Potential Projects

The MLT has compiled a list of potential new projects suitable for funding. The list is intended to guide potential applicants towards the areas in which the Trust might grant start-up funding, partnership funding and support in general. In many cases, a preliminary scoping study would be advisable. In others, a smaller, discrete approach might be useful. The list should not be regarded as exhaustive; further ideas are sought. 

Services to the Profession

Improving librarians' and information professionals' expertise in dealing with music materials.

  • A major survey of music library users in the UK, to determine their needs and examine how these may be addressed.
  • Development of recommended standards of stock, resource provision, services and staffing for music libraries. Discrete areas could be investigated and standards produced.
  • Survey of the various systems used for music library catalogues, their efficacy for users, the basic requirements of a music library catalogue and other desirable elements for an excellent catalogue.
  • Production of simple guides to copyright for music libraries: manuscripts, printed music, recordings, performance, taking into account material already published online and elsewhere.
  • Survey of the music library services provided for minority groups and guidelines for good practice. How information on stock and services could be shared, areas where need is great but facilities inadequate, etc.
  • Survey of music library services for children and guidelines for good practice. How information on stock and services could be shared, special events for children, areas where the need is great but facilities inadequate, etc.
  • Survey of electronic resources available for music libraries, possibly including comparisons, recommended resources for small libraries, for public libraries and for academic libraries.
  • A guide to the promotion and marketing of public music library collections.
  • An assessment of the sustainability of current IAML projects/resources and whether improved sustainability could be achieved by charging for them.

Union Catalogues

Improving infrastructure for the location of music materials.

  • National union catalogue of music. A scoping study to determine the feasibility of a national union catalogue, bearing in mind the existence of music records in COPAC, Unity and individual music library catalogues.
  • Updating of the British Union Catalogue of Music Periodicals. To include further data not in SUNCAT and to extend that coverage to collections in public, other academic and other special libraries.

Sources and Documentation

Helping people to discover what music materials are available and how to access them.

  • Catalogues of the holdings of light and popular music collections. Possibilities: Surveying the range of light and popular music collections in the UK and Ireland, determining whether there is an ongoing need to catalogue them or assist in their cataloguing, producing a catalogue of a discrete collection for web or other publication.
  • Digitisation of individual collections of note of archival sound recordings (e.g. on cassette, tape, etc.). Both musical and musical oral history could be considered. Suggestions for collections of note could be supplied.
  • Catalogues of film music archives. A scoping study has already been undertaken which could inform the areas where further work is needed.
  • Research into the holdings of broadcasting companies and independent programme providers (beyond the BBC). A scoping study to determine which such collections exist, which need a longer-term home and whether any are at risk of disposal or destruction. A further study into possible homes for such material.
  • Project to encourage composers and small publishers to deposit their works with libraries. Work could centre on a small number of composers, could investigate which libraries are likely to accept such material, could investigate which hire scores could be further deposited, or could establish composers' intentions for the long-term housing of their manuscripts or electronic versions thereof.
  • Family tree of music publishers up to the present. The development of documentation on music publishers, building on work already published (for the period from the earliest times to the Victorian age) and continuing to the present day. A select number of publishers could be surveyed.
  • Project to encourage libraries to publicise more fully their holdings of collected editions and scholarly historical anthologies.
  • Documentary biographies either of institutions or people. Shedding new light on familiar and unfamiliar topics using bibliographic and archival sources. Disseminating the products of archival research to encourage the scholarly use of these materials.

Surveys of...

  • ...music publishers' archives. Possibilities: Various approaches could be taken - concentrating on a select archive or some major archives; investigating which publishers would appreciate help with their archives; reviewing which publishers have their own archivists; establishing which publishers would be interested in further assistance or advice.
  • ...off-air and unreleased sound recordings. Possibilities: A scoping study focussing on the nature and extent of such material and the legal framework necessary for its long-term preservation still not adequately addressed or discussed despite changes to copyright and performing rights legislation. A particular, known archive of such recordings might be an appropriate candidate for more detailed cataloguing, particularly if it contains material known not to be in another sound archive.
  • ...music collections in historic houses and an assessment of the feasibility of their (further) inclusion in RISM.
  • ...collections of musicians' letters, and documenting these collections. A continuation of work already achieved, covering different timescales and (possibly) different geographical areas.
  • ...the archives of music societies and performance organisations, where no such documentation exists. Possibilities: An overall scoping study; a catalogue of a discrete collection.
  • ...which major performance organisations have no or only partially published histories, taking into account material already published or otherwise documented.