Classification of recordings
C (for compact discs) or R (for vinyl discs)
1 Popular music (alphabetized by performer)
12 Musicals (CDs only)
14 Blues (CDs only)
15 Jazz (CDs only)
16 Other instrumental e.g. new age, electronic, space (CDs only)
2 Folk music (alphabetized by country)
3 Anthologies of orchestral music (alphabetized by name of orchestra)
4 Anthologies of band music (alphabetized by name of band)
5 Anthologies of music for small ensembles
R5 J4 Jazz LPs
6 Anthologies of music for solo instruments (alphabetized by instrument)
7 Anthologies of choral music (alphabetized by name of choir)
8 Anthologies of solo vocal music (alphabetized by name of singer)
9 Other anthologies
E3 Electronic music
H6 Historical surveys
Other recordings have call numbers consisting of two or more "Cutter" lines to produce an alphabetical arrangement by composer, title, and performer.
Playing Vinyl LPs
- Most important: touch only the edge or the label of the LP. Dirt and fingerprints are very harmful!
- The library has a Watts Discwasher brush that you can borrow. As the turntable rotates, touch the curved felt surface to the grooves of the recording lightly, beginning with the edge of the Discwasher nearest to you and and slowly turning it counterclockwise, so that any dust it picks up does not continue to touch the vinyl disc. Continue through two or three revolutions of the turntable (several seconds).
- The turntable has a cueing lever near the base of the tone arm which raises the arm or drops it slowly. Please use it especially if you begin to play the disc at one of the inside tracks rather than at the beginning (outside). Always let the cartridge drop slowly, to protect both the disc and the stylus.
- Never scrape the lowered needle across the grooves!
- Keep vinyl LPs from long exposure to direct sunlight or other heat sources. Vinyl can melt!
- Do not store them in horizontal stacks more than a couple inches deep, or on uneven surfaces. They could warp.
- The point of the stylus is so tiny that its pressure on the vinyl surface represents tons per square inch. The friction and heat generated are considerable, even if very localized, and temporarily distend the groove when passing through it. Therefore, it is best to wait an hour before replaying an LP or any part of it.
- When returning an LP to its cardboard outer jacket, first put it in its paper or plastic inner sleeve. Insert it into the outer jacket with the opening at right angles, to keep dust out and ensure that the LP does not accidentally roll out. If the inner sleeve is missing or worn, please ask for a replacement at the library desk.
The Presser Music Library is named in honor of the Presser Foundation, which generously contributed to its construction costs in the new School of Music and Performing Arts Center (SOMPAC). It is the only department of the West Chester University library system that is located outside of the F.H. Green Library building. If you use either of the main entrances of the SOMPAC, from the parking lot between Matlack and High streets, turn right at the long corridor that runs parallel to High Street. The library's entrance is at the north end of the corridor. If you enter the building on the High Street side, please notice the library's book drop on your right. Then walk past the School of Music offices, turn left, and left again beyond the elevator door.
Circulating books. These may be borrowed by students for six weeks and by faculty for a semester.
Scores. This is the standard shorthand term in libraries for all forms of printed music, although strictly speaking a musical score provides the notes for more than one performer at a time, with every performer's note for a given moment at the same horizontal position on a page, for conducting or study. Ensemble music is usually published in "parts" as well, each part being read by one or two performers. The library's score collection often includes parts for small-ensemble music, either in a pocket in the same volume as the score, or in one or more separate volumes. The library does not collect parts for large ensembles, such as orchestra or band.
Music is published in various editions for various purposes. An important category in our Music Library is the scholarly sets of complete works for various great composers. Because for a long time the Germans were pre-eminent in musicology, and most of these sets were published in Germany, they are often referred to as Gesamtausgaben. These bear the Dewey Decimal number 780.81 and may be checked out only by faculty. Most of the other scores may be borrowed on the same basis as the books.
Some small, infrequently used scores and parts are kept in file cabinets. The catalog identifies their location as: "WCU Presser Music Library Vertical File." Other protected materials are in "WCU Presser Music Library Closed Stacks". To request them, please ask at the service desk. Although they are not browsable by the public, vertical-file and closed-stacks circulate normally. Another sub-location is "Oversize". These scores are located in the north corner, beyond the main stacks.
Scores and Books are both classified using an adaptation of the Dewey Decimal System, but they are kept in separate areas of the stacks: scores near the service desk, books further back.
Periodicals: Current periodicals are on shelves in the east end of the study area. Bound periodicals are kept in a remote storage area. Please ask for a periodical request form at the service desk to ask for a volume to be brought on the same or the following day. Faculty may borrow periodicals for several days; others must use them in the library.
Compact discs: Our collection of CDs (compact digital discs), some ten thousand and growing, are especially in demand by the entire student body, not just music majors, since we extended borrowing privileges to students for up to five CDs for three days. We are especially blessed by a recent generous donation of thousands of CDs from Mr. Charles Knott, which includes music in many different styles. They are still being processed and added to the shelves, for the most part still with incomplete cataloging. A sidebar of this guide lists the rudimentary classification whereby our CDs and LPs are both organized.
Vinyl discs: We have as many vinyl LP (long-playing) discs as compact discs. Many LP recordings have not been re-released on CD. Audiophiles say that an LP in good condition played on fine equipment sounds better than a CD because the analog technology is more realistic than digital sampling. Properly maintained, vinyl discs have a longer life expectancy than CDs. They are still being made and their popularity is reviving. A sidebar provides tips on playing and care of LPs. Their classification on the shelves is similar to that for CDs.
Video recordings: These include both DVDs and VHS cassette tapes. They are numbered sequentially and shelved near the TV monitors at the south end of the library. Please remember that the Instructional Media Center (IMC) of the F.H. Green library has a more extensive video collection that includes materials relevant to music.
Special collections kept in closed stacks:
* The Frank Reynolds Gilbert & Sullivan collection
* The Cecil Musgrave collection of British LP discs
* The Bob Curnow collection of jazz and big band recordings and charts.