Category: New Acquisitions (page 1 of 8)

Meet the Problem Solvers: Sandi-Jo Malmon, Librarian for Collection Development and Interim Director

What does a Library Director/Collection Development Librarian do?

My job is both Collection Development and the management of the Music library, as Interim Director. As Collection Development librarian, I look at our collection through a creative lens. I search for opportunities to not only collect music by composers whose works are widely recorded and performed, but also those who are lesser known. To shine the spotlight on new contemporary composers from around the world is a great privilege.

As Interim Director, I manage overall responsibilities for the library including budget, collections, and programs that support research and teaching activities. I encourage and support the staff to be the best contributors they can be. We have a great team and I am really proud of the work we are doing together.

What’s your favorite thing about the Music Library?

There are so many things I love about the Music Library but what first comes to mind are the collections. Music represents a deep form of communication and to see the gathering of our diverse history is mind-boggling in its rich complexity.

Sandi-Jo Malmon stands in front of a table holding an oblong manuscript score. She is wearing glasses and a red sweater.

Sandi-Jo receiving antiquarian purchase of Gioachino Rossini’s original manuscripts of one of his most enduring operas, “William Tell.” Strangely, the manuscript is missing the most famous part of this opera: the overture, familiar from its ubiquitous borrowings, for example the opening theme of the Lone Ranger and in the 1948 Looney Tunes classic, “Bugs Bunny Rides Again.” Merritt Mus 795.1.667.2. Reproduced by permission of the Harvard Crimson. Photographer: Steve S. Li.

Do you have a favorite memory from your time in the Music Library?

One day years ago in the first floor work room, many of the staff members gathered to dance the Macarena! It was hilarious because we were all so different, but we had a total blast learning the dance together. I still laugh when I think about that memory!

Who are you when you aren’t at the Music Library? 

When I am not working in the Library I work as a cellist. I particularly enjoy studying and performing chamber music, especially string quartets. I’ve been really lucky to play in a professional quartet called Aryaloka String Quartet and in the Kaleidoscope Trio, as well as the Kaleidoscope Chamber Ensemble, for many years, which had its debut in Lincoln Center in the early 90’s.

Where do you find comfort and strength in a scary and unknown time?

I am finding tremendous comfort in how connected my extended family is. I have four sisters and, believe it or not, I am the quietest of the bunch. We laugh a lot. My sisters, along with my many nieces and nephews, have made managing this difficult time easier. I am also fortunate to be in a long and loving marriage.

What do you love most about your work?

What I love most about my work is doing the research to discover the depth of diversity within our discipline. It will be a great challenge to make these works freely accessible. I also love the great synergy at the Music Library. We are greater than the sum of our parts!

Four musicians are smiling and holding their instruments: two violins, a viola and a cello.

The Aryaloka String Quartet, featuring Sandi-Jo Malmon on cello. Photograph by Susan Wilson.

The secret garden of Pierre Bergé

The Loeb Music Library has just acquired three items previously owned by the French industrialist, arts patron and AIDS activist Pierre Bergé (1930-2017). A co-founder of the fashion house Yves Saint Laurent, Bergé cultivated a “jardin secret” all his life, accumulating important rare books and scores as well as Impressionist paintings, Old Master drawings and decorative ceramics.

There is a very rare first issue of the first edition of Mozart’s six Opus 3 trio sonatas, published in 1764. These were “Printed for the author and sold at his lodgings,” the house in Soho where eight-year-old Wolfgang Mozart, his sister Nannerl and their father Leopold resided during the London period of their  European tour.

The title page of a newly acquired Mozart score.

Merritt Mus 745.1.383.1

Bound in are several items accumulated by owners prior to Bergé, including a note detailing the purchase history by the original owner, Thomas Jones (“It was of the little musician himself I purchased this book”), several newspaper items, and a portrait of the Mozart family.

This note was pasted into the score by its first owner, Thomas Jones.

Merritt Mus 745.1.383.1

A newspaper clipping tells of a concert and an open house by eight-year-old Mozart.

Merritt Mus 745.1.383.1

Mozart family portrait, pasted to a blank page preceding the score.

Merritt Mus 745.1.383.1

This item was acquired by the Schafer Mozart Book Fund. Images of the entire score will soon be available online.

And there are two collections of early trio sonatas by Arcangelo Corelli, printed in Bologna in 1688 and in Venice in 1691.

The title page of a 1691 collection of trio sonatas by Arcangelo Corelli, published in Venice by Giuseppe Sala.

Merritt Mus 640.2.383.15

Two collections of late-seventeenth-century trio sonatas by Corelli, bound by the Paris firm Boichot.

Merritt Mus 640.2.383.15 and Merritt Mus 640.2.373.5

Like the rest of Pierre Bergé’s library, all three of these scores are exquisitely housed. The Mozart sonatas were bound in rich green morocco leather with gilt edges by the Victorian bookbinding company Blunson & Company, of whose work Harvard Library possesses two other equally magnificent examples. The Corelli scores were recently given pale lilac portfolios which slide into matching slipcases, an enclosure designed by Atelier de Libraire, a family firm in Paris. And all three of these items contain Bergé’s simple, elegant bookplate.

The bookplate of industrialist and collector Pierre Bergé.

Merritt Mus 745.1.383.1

Merritt Room collections are available for use on site by anyone with a Special Collections Request Account. Please place your request by clicking View Onsite in HOLLIS, then wait to hear from Isham Memorial Library staff before planning your visit.

 

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