Collecting Local Music in Canadian Libraries: A National Survey
Canadian Association of Music Libraries
Local music artifacts are often unpublished or independently produced, making them difficult to collect. Local music collectors in libraries may encounter barriers in obtaining and preserving them. This has resulted in a wide variety of methods for collecting local music (often undocumented), and various strategies for notifying the public that such collections exist. This research explores the connection between music and place as it relates to the practices of local music collectors and collecting in Canadian cultural heritage institutions. Specifically, it explores the following research questions: 1. Where are collections of local music held, what music(s) do they document, and what historical value do they possess? 2. What is the perceived value of collecting local music for collectors? 3. What are the local music collection management practices currently in use and can these practices be improved? As part of a larger study on local music collecting—Sounds of Home: Exploring Local Music Collections and Collecting in Canada—we distributed an online questionnaire to local music collectors in public, academic, and special libraries. This paper presents a summary and analysis of the survey findings, which reveal insights into practices, beliefs, and strategies surrounding local music collecting in Canadian libraries. The results give a detailed picture of how local music collectors choose to approach aspects of collection management, collection development, access, digital innovations, challenges, and planning when working with local music collections. This data also contributes to building a more complete picture of where local music collections are located and distributed in Canada.
local music collections, music collections, local music