The award was for Andrew’s MA dissertation in Library and Information Studies, UCL 2022, THE BIBLIOGRAPHIC TREATMENT OF HISTORIC MUSIC COLLECTIONS: CASE STUDIES FROM OXFORD AND BERLIN
The key criterion of the E.T. Bryant Memorial Prize is to have made a valuable contribution to the field of music information studies. The recipient of this year’s award certainly did that. The subject chosen for his University College London dissertation draws upon his experiences as a musicologist and librarian. He has explored new avenues of identification and background information. These have been applied to material held in two historic collections – the Tenbury manuscript collection, now housed at the Bodleian Library, Oxford and the archive of the Sing-Akademie, now on deposit at the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin.
The dissertation summarises the history of the two collections, outlining how they were assembled. It examines the value of historic cataloguing and classification procedures. It explores how a marriage between past and present standards in both areas will best help researchers.
A fascinating example of provenance research, the study also leads to the discovery of unexpected links between the two collections.
Lastly, a focus on digital presentation raises questions about how effectively and to what level of detail items from a collection can be made universally available; and what format will best assist researchers. Digitisation could expedite discoveries such as one made by the author, where comparing shelfmarks from the Oxford and Berlin collections resulted in the reunion of the autograph manuscript and performing parts of an eighteenth-century cantata. Thus, the thesis reinforces one of its primary tenets: to demonstrate the power of fusing digital technology with the ‘classic fields of research.’
Although the study explores two specific cases, the methods employed throughout are widely applicable and will therefore prove a useful model to similar research projects in the future. It is with great pleasure that the committee award this year’s prize to Dr Andrew Frampton.
E.T. Bryant Memorial Prize committee, April 2023