This is a guest post from Julija Paskova who has been working with us this year as a volunteer. We’ve been incredibly lucky to have Julija with us and are very grateful to her for lending us her time and expertise.
My name is Julija Paskova and I am a Latvian musicologist. So far I have spent three months at Trinity Laban’s Jerwood Library of the Performing Arts participating in a couple of projects on a voluntary basis. This is because as a musicologist I am very interested in the notion of merging two fields – musicology and librarianship, and on a path of a career change, volunteering is a perfect way to gain better insights.
The Jerwood Library is an excellent place to gain an extensive understanding of the music library world. Thanks to a friendly, supportive and highly professional library management and staff, I managed to build on my previous work experience in music cataloguing by discovering new perspectives such as manuscript and sound recording cataloguing.
The first project I was offered to work on was cataloguing a special collection of eminent British film composer, arranger, conductor and pianist Stanley Black. Some of the legendary film scores which are associated with Stanley Black’s name not only as a composer but as a musical director include It Always Rains on Sunday, Wonderful to Be Young! and The Long and The Short and The Tall.
Another special collection at the Jerwood Library which I created original records for are unpublished autograph scores of British composer and writer Carey Blyton (nephew of legendary children’s author Enid Blyton) who was also a professor of harmony, counterpoint and orchestration at Trinity College of Music. This collection due to its scarcity provides highly valuable material for research.
I was also given an opportunity to develop valuable skills working on an extensive collection of donated sound recordings. Donations often vary in quality and usefulness meaning that relevance needs to be taken into consideration.
The importance of quality music cataloguing is largely undervalued. The process of creating a user-friendly but multilayered record requires a strong musical background as well as librarianship. This is becoming more so the case due to the “digital revolution” leaving libraries with a sudden large amount of unsorted information.
I would like to thank Claire Kidwell, Helen Mason and Emma Greenwood for their warm attitude and willingness to create the best learning and working environment for me.