Music Library Association Northern California Chapter
Vol. 15, no. 2 (Spring 2001)

MLA/NCC Spring Meeting

Friday, May 18, 2001
UC-Berkeley Music Department, Morrison Hall

Please plan to attend the Spring 2001 meeting at the University of California, Berkeley. Our preliminary program includes a presentation by Laura Prichard (UC-Berkeley Music Library) on on-line archival resources in music, and a presentation by Jason Gibbs (San Francisco Public Library) on current research in Vietnamese music. In the morning, John Roberts will discuss in greater detail planning for the upcoming August 2002 meeting of the International Association of Music Libraries, to be hosted by UC-Berkeley. We will also have time to discuss future activities of the MLA/NCC Chapter; ideas for meetings, presentations and projects are warmly encouraged.

9:30-10:00 am: Coffee and pastries, UC Berkeley Music Department Faculty Lounge, 101 Morrison Hall.
10:00-12 noon: IAML planning session; Fall 2001 MLA/NCC meeting; discussion of future events
12 noon-1:30 pm: Lunch at the Berkeley Thai House, Channing Way
1:45-3:00 pm: Presentations: Laura Prichard, Jason Gibbs. Presentations will be held in the Music Library Seminar Room, 240 Morrison Hall.
3:00-4:00 pm: MLA/NCC business; round robin of news from the membership

Minutes of October 27, 2000 Meeting

Judy Clarence, CSU Hayward
Chapter Secretary

The Northern California Chapter of the Music Library Association held its Fall 2000 meeting at the College of Marin, Kentfield Campus. Present were Nancy Lorimer (Chair), Tony Calvo, Judy Clarence, Sally Berlowitz, Michael Irvine, Laura Pritchard, Mimi Tashiro, Richard Ross, Deborah Smith, John Roberts, Patricia Stroh, and Ray Heigemeir.Once again, we began the business meeting with a discussion of the IAML 2002 conference. Four- to five-hundred attendees are anticipated at this event, which will be held at the Clark Kerr campus of UC Berkeley from Sunday, August 4, through Friday, August 9. John Roberts advised the group that registration matters will be dealt with centrally by IAML, but local arrangements are to be dealt with by the Northern California crew. Discussion ranged from ideas for a gala reception, concerts and tours to the farewell dinner. Anyone wishing to help should contact John (

Other highlights:
* Laura Pritchard volunteered to keep the web page up to date and will contact Michael Colby to discuss this further.
* Mimi Tashiro has transferred the chapter archives which were in her possession to the National MLA Archives at the University of Maryland.
* In Fall, 2001, MLA/NCC will host the Southern California Chapter at a joint meeting.
Highlights of the traditional Round Robin:
* Laura Pritchard: Earl "Fatha" Hines has donated all his papers to the Music Library at UC Berkeley. Laura also updated us on construction of the new Music Library building scheduled to open in 2002 (probably not in time for IAML).
* Tony Calvo: Tony has been in his new job at University of the Pacific for just four weeks. The Library has received a Library Services and Technology grant to work on reformatting and digitilizing the Brubeck collection.
* Ray Hegemeir and Mimi Tashiro: Stanford is looking to hire a para-professional music acquisitions person.
* Sally Berlowitz: The San Francisco State University Library is running out of space; has consulted with architects concerning a possible shared library facility with the Sutro Library, depending on passage of a future bond initiative. If the building is redesigned, compact storage will be constructed next to the current building while the current building is gutted and redesigned. Special Collections, Labor Archives, and the De Bellis Collection, might share a reading room.
* Deborah Smith: San Francisco Conservatory of Music will move at some point in the next decade, to a property on Oak Street between Van Ness and Franklin where a Lyon's restaurant used to be.
* Richard Ross: Richard attended the Ninth Annual Conference on Oriental Carpets in Milan. While there he saw the opera Utis by Berio (he walked out after the first act). At a small Milanese theater he enjoyed the Paisiello opera Nana o la Pazzia del'Amore.
* Pat Stroh: The Beethoven Center at San Jose State University has acquired an original fortepiano from Vienna, dated 1827, in excellent condition. Inaugural performances will take place in April. In addition to her responsibilities in the Beethoven Center, Pat now spends a quarter of her time doing collection development and bibliographic instruction in music in the SJSU Main Library. Construction of the new joint SJSU and San Jose Public Libraries has begun and is scheduled to be completed in 2003.
* Michael Irvine: College of Marin has succeeded in getting back or replacing many of the CDs which were stolen recently. However, since the Music Library receives no funding from the Library, only from the Music Department, very little replacement money is available. Michael would be grateful for any donations of scores, books, or CDs.
Following adjournment, the group enjoyed a lively performance by Paul Smith along with fellow instructors and students from the College of Marin music department who performed Halloween selections. Next was Corinne Swall, founder of the Mother Lode Musical Theatre & Seminars, who gave an enjoyable presentation, complete with costumes, of 19th century California music including tunes from the Gold Rush era.New URL for the Chapter WebsiteThe chapter website's new URL there for past issues of the newsletter.

Duckles, Vincent Harris (1913-1985)

by Mary Kay Duggan
(reprinted from the Dictionary of American Library Biography, Supplement 2).
Vincent Harris Duckles was born in Boston, Massachusetts, on September 21, 1913, to Frederick Duckles and Harriet Harris Duckles. Both from Illinois, the Duckleses had moved to Boston to pursue their careers as social workers and Vincent was born on the top floor of a settlement house. The family moved to Oroville, California, when he was 18 months old, and then to Berkeley where he began junior high school. As an undergraduate at the University of California, Berkeley, he studied philosophy and English literature, waiting until his senior year to major in music. As a child he had studied the piano and organ, and by high school was playing the double bass. After completing an A.B. degree in 1936, he studied organ in Chicago and then moved to New York to enter the doctoral program in education at Columbia University with the goal of developing a broadly-conceived course in music that could accompany the band classes so popular in American high schools. He earned an M.A. in 1937 and an Ed.D. in 1944 with a dissertation on "A High School Course in Creative Music." Between 1941 and 1944 he taught music in secondary schools in Dover, Delaware, and Bakersfield, California. In 1937 he married Madeline Taylor whom he had met while an undergraduate at UC Berkeley. A commandingly tall individual, Duckles and his five sons (Lawrence, Christopher, Lee, Peter, and Jeremy, all over six feet) were known for their musical evenings at home. Duckles was an accomplished organist and double-bass player, though performance became a challenge later in life with as his hearing loss increased.

In 1944 Duckles returned to Berkeley where he began taking courses in musicology at the University of California, Berkeley, studying with German-born Manfred Bukofzer who had immigrated in 1939 to the United States and become a professor at UC Berkeley in 1941. Bukofzer had found UC's music collection lacking in materials, formal organization, and staffing, and encouraged the university to remedy the situation. The Berkeley Music Library was founded on July 1, 1947, and Duckles, Bukofzer's doctoral student, was appointed as its first head. He earned a Bachelor of Library Science from UC Berkeley in 1950, won a Fulbright to Cambridge (1950-51), and received a Ph.D. in musicology in 1953 with a dissertation on 17th-century English song. By 1957 he had helped design a music library in the music department's new building which was more comfortable and attractive than that of any American university music library of its time. He was appointed associate professor in 1957, won a second Fulbright to Göttingen (1957-58), and was promoted to full professor of music in 1962. In 1964 he did research in Florence through a grant from the American Council of Learned Societes. He remained head of the Music Library until his retirement in 1980, when he was awarded a University Citation for Distinguished Achievement and Notable Service.

With the move to a new building, the stage was set for a dramatic transformation of the informal book collection to what is today recognized as one of the leading collections in the United States. Duckles gained the confidence of the University Librarian, Donald Coney, and persuaded him to allow all the music materials in the main library to be moved to the new building in 1958. With Coney's full support, the music librarian could embark on the treasure hunt through the bookshops of Europe that would bring to Berkeley a storehouse of rare books and manuscripts, although Duckles pinpointed the late forties and early fifties as the true "heady times for book buyers." Critical acquisitions were the personal libraries of two eminent German musicologists, Bukofzer (d. 1955) and Alfred Einstein (d. 1952). In order to address a perceived weakness in the field of opera, Duckles found two major collections of vocal scores, one put together by an Italian count in the late nineteenth century and the other the pride and joy of Sigmund Romberg, composer of such operettas as The Desert Song and The Student Prince. The systematic effort to buy rare materials covering the wide spectrum of faculty interests would not have been possible with the limited allocations available from state funds. Fortunately the University received a bequest that allowed it to establish an endowment for purchasing rare library materials in music. Duckles went on to acquire two large collections of Italian librettos ("Libretti by the Thousands" Cum Notis Variorum 10:3 [1977]); the dramatic music section of Alfred Cortot's library, one of the great private collections of the century; and numerous smaller finds some of which have, through research and study, proved to be unique in the world. The Duckles's home became a regular stop for visiting European book dealers and the couple combed bookshops in Europe during every visit. Many view the collections at Berkeley as Duckles' greatest achievement.

Before his retirement, Duckles summarized his development of the Music Library collections in an article, "The University of California (Berkeley) Music Library," Notes 36:7-22 (1979). During the International Musicological Society meeting in Berkeley in 1977, Duckles sponsored two exhibitions with associated catalogs that presented some of the treasures of the library and department, one on early music printing (Early Music Printing in the Music Library: An Exhibition in Honor of the 12th Congress of the International Musicological Society. Catalog of the Exhibition, [Berkeley: The General Library, 1977]) and another on the impressive music instrument collection (Musical Instruments, East and West: A Catalog of an Exhibition on the Occasion of the Twelfth Congress of the International Musicological Society (Berkeley, California, August 21-27, 1977) [Berkeley: The Music Library, 1977]).

Throughout his career, Duckles was an active participant in professional associations. He was active in the Music Library Association, serving on the board of directors as member-at-large, vice-president during 1953-55 and 1960-61, and president in 1961. He was a frequent speaker at national meetings and chaired the Survey of Library Resources, Constitutional Revision and Program committees. He helped to activate a Northern California Chapter of MLA with a 1948 Institute on Music Librarianship, co-sponsored by the Chapter, the American Musicological Society, and UC Berkeley. The papers of that institute are an early illustration of Duckles's life-long concern with developing a comprehensive overview of his profession of librarianship, as well as with the field of musicology itself. Recognition of his leadership in creating a professional definition of the field came with the position as issue editor of "Music Libraries and Librarianship," Library Trends 8 (1959-60). In his introduction to the issue ("The Music Librarian in 1960"), Duckles emphasized the broad nature of the work of music subject specialists: "Much of the vitality of this field comes from the outsiders not associated with a library staff, from the musicologists, the music educators and private teachers, the music dealers and publishers, collectors, critics, and musicians of all varieties of purpose." He acknowledged the dichotomy between scholar-bibliographers and those chiefly concerned with practical techniques and services, and organized the issue to balance the content and services of research and public libraries.
In 1951 Duckles was the United States representative at a meeting in Paris of the preparatory committee that established the International Association of Music Libraries, an IFLA organization that was the first among library subject specialties to achieve an independent association under the auspices of UNESCO. Americans were introduced to IAML in his article in Notes 8:259-64 (1951), "Concerning the International Association of Music Libraries." From 1975 to 1978 he was president of the U.S. Branch, and he was elected an honorary member of the Association in 1980. He frequently contributed papers to the annual meetings, including: "The Place of Gramophone Records in a University Library," in Troisième congrès international des bibliothèques musicales, Paris, 22-25 juillet 1951: Actes du congrès, ed. by Vladimir Fédorov, 65-71 (Kassel: Bärenreiter, 1953); "The Role of the Public Library in Modern Musical Education," Fontes Artis Musicae 3:37-38 (1956); "The Growth and Organization of Music Research Libraries in the Western United States," in Music Libraries and Instruments: Papers Read at the Joint Congress, 1959, of the International Association of Music Libraries and the Galpin Society, ed. by Unity Sherrington and Guy Oldham, 47-53 (London: Hinrichsen, 1961); "Service in the Music Research Library," Fontes Artis Musicae 19:181-83 (1972).

In 1980 Duckles received the Music Library Association's Citation for Outstanding Contribution to the Profession "for outstanding contributions to the Association as a scholar, librarian, and bibliographer, who is already memorialized by scholars and librarians, not as Vincent Duckles, but as Look-It-Up-In Duckles, latest edition." In 1985 the Music Library Association established the Vincent H. Duckles Award, an annual prize for the best book-length bibliography or reference work in music. The prize, awarded since 1976, was renamed after Duckles's death to honor his outstanding contributions in the fields of the prize.

Duckles was also an active member of the American Musicological Society, both nationally and locally. He served as a member of the national Council in 1953-55, 1960-62, 1964-66, 1969-71, and 1974-76, and was a Member at Large of the Board of Directors in 1963, 1965, and 1969-70. He was awarded honorary membership by the Society in 1982.
Half of Duckles's time was spent in teaching and research. A published bibliography of his writings contains 101 entries: 33 on music libraries and the profession, 25 on music reference and bibliography; 29 on English song, and 14 on the history of scholarship and musicology. An outstanding example of a librarian who was first trained as a scholar, he regularly taught in the Department of Music and, among his many courses, the graduate seminar "Introduction to Music Scholarship" became renowned. By request he described the course in an article in MLA's journal Notes 20:41-44 (1962-63), "The Teaching of Music Bibliography: A Consideration of Basic Text Materials." Students were expected to use manuscripts from the Music Library collection for their final paper in the course. The presentation of such papers often included performance of the music under study and members of the department were invited to attend and comment. Some of those papers resulted in later dissertations and publications; many of the originals remain in the Duckles Archive at the Music Library today. The importance of the teacher-librarian in the academic library was emphasized in Duckles's introduction to his Library Trends issue of 1960: "The teaching situation presents an opportunity for reference work of the highest order, a chance to bring students, particularly at the graduate level, into productive relationship with their research materials, to help them select their projects and guide them to the relevant literature."
In an effort to organize the bibliography of music for teaching, Duckles early prepared a list for his students. The first published version of music sources, "A Guide to Reference Materials on Music," appeared in the papers of the 1948 Institute on Music Librarianship. He revised it with the help of his reference librarian, Harriet Nicewonger, and it was printed by the University of California Press (1949; 1952; 1957, with Minnie Elmer). It would grow to become a monumental overview of the discipline entitled Music Reference and Research Materials (1964, 1967, 1974) that became the standard in the field, considered indispensable to scholars. "What Winchell [ALA's Guide to Reference Books] is to the librarian, Duckles is to the musicologist." The author remembered his students: "the work is actually intended to fulfill the requirements of two groups: graduate students who need to become acquainted with the resources for musical research, and music reference librarians whose job is to help others find the information they want." The perceptive annotations of entries are one of the most important features of the book and one that reveals the depth and acuity of the author's scholarship across many languages. In 1984, faced with failing health, Duckles enlisted the help of Michael Keller to complete a fourth edition that would be published three years after his death. An ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award was accepted by Keller and Madeline Duckles "for outstanding print coverage of music." Duckles's bibliography remains popular in a fifth edition of 1997, edited under the supervision of Ida Reed.
As a charter contributor to the Journal of the American Musicological Society (1:23-40 [1949]), Duckles published an article on 17th-century English song, the subject of his dissertation that would be completed in 1953 as "John Gamble's Commonplace book: A Critical Edition of New York Public Library MS Drexel 4257." With Minnie Elmer he authored the Thematic Catalog of a Manuscript Collection of Eighteenth-Century Italian Instrumental Music in the University of California, Berkeley, Music Library (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1963). That edition was reissued in a microfiche facsimile edition (New York: University Music Editions, 2001).

The field of musicology underwent scrutiny and revision in the expanding higher education environment of the sixties. Duckles was a participant in discussions that attempted to define the field, and to describe its historical foundations in the period of the Enlightenment. A prospectus for a history of musical scholarship that would remain a major focus of his research activities until his death was presented as one of the thirteen lectures at The City University of New York that inaugurated its Ph.D. program in musicology in 1968-69 ("Musicology at the Mirror - A Prospectus for a History of Musical Scholarship," Perspectives in Musicology: The Inaugural Lectures of the Ph.D. Program in Music at the City University of New York, ed. Barry S. Brook [New York: W. W. Norton, 1972, pp. 32-55]). Responsibility for the major article on "Musicology" for The Grove Dictionary of Music was given to Duckles, a member of the executive board of the project. After a long process of meetings and phone calls with collaborators (Howard Mayer Brown, George J. Buelow, Mark Lindley, Lewis Lockwood, Miloš Velimirovi and Ian D. Bent) he put together a foundational article that remains in large part in today's online edition (London: Macmillan, 1980, 12:836-63). Interestingly Duckles also wrote the article on ethnomusicology, a field whose coverage throughout the 1980 Grove Dictionary would be heavily criticized. Published work that reveals the scholar's progress toward his history of musical scholarship includes "Thoughts on Writing a Comprehensive History of 18th-Century Music" (Current Musicology 9:81-83 (1969)) and "Patterns in the Historiography of 19th-Century Music" (Acta Musicologica 42:75-82 (1970)). Duckles's grasp of the entire bibliography of the field that came with the process of selecting and annotating entries for his music reference guide made him uniquely qualified for the challenging project he had taken on.

During his retirement Duckles continued his research and professional activities but progressive ill health hindered his progress. He died of complications relating to Parkinson's disease on July 1, 1985, at the age of 71. Music Reference and Research Materials lives on under new editors but the hoped-for volume on the history of musical scholarship did not get written. His true legacies are the library collections and the generations of students that were trained by a truly exceptional scholar/teacher/librarian.

Biographical listings and obituaries--
"Remembering Vincent Duckles." Cum notis variorum 95:3-11 (Aug.-Sept. 1985).
American Organist 20:55 (January 1986) [Obituary].
Fontes artis musicae 32:212 (1985 ) [Obituary]. The Musical Times 126:620 (1985) [Obituary].
San Francisco Chronicle 16 (A) (July 2, 1985) [Obituary].
Brett, Philip. "Vincent H. Duckles." Grovemusic, ed. Stanley Sadie and John Tyrrell (New York: Grove's Dictionaries, 2000).
Books and articles about Duckles
Adamson, Danette Cook, and Mimi Tashiro. "Servants, Scholars, and Sleuths: Early Leaders in California Music Librarianship." Notes 48:806-35 (1992).
Elliott, Patricia, and Mark S. Roosa, eds. "Vincent Duckles (1913-1985): A Bibliography of His Publications." Notes 44:252-58 (1987).
Roberts, John and Penelope Mathiesen, eds. "The Music Library, University of California, Berkeley." The Library Quarterly 64:73-84 (1994).
Roberts, John. "The Berkeley Music Library at Fifty." Reprinted from the Concert Program for Haydn's Creation (Berkeley: University of California Department of Music, 1997); Music Library, University of California, Berkeley;
Primary sources and archival materials--
6 boxes, Music Library, University of California, Berkeley.
Personal papers in the possession of Madeline Duckles, Berkeley, California.

News of Members

In Fall 2000, Antonio Calvo was appointed the Humanities / Music Librarian at the University of the Pacific. Antonio graduated from San Jose State University in May 2000. While attending school he worked at the Beethoven Center with Patricia Stroh, at Adobe Systems as an intern and at the Sunnyvale Public Library on a digital oral-history project. He received a Bachelor of Music degree in performance from San Francisco State University in 1985. He has performed extensively in the San Francisco Bay Area with a number of groups including: SF State Hot Five, <<< (pronounced "ku ku ku"), Plateau Ensemble, Four, Jazz Trio '88, Orquesta Gitano, Joyo, Earnerve, and Watershed. Antonio currently lives in Stockton with his cat Bettina. He enjoys gardening and bicycling.

2002 MLA in Las Vegas

The annual meeting of the Music Library Association will be held February 16 through February 21, 2002 at the Riviera in Las Vegas. Future M.L.A. meetings will be held in Austin, Texas (2003), Washington, D.C. / Crystal City, Virginia (2004), and Vancouver, British Columbia (2005).

IAML meetings

The International Association of Music Libraries (IAML) will hold its next meetings in Périgeux, France from July 8 to July 14, 20, 2001. For further information visit the IAML-USA 2002 meetings will be held in Berkeley from August 4 through August 9, 2002.


Patricia Elliott Stroh
Center for Beethoven Studies
One Washington Square
San Jose State University
San Jose, CA 95192-0171

Ray Heigemeir
Music Cataloger
Braun Music Center, 541 Lasuen Mall
Stanford University
Stanford, CA 94305-3076

Past Chair
Nancy Lorimer
Stanford University Library
Braun Music Center
Stanford University
Stanford, CA 94305

Judy Clarence
Music Library
Hayward, CA 94542

Newsletter Editor
Jason Gibbs
Art and Music Center
San Francisco Public Library
Civic Center
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 557-4525