Library

Showing posts with label Arts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Arts. Show all posts

30 March 2017

VFG collection of musical scores at Monash

Have you been looking for repertoire for your ensemble or chamber group? You may find inspiration in a collection of over 1500 scores in the Sir Louis Matheson Library, says Jackie Waylen, the Subject Librarian for Music.


If you play a musical instrument, and have been seeking repertoire that is both excellent and perhaps a little less familiar, be it solo instrumental music, or music for your ensemble or chamber group, then you may wish to delve into the collection of over 1500 scores that were gifted to the Library by the Victorian Flute Guild in 2010. Over 300 of these scores have so far been catalogued, including solos, duets, trios, quartets and quintets. Flute music includes studies and exercises for improving technique, music for chamber groups with flute, and music for flute choir. Some of the scores have been digitised and will soon be available in a new online special collections repository.

Most of the works in the collection were composed in the 19th and 20th centuries. So, quite soon, a flautist and pianist will be able to access the fifth of Andersen's “Five easy pieces,” as it was published in 1894.

Some of the concert repertoire and pedagogical works were composed in the 18th century, but they appear in the collection as later editions. Many of the works are related to teaching. A survey of prominent flute teachers in North America and Europe, undertaken by Molly Barth, and published in The Flutist Quarterly in 2016, revealed that études were an "integral component of their teaching regimen". Of the 26 composers of études cited by these teachers, the Victorian Flute Guild's scores, which have so far been sorted, contain études by 17 of these composers.

The Victorian Flute Guild Collection includes many virtuosic concert pieces for flute and piano, and miniatures that would be suitable for encores. The range of European composers and publishers from the late 19th century is extraordinary, and so a finding aid for all the works is underway. Once the whole collection has been catalogued, performance students and others will certainly have an interesting collection to browse. 


The earliest works in the collection belonged originally to Leslie Barklamb (1905-1993) who, in 1969, founded the Victorian Flute Guild in order "to promote and encourage the learning of the flute, flute playing in all idioms, and to support all forms of music education". To attain this goal, a main aim was "to establish, build up and maintain a library of music of all types". Barklamb's personal library constituted a who's who of composers who both wrote for and played the flute, such as Andersen (1847-1909), Büchner (1825-1912), Doppler (1821-1883), Gariboldi (1833-1905) and Kuhlau (1786-1832). His library also included composers whose works or melodies have since been arranged for flute and piano.

In her centenary tribute to Leslie Barklamb, the current President of the Guild Mary Sheargold, refers to him as the "father of the flute in Australia." Over a teaching career of more than 65 years he taught many flautists who went on to become professional players (including some who had success overseas). Barklamb studied for two years (1917-1919) with John Amadio, an internationally renowned flautist, before learning from Alfred Weston-Pett. After obtaining a Diploma of Music at the Melbourne Conservatorium in 1925, Leslie Barklamb taught flute there (from 1929 to 1974), and he also played in Bernhard Heinze's University Orchestra and Alberto Zelman's Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. From 1958 onward he devoted his career to teaching, following hand problems and his retirement from the MSO. His pupils remember him as being a wonderfully enthusiastic teacher always happy to lend out his flutes and music. 


Amongst the countries represented in the Victorian Flute Guild Collection are Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States. The Ada Booth benefaction has enabled the cataloguing of over 150 of the scores relating to Slavic countries. Australian composers represented range from John Lemmoné (1861-1949, born in Vic.) to, Geoffrey Allen (b. 1927, living in WA., and soon to add a woodwind CD to his existing Iridescent Flute.)

Scores added to the collection since the 1970s tend to include works that have a particular focus on ensemble music, from flute duets to flute choir works; for instance, Kummer's flute trios have been added from Annette Sloan's personal library.

Not all of the music is for flute. Students seeking repertoire for other instruments may be interested to browse the whole range. On the one hand you might retrieve a ricercare from a canon originally composed by Palestrina (1525-1565), but arranged in the 1950s for oboe, clarinet, bassoon and horn; or you might instead find violin music such as the Schubert lied, "Ständchen," arranged for violin and piano by Mischa Elman in 1910.

One can retrieve all the works that have been catalogued to date by entering "Victorian Flute Guild Collection" into Library Search. If "Leslie Barklamb" is added, then all the works that were part of Leslie Barklamb's personal library can be identified. To find trios, for example, enter "Victorian Flute Guild trios" and limit the result to scores. Or you might wish to look for Borodin's "Polovtsian Dances" from Prince Igor, as arranged for piano.

Much of the earliest repertoire is in a fragile condition and needs to be consulted in the Special Collections Reading Room. In the spirit of continuing Leslie Barklamb's and the Victorian Flute Guild's legacy, our Library has first set about digitising the repertoire that is not readily accessible elsewhere, so that performers, teachers and students can enjoy a wider range of solo and chamber music.

Researchers will also be able to look at those rarer works from the 19th century that reveal fascinating insights into the publishing and dissemination of printed music, especially of sheet music for flute.

The Library is also digitising the back covers of these scores. The covers often contain useful information, such as advertisements for other music that would have been available at the time of the publication (see example at left).



Read More

1 February 2017

Women’s Letters and Diaries databases

The two resources featured here provide a valuable way to see into the past, says Melanie Thorn, Subject Librarian. 



Mary Queen of Scots is one of hundreds of writers whose
experiences are published here. 
British and Irish women's letters and diaries: 1500 to 1950, and its companion North American women's letters and diaries: colonial to 1950 are databases that reveal the personal experiences of over 400 British and more than 1300 North American women from various historical eras.

For example, the American database includes the story of Loreta Janeta Velazquez, who enlisted in the confederate army as Harry T. Buford in the 1870s. She wrote of her experiences in battle and as a Confederate spy, and her arrest for ‘being a woman in disguise’. "There was, evidently, something suspicious and mysterious about me; and, suspicion having once been excited, some lynx-eyed detective was not long in noting certain feminine ways I had, and which even my long practice in figuring as a man had not enabled me to get rid of." [1] 

Not only does the story point out that women fought in the Civil War, but provides insight into cultural and social understandings of women and femininity.

Gerda Lerner, an American historian who was involved in the creation of the first graduate program in women’s history in the United States, was unimpressed at the lack of interest in the topic when she entered academia in the mid 1960s.  “In my courses, the teachers told me about a world in which ostensibly one-half the human race is doing everything significant and the other half doesn’t exist.” [2] This was replicated in terms of research, with Lerner noting that the number of historians interested in women's history “could have fitted into a telephone booth”. [3]

Thankfully this has changed, but primary sources written by women can still be difficult to find and this is what makes these databases so valuable.

The search tool in these databases is incredibly powerful and allows you to easily search for very specific content, for example, content written by widowed women who lived in New York city in the 1860s, or for women who were writing about a particular historical event, like the bombing of Pearl Harbour. A good example of the latter is the American, Natalie Stark Crouter, who was confined in a Japanese civilian camp in the Philippines with her businessman husband and their two children throughout World War II.

She writes,  "After the children left for school, we turned on the radio about 8:15 -- and heard of the attack on Pearl Harbor. While listening, we heard planes and went out as usual to see them. Almost over the house, quite high, came seventeen big bombers in formation. We could see them plainly and thought they were American. I remarked, "Well, we probably won't be standing here looking up at planes like this much longer. As they passed almost opposite the house, we heard a long ripping sound like the tearing of a giant sheet and saw an enormous burst of smoke and earth near officers' quarters at Camp John Hay -- the first bombing of the Philippines before our eyes." [4]

In addition to the raw material like this, the database also includes biographies of many of the authors, providing the context of people who would otherwise be little known in history.

The two Diaries and Letters databases are available through Library Search, and the Databases A-Z. Please contact your subject librarian if you would like more details or help in using the databases: Melanie Thorn (Clayton) or  Rod Rizzi (Caulfield).

To discover more primary source databases for history see the Primary Sources library guide.






[1] Loreta Velazquez, The Woman in Battle: A Narrative of the Exploits, Adventures, and Travels of Madame Loreta Janeta Valazquez, Otherwise Known as Lieut. Harry T. Buford, Confederate States Army, (Hartford, CT: T. Belknap 1876) 278,  [accessed 10 January]

[2] William Grimes, ‘Gerda Lerner, a Feminist and Historian, dies at 92’, The New York Times, 3 January 2013 [accessed 16 January 2016], (para 4 of 24)

[3] Grimes, New York Times

[4]Natalie Stark Crouter, Forbidden Diary: A Record of Wartime Internment, (New York, NY: Burt Franklin & Co. 1980) , [accessed 10 January]

Read More

20 June 2016

Rare Books Week a must for book-lovers


Book lovers, local historians and collectors will be interested in the Melbourne Rare Books Week, to be held between July 14 and 24, 2016.

The mid-year program is a major attraction for book collectors, librarians and all who have a love of words, print on paper and literary heritage.

Monash is associated with a number of items on the program, with staff presenting topics including The Tyranny of Distance, 50 years on (Emeritus Prof Graeme Davison), Banned books exposed (Dr Patrick Spedding), Illustrated books (Stephen Herrin) and Keeping the originals (Professor Wallace Kirsop with a panel). Other speakers during the week include Emeritus Prof. Chris Browne, Adj Assoc Prof John Arnold, and former Rare Books Librarian Richard Overell.

Two of the free events are to be held at the Monash Law Chambers in Collins Street, while others are to be held at the State Library of Victoria, the Library at the Dock, the Supreme Court Library and other city venues.

All events are free, but bookings are needed in most cases. The full program and links for individual rsvps can be found on the web page.

Read More

2 September 2015

Explore old texts in new ways

Read old texts as they were originally intended by their famous or non-famous authors, with Oxford Scholarly Editions Online , says Anne Melles, Subject Librarian for Literary Studies.


Oxford Scholarly Editions Online (OSEO) has recently added three new modules of literature to its collection. These are extensive collections of Romantics Poetry and Romantics Prose, and a very limited collection of Romantics Drama.

Works from the most famous English and European Romantic authors and poets are included, for example, Byron, Goethe, Shelley,  and Dorothy and William Wordsworth.  In addition the modules contain the works of selected philosophers of the time, including Bolzano, Godwin, and Hegel.  The collection contains fascinating insights into the world of that time:
• Lord Byron saw the waltz as "a sign of indecorum, even depravity", and his poem, Waltz: An Apostrophic Hymn By Horace Hornem, Esq, conveys his distaste.
• What did Percy Bysshe Shelley have to say of Frankenstein, the famous Gothic horror penned by his wife, Mary Shelley? Read his review of her book.
• An alderman meets his untimely demise during a fantastical feast in this prose, attributed to William Hazlitt and inspired by the opulence of the Lord Mayor's Banquet.

Primary texts in OSEO are annotated by respected scholars, for example many of the Shakespeare texts are edited by Stanley Wells.  The annotations are both textual and background in nature and provide a much useful information for students working on assignments and scholars researching this period.

Oxford provide some excellent material to help researchers learn about OSEO. You can browse A-Z and chronologically by Author, Work and Edition. Click here to take a tour of the collection. 





Read More

29 April 2015

WWII maps of Pacific preserved online

Monash University Research Repository has recently completed a mammoth project digitising   World War II maps and terrain studies....by Barbara Wojtkowski and Bronwyn Foott.


Terrain Studies - Repository
One of the AGS maps: Seeadler Harbour, Manus Island,
 Admiralty Islands, Papua New Guinea
Since Australian and New Zealand Forces landed at Gallipoli 100 years  ago, Australian Forces have taken part in many campaigns all over the world, including, during World War II, in the South West Pacific Area (SWPA) immediately north of Australia.

Monash University Research Repository has now digitised all Monash holdings of a critical geographic resource from that period, the Terrain Studies.

The South West Pacific was a key destination for Australian Forces, but unfortunately very little was actually known about it. After all, who had actually mapped all the island chains, all the numerous archipelagos and highlands? What were the conditions? Who lived there? Was there any food that could be found locally? What about diseases? And thousands of our young people were about to go into these areas to survive, fight and die. What to do?

In the background, away from the front line, an organisation called the Allied Geographical Service (AGS) was formed in 1942 with the task of remedying this situation. Its function was to prepare various ‘publications’ to address this lack of fundamental and critical information. Among the AGS’ publications were the Terrain Studies whose purpose was to cover a specified area as completely as possible from a military perspective. This they did under difficult conditions, with very limited resources, often with only three weeks’ notice. By the time of its dissolution in November, 1945, the AGS had produced 110 Terrain Studies.

The Studies themselves contain detailed text, photographs, diagrams, maps and often annotations, as new information came to hand; everything that could be found from every possible source in Australia and overseas in the time allowed. They were used in planning and later as the basis for another publication, the Terrain Handbooks, which had a wider distribution. These Terrain Studies have now been digitised in their entirety – each Study, the text, the photos, maps and diagrams in exquisite and intricate detail.

So, why are they so important? Why make a fuss about something which was used so far in the past?....  History, is one major reason. In addition to valuable academic research in the field, these resources may be useful to personal researchers who are tracing the last movements of relatives.

For use with a modern application, the maps and annotations are highly accurate. Their application to coastal change, climate change and related disciplines is unquestionable.


Read More

2 February 2015

American Congress historic papers now available

An outstanding new collection acquired by the  Library is a U.S. ‘national treasure’.....by Jenny Casey

The United States Capitol, the home of Congress,
 in the 1840s.

The Library is delighted to announce the acquisition of two prestigious primary sources from Readex which combined provide comprehensive, digitised access to documents on people, issues and events in American history, politics, law and culture since 1817.

Often described as a “national treasure”, the United States Congressional Serial Set (1817-1994) provides 11 million pages of reports, documents, maps, illustrations, statistical tables and journals of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives from the 15th to the 103rd Congress.  American State Papers (1789-1838) covers the legislative and executive documents of the first 14 Congresses during the period 1789 to 1838, filling the critical historical gap from 1789 to the printing of the first volume of the Serial Set in 1817.

Dr. Taylor Spence, Lecturer in American History at Monash University, said “The United States Serial Set is the complete archive of every word written or uttered in the U.S. Congress and is a treasure trove of data for all aspects of American history.”

A powerful search engine enables researchers to explore in minute detail every document in the collection, whilst also searching related collections such as America’s Historical Newspapers.

Interested staff and students are invited to register for an information session at the Matheson Library on Tuesday February 17th. This session will highlight examples of the rich content and provide tips for easy searching.

For further information please contact:
Jenny Casey, Subject librarian, history: jenny.casey@monash.edu
Sue Little,Subject librarian, government publications; sue.little@monash.edu

Read More



About the Blog

Welcome to the Monash University Library blog. Whether you are engaged in learning, teaching or research activities, the Library and its range of programs, activities and resources will contribute to your success. Here you will find useful information, ideas, tips and inspiration. Your comments on any of the articles are welcome.

If you believe that copyright material is available on this blog in such a way that infringes copyright, please contact our designated representative

.