Frank Ferko departing the Archive of Recorded Sound

April 9, 2019
Jerry L McBride
Frank Ferko

Frank Ferko is leaving Stanford Libraries to accept the position of Music Metadata Librarian at the University of California, Berkeley working in the Jean Gray Hargrove Music Library. Frank leaves a significant legacy of accomplishment at Stanford Libraries. Frank accepted the position of Sound Archives Librarian in August 2016. During the past two and a half years, Frank met with numerous classes to introduce them to the many special collections and recordings in the Archive and handled hundreds of reference questions from researchers all over the world. He used his expertise as a cataloger and archivist to make the Archive’s collections more accessible and worked on two special projects: the San Francisco Traditional Jazz Foundation Collection and the Standard Hour Broadcasts. For the jazz collection, Frank researched all of the dates of publication for the manuscript arrangements by Turk Murphy and Lu Watters. With this information, the copyright status of these manuscripts could be determined so that the access level could be set for the digital images. He also completed the finding aid for the collection that had been worked on by three other archivists over a period of at least ten years and handled most of the metadata work for the digital portion of the project. He provided all of the metadata records for the nearly 700 Standard Hour Broadcast discs, recordings of the San Francisco Symphony and Los Angeles Philharmonic, which were digitized by a CLIR funded grant.

Frank’s contribution is not limited to just these recent years. He also worked on two Mellon Foundation grant-funded projects through CLIR from 2006-2011. In the first project, Frank created 9,000 original catalog records for 78 rpm discs in the Archive, which was the first formal cataloging done for the 78 rpm collection at the Archive. For the second project, together with another archivist, he prepared finding aids for some of the most important archival collections held by the ARS including Heifetz, Menuhin, Lawrence Tibbett, and the Ambassador Auditorium Collection

This is an impressive record of accomplishment. He is valued by faculty and students in the Music Department for his deep knowledge of music and libraries, good humor, and personable manner. Seeing a valued colleague take on new responsibilities elsewhere is always difficult, but we wish Frank well as he returns to UC Berkeley knowing that he will be equally successful in that role.

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