Music Library 75th Symposium

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UNT Music Library Concert

It was my great pleasure last Friday, April 22, 2016 to open the symposium honoring the 75th anniversary of the University of North Texas Music Library. The event was a marvelous celebration of one of the great jewels of the UNT Libraries, our Music Library, and I wanted to share these brief reflections and thanks in regard to this event. I expressed many of these sentiments in my opening remarks, but also wanted to repeat them here for those that were not able to attend.

The UNT Music Library is one of the very strongest in the United States, if not the strongest. The Music Library was established in 1941 by Anna Harriet Heyer and Wilfred Bain, and over the intervening years it became not only one of the most prominent institutions of its kind in the world, but has served as a productive garden for cultivating generations of music librarians that have gone on to very successful careers in virtually every part of their field. The symposium portrayed this rich legacy throughout the presentations on Friday and Saturday, and I was delighted to see the lineup of so many great speakers on so many intriguing topics.

In the course of this event I found it very important to celebrate the personnel that have made the UNT Music Library what it is today. From the founders right down to today, our Music Library has been blessed with remarkable librarians and staff who have made it a great library. I especially want to call out the individuals who made this event such a success. Mark McKnight, the head of the Music Library, served as the primary organizer and planner. Dave Huff, our sound preservationist, provided audiovisual support throughout the event. Our great music librarians Jean Harden, Donna Arnold, Maristella Feustle, and Ralph Hartsock all worked hard on the program. Janelle West not only worked on the program, but also the food and drink arrangements. Myrshem George, our Advancement officer, worked on the fundraising aspects of the event. Josh Sylve, Samantha Lawrence, Dianne Jansing, and Will Hicks were all extremely helpful in creating promotional materials, programs, website info, etc. And of course, there were others outside the libraries who helped with the concert, including Jennifer Barnes, Barbara Cox, Shelley Cushman, John Murphy, and Jeffrey Snider.

In addition to all of these current UNT personnel that you probably already know, I also wish to call out and celebrate the career and accomplishments of a very special librarian who, more than most anyone else, contributed to the success and accomplishments of the UNT Music Library, and who we specially thanked. I am of course speaking of Morris Martin, the longtime leader of the Music Library. Those of you who have had the great pleasure of knowing and working with Morris during the decades of his tenure here at UNT will understand why I celebrate his achievements and personal influence on the history and attainments of the UNT Music Library.

In order to properly respect Morris’ four decades of service, we have established a special music library endowment in his honor on the occasion of the Music Library’s 75th Anniversary. This is something that I and many here at UNT personally wanted to do so that we could all tangibly demonstrate our appreciation of him. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO DONATE, go to

In another effort to mark the celebration, the UNT Libraries published a book highlighting the treasures of the UNT Music Library. Copies of the book are now available for purchase here in the library in the cafe. This book The UNT Music Library at 75: Selections from Its Special Collections includes a brief history of the Music Library and pictorial examples from the Music Library's more than 100 special collections.

The event itself was enjoyable and informative. I particularly enjoyed the concert that concluded the symposium, which had classic jazz hits from the era of the founding of the Music Library, including songs we all remember from the past. Great job, everyone, on an amazing celebration of the 75 years of the Music Library!

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