University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Music and Performing Arts Library (1944-) | University of Illinois Archives

Name: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Music and Performing Arts Library (1944-)


Historical Note: The University of Illinois Music and Performing Arts Library was initially founded in the memorial room of Smith Hall in 1943. The school's first music librarian was Jay Allen (1943-1960) and his assistant was Virginia Shirley. In 1963, the University of Illinois received a generous gift from Ellnora Krannert (class of 1912). However, the grant arrived just as the School of Music was planning to construct a new educational building for music on campus. Since Krannert's grant was so substantial, the State of Illinois dropped the budget it had planned for two construction projects: a new library (conceived to alleviate the overcrowded music library in Smith) as well as an addition to Smith Hall. At the time, the library was under the direction of Thor E. Wood (1960-1965). While the new Krannert Center (opened in 1969) contained numerous performance spaces, it did not have space to accomodate the vast library of music books and recordings that had been collected by the School of Music. Funding eventually came in the early 1970s and the School of Music moved into its current location in the Music Building 1114 W. Nevada Street in 1972. The library soon followed, opening in 1974. Head librarian William McClellan (1965-1997) resided over the new library space and quickly began expanding the library's holdings to include not only books and audio recordings but also special collections. Wilma Jean Geil (assistant librarian 1965-1996) collected and processed many of the small special collections. In most cases, if a collection contained published music, LPs, or tape cassettes the items were ingested, cataloged, and dispersed among the circulating library collection. Many of the paper records within special collections acquired by the library remained unprocessed until 2015 when the majority of the special collections were transferred to the Sousa Archives and Center for American Music.
Sources:

Ann Silverberg, A Sympathy With Sounds: A Brief History of the University of Illinois School of Music to Celebrate its Centennial (Urbana: University of Illinois School of Music, 1995).

https://www.library.illinois.edu/mpal/about/exhibits/65thannivreminiscences/

Note Author: Nolan Vallier



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