The Walter Gerboth Award was established by the Music Library Association in memory of its Past President and Honorary Member Walter Gerboth. It is made to members of MLA who are in the first five years of their professional library careers, to assist research-in-progress in music or music librarianship. Awards are announced each year at the MLA Annual meeting. Calls for applications are issued in the spring.
The Gerboth Award was founded in 1984 in honor of Walter Gerboth, librarian, teacher and mentor, a leader in the Music Library Association, and a pathmaker in music librarianship.
Walter Gerboth (1925–1984) was Head of the Music Library and Professor in the Department of Music at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York. He was instrumental in the development of what became the MARC format for machine readable cataloging of music. Active in MLA, Walter served as MLA President from 1969 to 1972, as a member-at-large on the board of directors, and chaired many of MLA committees. Walter also created many of MLA's serial publications. The Music Cataloging Bulletin was his idea, as were the MLA Index and Bibliography Series and the MLA Newsletter.
Of the many accomplishments for which Walter was most loved and admired, among the most important was his role as a mentor, initially to individuals, but ultimately to the profession of music librarianship itself. As a result of his encouragement, many of his students at Brooklyn College became music librarians. At annual MLA meetings he always acquainted himself with the newest members and saw to it that they were given responsibilities for MLA projects and committee assignments. In recognition of his stature in the profession, Walter was posthumously awarded MLA's highest honor, the 1985 MLA Citation.
The Walter Gerboth Fund, endowed by Janice Gerboth and the contributions of hundreds of MLA members, supports the Walter Gerboth Award. Few music librarians work in institutions that encourage them to conduct research by providing release time or subsidy. The Walter Gerboth Award enables MLA to recognize promising work by its newer members (a group to which Walter Gerboth gave special encouragement), to support scholarship in music bibliography and librarianship, and to honor the memory of one of MLA's most distinguished and loved members.
Past recipients and projects
|2013||Jessica Nay||The development of a catalog to the words of Ferdinand Praeger|
|2012||Bonnie E. (Beth) Fleming||A biography of visionary arts patron Betty Freeman|
|2011||Anna E. Kijas||A bio-bibliography of pianist and composer Teresa Carreño|
|2010||Mac Nelson||The Varga legacy: an oral history|
|2009||Mark Puente||The development of a Music Library Association personnel characteristics survey|
|2008||Kristine Nelsen||A study of the working musicians of Las Vegas showrooms and lounges from the 1950s through the 1970s|
|2007||Michelle Lynn Oswell||A database for the English lute song from 1597-1622|
|2006||Christopher Mehrens||An investigation of American music criticism sources in the Library of Congress|
|2005||No award given|
|2004||D.J. Hoek||An updated compilation of Arthur Wenk’s Analyses of Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Music|
|Jennifer Oates||An exploration of Hamish MacCunn resources in Scotland and England|
|2003||Daniel Boomhower||Bärenreiter-Verlag's Bach publications: 1923-1954|
|2002||John Anderies||Tri-College Digital Music Initiative: Developing a core integrated collection|
|2001||David Hursh||A census survey concerning reference services in American academic music libraries|
|2000||John M. Bewley||A study of the scores in both the Ormandy and the Stokowski archives that were marked and/or arranged by them, to analyze their contributions (and those of their copyists)|
|Gary Dale Vargason, Jr.||A bio-bibliography of the composer Ernst Bacon|
|1999||Mary DuMont||A qualitative survey of reference performance at decentralized academic music libraries|
|1998||Deborah Herman-Morgan and Philip Ponella||The role of information technology in the public services offered by academic music libraries in the United States|
|Kristina Shanton||Research on J. Bodewalt Lampe|
|1997||Jennifer Ottervik||A bibliography of operas incorporating jazz elements|
|1996||No award given|
|1995||Georgina Binns||An annotated bibliography of Australian patriotic and nationalistic songs to 1919|
|Edward Komara||Charlie Patton's 1930 Paramount Records sessions|
|1994||Felicia Piscitelli||A bibliography of Catholic hymnals published in the United States from the Second Vatican Council to the present (1965-1993)|
|1993||Harriette Hemmasi||An augmentation of the prototype music thesaurus|
|1992||Pamela Bowden Dahlhauser||A study of unindexed United States District Court Copyright Records|
|1991||Alan A. Green||A bio-bibliography of American composer Allen Dwight|
|1990||David Hunter||The preparation of bibliographic descriptions of opera and song books published in England, 1703-1726|
|1989||Joan Redding||A descriptive catalog of the manuscript scores and musical sketches of Lennox Berkeley|
|1988||David A. Day||An annotated catalog of the printed and manuscript opera and ballet collection of the Théâtre de la Monnaie, housed at the Archives de la ville in Brussels|
|1987||Robert Richart||An annotated bio-bibliography of György Ligeti|
|1986||Holly Ann Gardinier||Bibliographic and historic research of French music and theater almanacs in the Sibley Music Library|