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Volume 3, Number 1, January-February 2007

Banner: Library and Archives Canada - e-Newsletter

In Focus

The Music Collection of Library and Archives Canada

 

The music collection of Library and Archives Canada (LAC) is as rich and diverse as Canada's musical heritage itself. It documents a full array of Canadian music, from the oldest Canadian musical publication in the collection, Le graduel romain à l'usage du diocèse de Québec, published in Quebec City in 1800, to the latest in contemporary dance-music recordings by K-Os, to the archival collections of some of Canada's most prominent musical figures, such as Jacques Hétu, Randy Bachman and Oscar Peterson.

Highlights of the collection include almost 30,000 pieces of Canadian sheet music, many of which are available digitally on the website entitled Sheet Music from Canada's Past. Among the rare items online is Song of the Free, an anonymously written song in eight verses that describes a slave fleeing to Canada, published around 1860.

 

The 78-rpm disc collection has more than 40,000 recordings that date back to the late 1800s, including a complete collection of the recordings of the depression-era Quebec singer Mary Travers Bolduc, known as "La Bolduc." Her recordings can be found on the Virtual Gramophone website.

The Glenn Gould archival fonds is the most consulted of the music archival collections. This year marks the 75th anniversary of Glenn Gould's birth and the 25th anniversary of his death. An extensive series of events, notably an exhibition at the Canadian Museum of Civilization, will underline his important musical contribution. A virtual exhibition of the Glenn Gould archive presents a selection of the artist's personal papers, his writings, photographs, audio recordings, biographical details and an inventory of the fonds.

 

LAC is committed to making information about its music collection accessible to all Canadians. More detailed information about these musical resources is available at www.collectionscanada.ca/music/index-e.html.

Published and unpublished holdings can be searched in LAC catalogues, and information about the services for consulting the collection can be found at www.collectionscanada.ca/services/index-e.html.

Lastly, personnel from the Music Section may be contacted by email at mus@lac-bac.gc.ca.

 


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