Music and film resources on the Web for librarians

Created for the Central Connecticut Internet Roundtable, Tuesday, March 17, 1998
Updated December 2008

Note: this page will no longer be updated. Links are current only through December 2008.

Music Library Related Organizations on the Web
Public Libraries on the Web
Finding and Evaluating Music Resources on the Web
General Music Resources
Film, Video, and Film Music
Collection Development & Acquisitions
Collection Development
Collection development Polices
Acquisition Information
Music Selection Resources on the Web
Sites for ordering:
  printed music | CDs
Cataloging & Processing
Physical Processing
Binding Music
Processing and Preserving:
Sound Recordings | Film and Videos
Sheet Music

Music Library-Related Organizations on the Web

Music Library Association: The professional organization in the United States devoted to music librarianship and to all aspects of music materials in libraries.

MLA Clearinghouse: The Clearinghouse distributes information related to music librarianship. Any information of relevance to music librarianship will be considered for distribution. Such information may include, but is not limited to:

Most Clearinghouse documents are available in print version at a low cost, to cover printing and postage costs. No documents distributed by the Clearinghouse are endorsed by the MLA, nor has any been subject to MLA editorial scrutiny or peer review.

MLA-L: The Music Library Association Mailing List. MLA-L provides services such as mail distribution, mail archiving, and file/document serving. The list is also used for music reference and cataloging inquiries and other topics of interest to the music library community. Instructions for subscribing and more information about MLA-L can be found at this site. The archive is searchable by keyword, subject word, and date. This is a very useful source for such information as care, handling, and circulation of sound recordings, binding music, etc.

NEMLA: The New England Chapter of the Music Library Association

MOUG: Music OCLC Users Group
The newsletter and yearly meeting are of most importance in terms of practical, directly useful information, even if you're not at an OCLC library. Membership costs a very low price ($10.00 personal/$15.00 institutional). There is an online application form.

Online Audio Visual Catalogers
All the newsletters back to 1981 are on the Web and searchable at OLAC Newsletters. Each issue usually contains a question and answer column for cataloging questions.

Home Pages of Music Libraries

Directory of Music User Guides for Libraries
A site that brings together in one place descriptions of user guides that have been developed for music collections. It includes a variety of informational pamphlets, bibliographies, and other instruments for the purpose of educating library patrons in effective ways to find the materials they need. It also includes information on obtaining copies of the guides. Compiled by the members of the Bibliographic Instruction Subcommittee of the Reference and Public Services Committee of the Music Library Association.


Internet Resources for Technical Services Staff
by Don Dowdy, Associates : The Electronic Library Support Staff Journal, Vol. 2, no. 1, 1995. Although not directed at librarians in general or public librarians specifically, there are some resources that are of use.

Under e-mail lists for technical services personnel, there is:

ACQNET-L: The Acquisitions Librarian's Electronic Network: LISTSERV@LESTER.APPSTATE.EDU
"Acqnet is an electronic journal. Subscribers cannot post to the list directly. Posts are reviewed and collected by the editors of the list. A new issue of ACQNET comes out every few days and contains anywhere from 1 to half a dozen posts. Articles include announcements of Conferences on Acquisitions sponsored by ALCTS and others, comments on references products used by acquisitions librarians (such as Global Books in Print), reports from conferences on such topics as "The Wired Collection Manager", evaluations of vendors services, the University of Illinois policy on licensing CDROM products, job announcements, discussion of vendor changes of address, suggestions for searching for out-of-print and foreign materials, the announcement of a new list BACKSERV to provide a forum for the listing of both available and desired serial issues in all subject areas, a request for advice on automating an exchange program, a final draft of a statement of ALCTS's "Principles & Standards of Acquisitions Practice" (and information on how to obtain a suitable for framing copy), a statement from the editor about changes in the list, evaluation of several publishers catalogs available on the Internet (mostly considered to be to sketchy to be useful at the present time), workflow issues for acquisitions departments, and an excellent issue on outsourcing with an annotated bibliography on the topic."

AUTOCAT: Library Cataloging and Authorities: LISTSERV@UBVM.CC.BUFFALO.EDU
"Although the traffic is heavy, this is an absolutely essential list for anyone who does cataloging. Discussions range from the theoretical (what should AACR3 try to do) to the specifically practical (how do I set up a heading for a USENET group). Recent threads included discussions on smart barcodes, the correct MARC code for unique, but Dewey-based call numbers, whether the LC Bulletin and Changes is worthwhile for smaller libraries, how to send an electronic error message to OCLC, how to code an edition statement for a photocopied book, and how Books In Print on CD-ROM might be integrated into acquisitions and cataloging procedures. Of particular note are posts from abroad and from librarians using card and book catalogs, who argue persuasively for or against changes that would effect them.

Also, LC and ALA committees regularly post surveys to AUTOCAT concerning changes in rules or procedures, and the list makes wide-ranging discussion possible."

CIRCPLUS: Circulation and Access Services: LISTSERV@IDBSU.IDBSU.EDU
"Very heavy traffic, but well-focused on circulation concerns. Nearly all issues receive many several responses. Recent threads included eight messages on 3M self check machines, three on converting from manual to automated check-in, six on automation and renovation, three on barcoding collections, eight on the advantages/disadvantages of using cash registers to collect fines, sixteen on circulation of journals, three on circulation of laptop computers, six on dealing with delinquent patrons who graduate, seven on dealing with faculty members' reserve requests, twelve on ways to desensitize materials in large batches, eight on loan periods, nine on searching for missing materials within the library, seventeen on dealing with mutilated materials (especially newspapers), thirty-six on fine policies, twenty-seven on photocopying of reserve materials (including copyright concerns), twenty-four on staff borrowing procedures, nineteen on evaluating student assistants, and five on surveying students about library policies.

Although this list has a decided bias toward academic libraries, much of the discussion could apply to public and special libraries as well. Evaluation of staff, copyright issues, use of cash-registers, bulk desensitizing, searching for lost materials, and surveying users are concerns of any librarian."

"Postings to this list are done in digest form, so that each message has several separate posts within it. Recent posts covered such topics as fines, special services for older adults, management of electronic records, internet access policies for patrons, budgeting, dial-in reference service, TQM and libraries, fax policies, marketing public libraries, censorship, conference announcements, inter-library loan, pamphlet circulation policies, internet kiosks in post-offices, library fees, weeding policies, Library Journal's annual public library questionnaire (sent out for online response), bookmobiles, and computer security in a Windows environment.

Highly recommended for all Technical Service personnel working in public libraries."

Public Libraries on the Web

US Public Libraries on the Web
Organized by name of the library. Takes you to web sites for these libraries. Some have access to their online catalog.


None of these pages constitute legal advice.

The Copyright Management Center from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis; an excellent resource.

A guide to copyright for music librarians from the Music Library Association

United States Copyright Office
Includes a section defining copyright and application forms.

Music Copyright Pages from the University of Washington Libraries
This page provides links to related sites concerning copyright of musical compositions and sound recordings, information about music in the public domain, and music licensing, as well as links to general copyright information.

Copyright, Intellectual Property & the Internet

10 Big Myths about Copyright Explained

Music Publishers' Association Copyright Resource Center
Copyright from the publishers' point of view. Includes a copyright search center, with links to ASCAP, BMI (Broadcast Music Incorporated), and SESAC. The caveat is that even if you don't find the title you're searching, you cannot assume it's in the public domain. This site would also be useful for finding out if a piece has been published and by whom.

Licensing Electronic Resources
Three sites that help with or explain the legalities of software, database, and electronic database licenses.

The Copyright Website
This site includes copyright fundamentals, internet and software issues, and fair use/public domain.

Finding and evaluating music resources on the Web

Searching the Internet for Music Reference

Evaluation of internet music resources

General music resources

Worldwide Internet Music Resources from the Indiana University Music Library
This thorough site includes useful links for library staff: Individual musicians (all genres) and popular groups; competitions, festivals, music awards; genres and types of music, including popular; commercial sites; online journals (including popular)

All Music Guide
Covers blues, country, easy listening, folk music, gospel, jazz, new age, rap, reggae, rock & roll, vocal, and world music.

Ultimate Band Site
Internationally coverage of musical genres from acoustic to zydeco, radio stations, record labels, clubs, concerts, music news and charts, and online magazines.

Classical Net
"Provides a point-of-entry into a wide array of informational files - over 2500 in all - about classical music, as well as over 2200 links to other interesting web sites."

An online magazine of world music, roots, and folk music providing articles, essays, reviews, sound files, and pointers to other related Web resources. Information is also cross-indexed by country.

Classical music in movies
Music from TV commercials from
Music used in television commercials in New Zealand and worldwide
A cooperative venture between several large New Zealand public libraries, this site lists classical music used in New Zealand TV commercials, many of which have been used worldwide. It is arranged alphabetically by the product being advertised.

Film, video, and film music

AMIA: The Association of Moving Image Archivists
A professional association established to advance the field of moving image archiving by fostering cooperation among individuals concerned with the collection, preservation, exhibition and use of moving image materials and to promote moving image archival activities, including preservation, cataloging and documentation, and access, through such means as meetings workshops, publications, and direct assistance. Includes links to film-related sites.

The Internet Movie Database
The IMB provides useful and up to date information about over 75,000 movies with over 1,000,000 filmography entries. It's searchable by movie/TV title, cast/crew name, character name, and keyword. You can also search for Academy Awards by year and category.

Selected Internet Resources in Film, Television, and Digital Media from UCLA
This very useful site includes links to Internet guides, databases, festivals, reviews, research, electronic journals, professional sites, specialized sites, and other related web sites.

Selected bibliography of film music materials for librarians by Leslie N. Andersen

Electronic journals from ULA

All Movie Guide

"INTRADA is a soundtrack label dedicated to the preservation of film music. INTRADA is also a world-wide retail mail-order outlet dealing exclusively in movie soundtracks on all labels." A site for ordering sound tracks, as well as linking to other film sites.

Guide to Film Music Resources: an introductory guide to locating information and materials related to film music

Film & TV Music Resources from the University of Washington Music Library

Film music discussion list: to subscribe, send the message "sub FILMUS-L <your name>" to

Jazz in Film: a bibliography from the Library of Congress

The Film Music Society

Just for fun: Librarians in the Movies
Librarians on the silver screen
Librarians in Film: a Filmography

Collection development

Reviews and Collection Development

A Newbie's Guide to Classical CDs

Select or Satisfy? : the Video Collection Development Dilemma
An article by by Kim Lloyd, printed in MC Journal: The Journal of Academic Media Librarianship, v. 2 no. 2, Fall 1994:110-118.

Media Reference Sources & Information
Includes sections relating to film and video reference sources and information, including ten sites dedicated to film and video movie review.

Performing arts reviews for film, television, and digital media; from UCLA
Links to film and movie reviews.

Videos in Review: a distribution list featuring reviews of currently released videos. Current traffic is zero to one message per week. To subscribe, send a message with SUBSCRIBE NEWSLETTER in the subject field to

Finding Film & Video Reviews
A bibliography of print resources and links to internet resources; from UC Berkeley.

The 111 greatest (Anglo-American) folk music artists
A list compiled in part to "address the collection development concerns of librarians."

The following list was posted by Philip Bahr (Fairfield University, Fairfield, CT) on MLA-L, the official listserv of the Music Library Association, on Wednesday, December 17, 2008.
Contributors to the list were Paul Cary, Linda Dempf, Emily Ferrigno, Arleen Fields, Carolyn A. Johnson, Edwin Quist, Kevin Schlottmann, Terry Simpkins, Jay Sonin, Tim Williams

Collection development resources for the new music or media librarian

Multiple genres:
CD Hotlist: music reviews by librarians for librarians
Theodore Front Musical Literature: a primary resource for the serious musician, institution, and music lover; book and music titles
magazine reviews for fans and music executives

Gramophone: magazine; UK classical music site; go to "Editor's Choices"
Fanfare: classical music reviews and magazine
American Record Guide: magazine (independent critics reviewing classical recordings and music in concerts
All the Rest is Noise: blog of Alex Ross of the New Yorker
Deceptively Simple: blog of Marc Goelheed in Chicago; includes the top 10 lists every year for classical recordings
BBC Music Magazine: the world's best-selling classical music magazine

All About Jazz: wwebsite by jazz fans for jazz fans; information and opinion about jazz
Downbeat: monthly magazine; covers jazz, blues, and roots music
Jazziz: monthly magazine with hundreds of CD reviews
True Blue Music: jazz, especially Blue Note and hard bop
Worlds Records: catalog for jazz, swing, and general American pop

Jazz/avant-garde/art-pop/progressive/improvised, etc.:
Downtown Music Gallery: distributes a weekly email announcing new releases (CDs, LPs, DVDs) with short and informative reviews

Rolling Stone: magazine
Spin: magazine

Other alternative sources:
Trouser Press (also has print guides (The Trousure Press Guide to...))
Pitchfork (also now has a print guide (The Pitchfork 500))
All Music: venerable source with a lot of good tools on the site; review quality is highly variable; also published genre-specific print guides
Metacritic: compiles reviews from multiple sources; links/excerpts from the original reviews are provided

Old timey/country:
Roots & Rhythm: newsletter especially good for African American forms and old timey
No Depression: good source for alt-country, especially evaluating compilations or box sets

World music:
Roots & Rhythm: newsletter especially good for African American forms and old timey
fRoots: British world music magazine
Discographies from the The Society for Ethnomusicology

Other music (American roots, in, out, electronic, funk/soul, hip-hop, international pop, psych/prog, reggae/dub):
Other Music: brief reviews and sound samples from a short list of each week's new and reissued offerings

Acquisition Information

AcqWeb: "The gathering place for librarians and other professionals interested in acquisitions and collection development."
"AcqWeb has moved and is not currently being maintained and contains out-of-date information. ibiblio will be AcqWeb and ACQNET's new home."

Music Selection Resources on the Web

Music Selection Resources on the WWW
The sites used by Anna Seaberg, the music selector of the King County (Washington State) Library System. It includes "major and independent label listings, reviews, music publishers, library catalogs, and exemplary general, jazz, roots, classical, and world music reference sites, as well as resource guides on selection tools for the library music buyer." The sites below are taken from this page. The entire site is well worth "surfing."

Sites for ordering printed music

The Foundry Music Company "Connecticut's finest collection of print music"

Theodore Front Musical Literature
You can search for music by composer, title or keyword, publisher, score format, subject, and ISBN. There is also a good section on music and books by and about women composers.

Pepper Music Network
The catalog is arranged by category (e.g., popular song collections, opera vocal scores, etc.) and can be searched by title words, composer or arranger, type of music, and publisher.

Music Publishers'Association
This site includes Publishers Addresses, which also includes phone numbers, e-mail addresses, and web sites, when available.

Sites for ordering CDs

MDT: "Britain's Best International Classical CD Mail Order Supplier"

CD Now

CD Universe

Global Electronic Music Marketplace: new and used CDs, LPs, and memorabilia

Mosaic Records: specializes in jazz reissues

SOUNZ: Centre for New Zealand Music

Berkshire Record Outlet
Over 11,000 titles arrange by composer. When searching by composer, results are given in alphabetical order by label, not a very useful arrangement. The site is predominantly classical. Low prices.

Sources for Used CDs and LPs: a list originally assembled by Leslie Troutman, Music Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Cataloging and processing


Workshop on Video Cataloging: the Basics by Richard L. Harwood
The handouts from the Oct. 1996 OLAC conference. Includes relevant rules and LC RIs for AACR2r Chapter 7 (motion pictures and video recordings). For a summary, see the review of this workshop.
Workshop in Video Cataloging: Beyond the Basics by Diane Boehr
Includes title frames and bibliographic records for several videos. For a summary, see the review of this workshop.

Guide to Cataloging DVDs Using AACR2r Chapters 7 and 9 by the DVD Cataloging Task Force Cataloging Policy Committee Online Audiovisual Catalogers

From the University of Virginia Cataloging Procedures Manual:
These two chapters includes fixed and variable fields tagging and content:
Video-recordings, monographs and Non-Musical Sound Recordings (links not working as of December 18, 2008)

From Yale University Sound recording cataloging

From Penn State University
Procedures for Cataloging AV Materials: Video Cataloging Cheat Sheet, Chief source of information, and Field by field guide
Procedures for Cataloging Music: Field by field guide

From Princeton University Cataloging CD-ROMs and Computer Disks

Training for Music Cataloging:
This emphasizes classical music sound recording cataloging.

Music Cataloging at Yale:
Written for music cataloging staff at Yale, it also includes sections on music cataloging resources, AACR2, MARC tagging, subject cataloging, and language tools as they pertain to music.

Principles of Music Uniform Titles: a Brief Introduction:
Written for the public, this introduction is valuable for the cataloger as well.

Sources for Authority Work in Cataloging Popular Music from The MLA Working Group on Popular Music Sources:
An annotated guide with chapters devoted to jazz, country and folk music, theater music, blues, and a chapter listing sources for miscellaneous popular music.

Physical processing

Binding music

Bookbinding from wikipedia

ACME Bookbinding: Music Binding Options

Keeping Scores: Music Preservation at the University of Oregon Library by Normandy Helmer


Commercial sites can found easily on the Internet:
Once example: Adjustable Shelving

Those Pesky Accompanying Materials
A discussion of "accompanying materials" and how they affect "shelving space, circulation, cataloging and labeling, impacting on security as well as creating the need to devise stable and effective protective enclosures." Possible solutions are discussed.

Processing and preserving sound recordings

Digital Preservation Program from the Library of Congress

Labelling and Barcoding Music and Moving Image Material
From UC-San Diego. A good document as an example of good practice.

Cylinder, Disc and Tape Care in a Nutshell
From a preservation workshop at the Library of Congress.

The Care and Handling of Recorded Sound Materials
This is a pretty thorough site covering all types of sound recordings, including CDs.

Care and Handling of CDs and DVDs: a Guide for Librarians and Archivists

Magnetic Media Preservation: Select Bibliography
A bibliography of print sources, it covers all magnetic media, including sound recordings and videos.

Recorded Sound Preservation: Selected Bibliography Compiled by Mark Roosa

Permanence, Care, and Handling of CDs
From Kodak; covers CD types, including CD-ROM discs, storage conditions for CDs, and issues about life span and permanence of CDs. Includes bibliographical references.

Compact Disc Terminology
Defines all the jargon involved with CDs, their production, and care.

Film and Videos

VidiPax: audio, video, film and data restoration, preservation and archiving service; articles and resources about the restoration and preservation of magnetic data and technical information about the the services offered by VidiPax.

New Preservation Concern: Video Recordings by Alan Calmes, Preservation Officer, National Archives and Records Administration
An article in the April 1990 issue of the newsletter of the Commission on Preservation and Access. Scroll about half way through the issue to find this article.

Standards and Preservation of A/V Media and Data
An IFLA report about standard for A/V preservationists, but includes bibliographical references for documents relevant to the preservation of A/V materials. These documents are ANSI reports, so they are likely to be very technical in nature.

Audio Preservation and Restoration
by John R. Gibbs; from the University of Washington; many links to film and video tape preservation.

Sheet music

MLA Sheet Music Information

Guidelines for Sheet Music Cataloging
Formerly a website; now a book available from Scarecrow Press: Cataloging Sheet Music: Guidelines for Use with AACR2 and the MARC Format

©Yale University Library
Comments to Mickey Koth, Catalog Librarian, Yale University Music Library
(203) 432-0494   FAX (203) 432-7339
Last revised December 18, 2008.