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Music librarians: ROAD TRIP!

November 9, 2015
Ray Heigemeir

Music librarians from across California descended on the stately Brand Library & Art Center in Glendale at the end of October for our annual chapter meeting.  Presentations were given on a variety of current topics over two full meeting days. Topics included: a survey of student attitudes, behaviors, and knowledge of copyright as it affects music performance and study; how to develop a chamber music collection with strategic purchases; an introduction to the Center for New Music in San Francisco; creating a thematic catalog using Filemaker Pro; an introduction to the Women’s Song collection at UC Davis; progress on a longitudinal study of first-year music major information literacy skills; and a presentation on the nuts and bolts of the music appraisal business.

Brand Library & Art Center

The Brand Library & Art Center sits in the midst of beautiful Brand Park. The building was once a private, late-Victorian, Moorish-style mansion, Miradero, built by the Brands iat the turn of the 20th century and later donated to the city of Glendale. The residence has been completely renovated and serves as Glendale's public art and music research library, while additions provide gallery spaces, a theater/lecture hall, and areas for other functions.

Restored ceiling decorationRestored ceiling decoration in the Reading Room

A pre-conference tour of the breathtaking Nethercutt Collection was a definite highlight of the trip for many. The Collection and Museum, built by the Nethercutts (of the Merle Norman Cosmetics fortune), focuses on the two loves of the founders: classic cars and mechanical musical instruments, both of which were in rich supply in the two large warehouses comprising the Museum.   All cars and instruments on display have been meticulously restored and all are in perfect playing or driving order.  Many rare and one-of a-kind items were on display including cylinder juke-box players, early disc players, reproducing pianos, European orchestrions, and a 5000-pipe theater organ. Cars on display dated from as early as 1890 and some originally belonged to socialites and celebrities including Dolores Del Rio, Fatty Arbuckle, Alma Spreckels, and Pablo Picasso, among others. A number of cars appeared in Hollywood films over the years. One floor of the building houses the Grand Salon, a marble-columned and crystal chandelier-studded pre-depression era auto showroom; the fourth floor houses the Music Room, containing the theater organ, orchestrions, reproducing pianos, musical watches, and other fascinating precision machinery. Concerts and organ-accompanied silent film programs are presented year-round; the Nethercutt Museum, in the industrial area of Sylmar, in Greater Los Angeles, is a must-see experience (and admission is free)!

Jon Manton examines a cylinder jukebox
Jon Manton examines a cylinder jukebox
Orchestrions in the Music Room
Orchestrions in the Music Room
Mimi Tashiro with a rare 1933 "Twenty Grand" Duesenberg in the Grand Salon
Mimi Tashiro with a rare 1933 "Twenty Grand" Duesenberg in the Grand Salon. This car was exhibited at the 1933 Chicago World's Fair (price: $20,000.00)
Ray Heigemeir with a 1923 Voisin once belonging to Rudolph Valentino
Ray Heigemeir with a 1923 Voisin once belonging to Rudolph Valentino. The cobra-shaped radiator cap was a gift from Douglas Fairbanks.
Jon Manton with a 1915 Pierce Arrow
Jon Manton with a 1915 Pierce Arrow