Citations (Library Newsletter) September 1998


Music Distress Call Answered


by Gary W. Mayhood, Associate Professor

Bibliographic Services,


Several years ago, it was noticed that a number of the Library’s music scores were beginning to show the wear and tear of years of use.  Covers were loose or falling off, staples were rusting and staining the paper, and pages were torn free of their bindings. Something needed to be done, or the collection would deteriorate further.


Gwen Gregory, the Head of Bibliographic Services, and I sent forth a distress call in the form of a proposal appropriately called S.O.S. (Save Our Scores) with the aim of finding the resources to restore a great majority of these scores.  Through the generosity of Jack W. Ward, a long-time friend of the NMSU campus, our distress call was answered with a gift fully funding the project.


The S.O.S. project began this summer, and should be completed by the end of December. Over a thousand single signature scores have been identified as needing rebinding or some form of physical aid.  Each score will be sewn into a special acid-free pamphlet binder, using heavy cotton thread.  With staples removed, damage to the paper will be minimized, and the score will have enough reinforcement to withstand many years of use.


The Library’s collection of scores is a very precious resource to the university and to New Mexico.  One of the largest collections of music in the state, it is heavily used by faculty, students, the community, and through interlibrary loan.  Our collection houses some very unique resources, including fine collections of scores by Polish and contemporary Japanese composers, as well as the scores (many original manuscripts) of NMSU’s Warner Hutchison, who taught in the Music Department for many years.  Our music collection needs to grow to meet the ever-expanding needs of our campus.  With generous support from donors such as Mr. Ward, we can meet the future needs of our faculty and students.