Texas Digital Library Conference System, TCDL 2010

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Creating an Online American Popular Sheet Music Collection
Darryl B. Stuhr

Building: AT&T Executive Education & Conference Center
Room: Salons A & B
Date: 2010-05-17 06:30 PM – 08:00 PM
Last modified: 2010-04-16


Creating an Online American Popular Sheet Music Collection


Collection Background

The Frances G. Spencer Collection of American Sheet Music is one of the few collections of its kind and size in the country. Acquired by Baylor University in 1965, this collection of approximately 30,000 titles was the life-long pursuit of the avid and well-respected sheet music collector for whom the collection is named. The collection includes many fine examples of first editions such as Jingle Bells and Battle Hymn of the Republic, as well as first editions of prominent American composers of the time such as Stephen Foster and Scott Joplin. Spanning from the late 18th century to the mid-20th century, the Spencer collection complements a number of areas of study in addition to music, including Texas and American history, art, political science, sociology, theater, sports, and recreation.

Project Problem

The rate in which we could upload the digitized sheet music to our access system was dependent on how much time the catalog department could spend creating metadata for the project.  Digitization and management of the digital files is handled quite efficiently, but due to the labor-intensive job of creating descriptive metadata records, we were only able to receive about 20 records a month.  With this bottleneck, we were unable to make meaningful progress on this project.  Working with our Bibliographic Access Unit, we decided to outsource the cataloging so we could continue our work on the project.

Poster Presentation

The workflow will be presented graphically on the poster, and will include project components like the digitization of the materials, data flow, metadata schema, transformation of metadata via XSLT, preparation of digital content using PERL scripts for loading into CONTENTdm, linking our ILS with CONTENTdm, and harvesting metadata via OAI-PMH for use in AquaBrowser—our search and discovery tool for library materials.

Suggested Audience

Digitization project managers, institutions looking to outsource descriptive metadata, metadata librarians, staff involved in large-scale digitization projects, and institutions using CONTENTdm for their digital collections.



sheet music; contentdm; metadata; xslt