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BGSU University Libraries

Country Music: What kind of materials are there?

An overview of country music resources in the music library and on the web

What kind of materials are there?

The Music Library/Sound Recordings Archives is a collection of books, records (45 and 33 in LPs), CDs, periodicals (magazines and journals), and sheet music.

Many of our materials can be found in the Music Library's open stacks.  These items, consisting primarily of books and sheet music, you are welcome to check out. However, because we are an archive, we also have many materials that can be used only in the Music Library (including "popular" music CDs, LPs, and many books).  How can you determine which is which?

To help familiarize you with what materials you can find in the Music Library and how you are able to use them, let's briefly run down what you might encounter in the online catalog.

Our example is a search for anything on Johnny Cash.

First: A generic keyword search of Johnny Cash from the catalog page, with no limitations:


This search yields 422 results (books, CDs, LPs). In this example, the first hit is a book identified as Library Use Only.


Johnny Cash and the Paradox of American Identity is the book title. The information required in order to obtain this book are the Location, Call Number, and Status. These data tell you where to go to find the material and whether you can check it out or are restricted to using it in the music library.

This particular item can be used only in the Music Library; you know this because its Status reads "LIB USE ONLY."  Don't let this deter you, however; we are open every day of the week during the academic year.   Simply take the call number up to the Listening Center window (the entry's Location lets you know that this is where you must go) and tell the worker that this book is Library Use Only.  He or she will be glad to retrieve it for you!

The second entry in these sample search results is also a book, Johnny Cash and philosophy : the burning ring of truth.


However, this entry's Status reads "Available."  This means that the book can be checked out!  Simply retrieve the item from the Music Library stacks (as indicated by the entry's Location) and take it to the main Circulation Desk on the first floor when you are ready to check it out.  If you have difficulty locating the book on the shelf, remember, we have employees working at our Reference Desk at all times, and they'll be happy to assist.  All you have to do is ask!

The ninth entry in these sample search results is a reference book, The Johnny Cash discography, 1984-1993.


Reference items are located in the Music Library's Reference Section and cannot be checked out or leave the Music Library. You can identify which entries are reference items both by their Location and by the letters "ref" that appear at the beginning of their Call Numbers.

Scrolling down to number 14 in these sample search results, you come across an entry for an LP (note the "12/33" at the beginning of the Call Number), The adventures of Johnny Cash.


This Status of this entry (LIB USE ONLY) indicates that the album The Adventures of Johnny Cash can be listened to only in the Music Library's Listening Center.  As with Library Use Only books, simply take the call number of the recording you wish to listen to up to the Listening Center window and the worker there will assist you from there.

CDs work in exactly the same way!

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