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Re: [ARSCLIST] A Visit With Fred Williams

For a variety of reasons we hadn't made an announcement yet, but it's true, the bulk of Fred Williams' 78rpm band music collection has been acquired by UCSB. As Mike said, we were indeed very interested in acquiring and making Fred's cylinders accessible through our website, but the entire collection was a good fit for us in other ways. Broadly, our acquisitions priorities are cylinders, early acoustic recordings, and ethnic and foreign discs, though we collect 78rpm discs comprehensively. Fred's collection was strong in all three areas. We already have good popular, operatic, and ethnic collections and this filled in another area that was central to early recorded sound--concert and military band music. Getting the collection out of his house and to Santa Barbara was quite a job. For those of you that visited Fred over the years, you'll understand, though it actually only took one semi to get it to Santa Barbara. More information on the collection can be found here: http://www.library.ucsb.edu/speccoll/collections/pa/pamss72.html (Be sure to look at the pictures on the second page.)

I do want to also mention that the majority of our acquisitions (and those of every other archive) are still through donation, and that we do take donations, large and small, provided they fit our collecting policy and we have the resources to deal with them. We very rarely purchase collections. The tax advantages of making a donation can be more attractive than the prices paid by institutions or dealers. There is almost no market for large collections and the only way to get retail prices is to sell piece by piece.

Upon the encouragement of several ARSC members, Fred's papers and research files are also here, so eventually there will be the "Fred P Williams Papers" with all of his research files on band music, which are quite extensive. Will look forward to making these accessible to future generations of aficionados and researchers.

Finally, as many of you also know, UCSB doesn't just warehouse our collections. We are already cataloging his collection and many of the cylinders will be digitized with the support of a Grammy Foundation grant. You'll find what's already been cataloged here:


Please email me off list if you have any questions.


David Seubert, Curator
Performing Arts Collection
Davidson Library
University of California
Santa Barbara, CA 93106-9010
Tel: 805-893-5444 Fax: 805-893-5749

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