Music to delight the eye: highlights of the Monash University Music Library 18 March - 31 May 1996


Music to delight the eye: highlights of the Monash University Music Library 18 March - 31 May 1996




The exhibition was held in the Rare Books Exhibition space, Sir Louis Matheson Library, Monash University from 18 March - 31 May, 1996 Opening address given by Professor Margaret Kartomi, School of Music-Conservatorium. Guitarist Matthew Fagan performed during the evening. This exhibition, "Music to Delight the Eye: Highlights from the Monash University Music Library" is a celebration of many things. It has been mounted to coincide with the celebration of Performing Arts Week 1996 at Monash University, the official opening of the Information Services Building (in which it is exhibited) and the Performing Arts Centre on Clayton Campus. It celebrates the important link the Music Library has with the Department of Music, highlighting the development of a collection built up over a thirty year period. It also celebrates the move of the Music Library into its new expansive home, after many years of cramped quarters in the Menzies Building, allowing the students and academic staff longer hours and improved services. The exhibitions brings together, both in visual and musical terms, some of the gems of the Music Library. It has also given the curators the opportunity to utilise materials from other areas of the Monash University Library, including the Rare Books Collections and the Humanities and Social Sciences Collection, to enhance the music and recordings. Use of materials from the Department of Music Archives, including the Instrument Collection and the Australian Archive of Jewish Music, enhances the exhibition and also provides further illustration of the link between Library and Music Department. These collections were also used in the research and compilation of this catalogue. This diversity provides the visitor with a variety of media, including music scores and manuscripts, sound recordings, journals, books, photographs, instruments and ephemeral materials. The diversity of subject matter in the exhibition is also representative of the development of the Music library collection throughout the long connection it has had with the Department of Music. Developed physically alongside the Department in the same building, the Music Library took on the role of providing scores and sound recording for the teaching and research needs of the students and staff. In early 1995, with the development of the Performing Arts Centre and the Information Services Building, the two parted ways in a physical sense, so that the students and staff gained the advantages of the larger Humanities and Social Sciences Library and of all music materials being housed under the one roof. The growth of the collections can be identified in this exhibition. Beginning as a collection of materials to support general music history courses and specialised research areas, including early music and ethnomusicology within Arts courses, the Music Library now supports a rapidly growing music performance component, including performance scores and orchestral and choral sets. Strengths are evident in Australian music and in ethnomusicology with a depth of collecting in ethnomusicological sound recordings unparalleled in Australian academic libraries. The strengths in these collections are reflected in the strong interest shown by academic staff over the decades in selecting materials, and the dedication of the library staff to making these materials available. The future of the Music Library collections will rely on this team effort with interested academic staff and dedicated, qualified library staff continuing to work together to build on, enhance and create a relevant, significant and valuable Music Library. Finally, I would like to thank Richard Overell (Rare Books Librarian) and Richard Excell (member of Acord and contributor to the early music descriptions) for their assistance in compiling this catalogue and the mounting of this exhibition.








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Binns, Georgina M. (Georgina Mary), 1960- et al., “Music to delight the eye: highlights of the Monash University Music Library 18 March - 31 May 1996,” Monash Collections Online, accessed June 25, 2024,

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