This past weekend I attended the Midwest chapter meeting of the Music Library Association in Champagne-Urbana, Illinois. If I’m counting correctly, I attended at least eleven sessions, not including the graduate student lightning rounds, poster session, or the tour of the Sousa Archives and Center for American Music. The presentations were on all kinds of subjects, like digital tools for instruction, how to cite trans authors, and the history of protest music in Puerto Rico. I myself presented a lightning talk on outreach events I participated in with my job at the Latin American Music Center.
This last one featured, of course, plenty of music from the March King, John Philip Sousa. Scores written in his hand, at least one early recording of his band, and other Sousa memorabilia made me a little nostalgic for the many times I’ve played trombone in a band performing a Sousa march (generally, a much more exciting trombone part than a lot of other band music). There were also a surprising number of banjos on display, which seems to have to do with some outreach projects the archive has worked on.
It wasn’t a cataloging-heavy conference, but I think there is value in being aware of what other libraries are doing in other areas.