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Cook Welcomes New Dance and Popular Music Gift Collections

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Cook Welcomes New Dance and Popular Music Gift Collections

subpagepic This past year, Cook Library has been very lucky to be the recipient of two major gifts of materials in the performing arts. In early fall, local journalist Joan Jacobson donated her personal collection of books about dance. Joan's book collection reflects a wide variety of historical periods in dance history along with biographical accounts of the lives of notable dancers and choreographers. The collection also includes some unique and special titles such as oversize photographic essay books and rare, hard-to-find volumes. A few months later, David Sherbow, a music industry executive and adjunct instructor at TU, came forward offering his collection of popular music and music industry titles.

With these collections also came a dilemma; while staff and administrators very much wanted to accept the donations, space restrictions meant that the collections could not be shelved in one specially designated area within the building. In many cases, it was not feasible to keep the materials together. Many titles could be placed directly in the stacks, but some of the truly special titles such as a copy of an Aerosmith biography signed by the band members need to be kept under the watchful eyes of Special Collections staff. A solution to the problem of how to unite the collection items came with the idea of naming each collection.

With each of these collections, the items are tied together by sharing a common designated name. In the case of Joan's donation, her collection came to be called the Joan Jacobson Dance Collection. The books are shelved in Special Collections, the stacks areas, and the Reference Collection. Each item has a book plate identifying the donor and the named collection, but they are shelved in their respective locations. Each catalog record carries the donor's name and the named collection designation. This means that it is possible to search by the name of the donor and see all the titles that are included in that collection. This same situation applies to the David A. Sherbow Popular Music Collection.

Visitors to the library web site can go to the Special Collections and Archives page and look under the Collections link to learn more about each gift. Each donor has a special web page with a biography, a personal photograph, and a link to a list of the items in those collections. The page has a personalization which reflects that donor: Joan has elected to supply annotations for some of her favorite titles, while David has written his personal philosophy about book collecting. Though these books may not sit side by side on a particular bookshelf, each collection's title links its items together and allows visitors to investigate a wealth of related materials on performing arts research.

Written by Lisa Woznicki

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