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BGSU University Libraries

ACS 6750/ENG 6750: Spring 2017 (Dr. Sheffer): ML/BSSA

Sound Recordings

The Music Library and Bill Schurk Sound Archives (ML/BSSA) at BGSU have over 100,000 cataloged LPs and around 60,000 cataloged CDs that might serve as source material for your project. You might find cover art related to current events or sound recordings that add color and context to the history of rhetoric.

Classic Protest Songs from Smithsonian Folkways, MusicCD12406

In addition to our significant holdings in popular music, we also have many non-music and spoken-word recordings. See our Non-Music Recordings ( research guide for the scope of these collections and specific hints on finding materials.

To find music on a specific topic, identify the correct subject heading for the topic, and do a subject search for that heading with "-- songs and music" or "-- sounds" appended (try both). For example, if you want to find recordings related to the Vietnam war, start with a keyword search on "Vietnam War." Click on the first item in the list (regardless of that particular item's relevancy to your ultimate search), and notice what appears in the "Subject" field.







Everything that comes before the "--" is the basic subject heading (in this case, "Vietnam War, 1961-1975"). Now that we know this, we can do a subject search on that term with "-- Songs and music" or "-- Sounds" added to find relevant recordings.




To view the tangible item, copy the call number ("12/33 Chrysalis 4V...") and bring it to the Music Service Desk (3rd floor, Jerome Library). We'll ask you to fill out a card with a few details and set you up to listen and/or let you study the album art. These materials generally do not circulate, unless they have a status of "Shorter Loan."


You'll likely find success as well with the very simple strategy of doing a keyword search on your topic and limiting by material type to "Sound Recording." These results will be less focused than a subject search (this search will find any occurrence of the term "Vietnam War" whereas the subject search will limit to things that are explicitly about the Vietnam War).



Cover Art

Commercial sound recordings usually include cover art that reflects social mores and trends.You will likely have success finding relevant cover art using the strategies above because, as you would expect, the cover art usually reflects the record's contents.

You may also find browsing books on cover art to be more satisfying because it enables you to look at many covers without having to ask for each recording to be pulled. We have many books on cover art, though we obviously won't have all the recordings that are included.

A subject search on "Sound recordings -- Album covers" will give you a good list of the books we own on cover art, along with some of the further subdivisions of the topic.


Most of these will be in the Listening Center (as opposed to the open stacks). Check the location, and if it's "Listening Center," ask for the book at the Music Service Desk as you would a recording. You'll be able to use the book in the Music Library. If you find useful-looking covers in the books, search for the album by title or author in the online catalog to see if we have it.


Contact Susannah Cleveland for ML/BSSA scanning/digitizing requests and/or if you just need help. Simply submit the call number ("SMC [XXXXX]") and be sure to note if you need any of the music and not just the cover.
Located on 3rd floor of Jerome


Located on the third floor of Jerome Library, the Music Library and Bill Schurk Sound Archives (ML/BSSA) support curriculum in Music, Popular Culture, and American Culture Studies. With almost a million recordings, the Sound Archives represents the largest collection of popular music recordings in an academic library in North America. Our collections also include books, scores, and video formats covering music studies from multiple angles.