings and video materials, as well as the traditional books, scores, journals, and microforms.  Materials in the area of electronic media are not in the CCM Library but are housed in Langsam Library and the Southwest Ohio Regional Depository (SWORD).  Materials having to do with theatre and drama are, likewise, not in the CCM Library but are found mainly in Langsam Library and the DAAP Library.

Other Collections supporting CCM Programs:
Internal:  Langsam Library - Theatre and Drama; Archives & Rare Books Department - Rare Materials; Design, Architecture, Art and Planning - arts administration, technical theater, and musical iconography.
External:  OhioLINK; Public Library of Cincinnati & Hamilton County Art & Music Department.

Collection History:   The Cincinnati Conservatory of Music was founded in 1867, and the College of Music of Cincinnati in 1878.  These two private institutions merged in 1955, and, in 1961, became one of the component colleges of the University.  Little information exists regarding the libraries of the two original professional schools.  In 1967, when Mary Emery Hall and Corbett Auditorium were constructed as a home for CCM on the University campus, the Library was firmly established as a significant entity supporting the performance and research programs.  Until that time, the collection consisted of a few basic reference tools, histories, collected editions and miscellaneous, unbound performance scores.  In 1968, systematic retrospective collection development programs were put in place, and, a few years later, score approval plans were established with vendors to supply the CCM Library with currently published music scores.  As a result, a small collection of fewer than 5,000 cataloged volumes in 1968 has grown to a respectable collection of nearly 140,000 volumes in 2000.   When the theatre and drama programs were assimilated by CCM in the 1980s, it was decided that, since library materials pertaining to these programs had historically been housed in the Langsam Library, and the budget and selection of materials had been assigned to a separate bibliographer in Langsam, this practice would continue. At the request of the Electronic Media Division, all materials pertaining to the Electronic Media program were transferred to Langsam and SWORD in 1998, although the budget and selection responsibilities remained assigned to the CCM librarian.

Collecting Level:   Because of the necessity for the strengthening of the library's collection in all areas, through the use of systematic retrospective acquisitions plans, the collecting intensity for nearly all programs was at the undergraduate, or instructional support level until 1982.  At that time, music approval plans for British and U.S. music scores were established, and the collecting level was increased to research.  All academic areas for which there are graduate programs are now supported at the research level.


Call Numbers :

ML   Music Literature
MT   Music Instruction
GV   Dance
HE   Broadcasting
PN, PR News Writing
TK  Technology-Audio
M  Music Scores
Unclassed Sound recordings, videotapes, DVDs, CD-ROMs

Music scores and phonorecords make up more than two-thirds of the collection.

Current and retrospective collecting:   The CCM Library is continuously engaged in retrospective purchasing projects, as well as in collecting currently available materials.  These retrospective collection development projects will usually engage the assistance of the faculty in areas of identified weakness but are nearly always initiated by the librarian.  Areas treated in recent years are mainly in the realm of wind music, where much literature exists that would not ordinarily be picked up with existing approval plans.  The CCM Library has no problems of space for books and scores.  Therefore, weeding has not been necessary.  In fact, weeding is considered undesirable in this discipline, where a historical perspective is essential and absolute currency is regarded as less important than in other disciplines.

Time Period:

Music scores and monographs:  Current and OP
Electronic Media:  Current only
Journals:  Current and pre-1970

Level & Areas of Strength & Depth: Nearly all funds are spent on upper level undergraduate and graduate research materials.  Lower level undergraduate texts are usually purchased.  Basic, non-technical music appreciation materials are not purchased.  Basic repertoire music for lower level and undergraduates is already in the collection, but new and worthwhile editions of these materials are usually purchased.  Instrumental and vocal methods, and studies and exercises are not purchased.  Exceptions are made in cases where a didactic work assumes the status of high art, as in the Chopin Etudes.

Languages: Vocal music of all kinds is purchased regardless of the language of the text, the basic consideration being the importance of the literature.  Monographs, however, are purchased only in English, German, French, Italian and Spanish.  Other languages are excluded, unless required for a student or faculty member's research.

Geographical Areas: The Library focuses on Western classical music, purchasing only the most basic materials on the music of other cultures.  Published music and monographs are purchased from England, Europe, the Soviet Union, the Americas, Israel and Japan (art music in the western mode only).  Materials relating to electronic media courses focus on practical aspects of broadcast writing, management, production and communication in the United States.  High-level materials on program content are covered, but critical works are purchased selectively.  Other bibliographers often select books in the latter category.  For example, books on the social aspects of television sometimes fall into the field of sociology. 

Types of resources: Print media including monographs, journals and music scores constitute two-thirds of the collection.  Other media, including LP recordings, compact discs, phonotapes, videotapes and microforms, make up one-third of the collection.  CD-ROM's are also an important resource.

Resource formats (including electronic):   All CCM books and music scores are in paper format.  Online. or full-text, journals in music and dance are rare.

Endowed areas:   Although there are future prospects, the CCM does not, at present, have any endowments and is almost entirely dependent on General Funds.  The library does have two very small funds, sponsored by the local alumni chapter of Sigma Alpha Iota music sorority, for the purchase of some microforms and videos.


Approval plans:   The CCM Library has a number of blanket order approval plans.  It participates in the Yankee Book Peddler plan for English language books, and, in addition, has established plans for music scores with Otto Harrassowitz (for European, Scandinavian, and Russian music), Blackwell's Music Shop (for UK music scores), and Theodore Front (for North American music scores).  In addition, it has now established a plan with Music Library Services for CDs from specified manufacturers.

Firm orders:   The Library orders much material to supplement the approval plans.  Approximately 50% of its budget is devoted to these materials, which include items outside the scope of the approval plans (reprints, older materials purchased to fill in lacunae in the collections, and student and faculty requests for special research and performance needs).

Standing orders:   Standing orders are very important to CCM users.  Composers' collected editions, for example, often are published volume-by-volume over a period of many years, and establishing standing orders for these scores is the only way a library is assured of receiving each volume as it is published.  Other examples of standing orders are:  monuments, monographic series, sets, and annuals.

Special vendors:   A music library must rely on specialized vendors for its materials.  Monographs are usually purchased from normal vendors, but scores, sound recordings, and videos must be obtained from dealers specializing in these materials.  Music scores, for example, are normally purchased from Harrassowitz, Blackwell's, and Front, although occasionally they are bought from other dealers, or directly from the publisher.  Sound recordings are usually obtained from Music Library Services, while videos are purchased from a number of different sources. 

Robert O. Johnson

University of Cincinnati Libraries

PO Box 210033 Cincinnati, Ohio 45221-0033

Phone: 513-556-1424

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