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3/2/2016 » 3/5/2016
MLA Annual Conference 2016

8/5/2016 » 8/6/2016
Joint West Coast Chapter Meeting


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About the MLA Archives

The Music Library Association Archives collects and maintains materials deemed to be of permanent worth based on their administrative, fiscal, legal, research or historical value for documenting the association’s activities. Materials are generated from the fulfillment of official responsibilities in MLA or its chapters. The MLA Archives also holds the archives of the US Branch of IAML prior to the merger of the MLA and IAML-US.  MLA Archives

Photo: MLA Archives

Submitting Materials to the MLA Archives

Who Should Transfer Materials?

Those in elected or appointed positions that include administrative responsibility for the work they undertake. Positions include:

● national officers

● committee, subcommittee and round table chairs/coordinators (see Part III)

● liaisons to other organizations

● editors of publications (whatever the medium), including serials, monographs and conference documents


The Administrative Officer will coordinate transfer of files residing at the Business Office. Further guidelines for Chapters, Committee Chairs, and Administrative Officers may be found in Parts II-IV (respectively), of the Guidelines for Transfer.

When to Transfer Materials?

Upon leaving a position, transfer files to the MLA Archives if they will not be needed by your successor to carry out the business of the position.

MLA Publications (two copies) should be sent to the MLA Archives by the publication’s editor as soon they appear.

What Types of Materials to Transfer?

Send files that, in your estimation, have or are likely to have historical value to the Music Library Association or to music librarianship generally. Send primary documents, including printouts of electronic files and essential secondary documents. The MLA Archives prefers to receive documentation in paper form. For current guidelines on submitting electronic records, please see Part V of the Guidelines for Transfer.

Examples of primary documents: letters of appointment; membership rosters or attendance records of the committee, etc.; statements of policy and official decisions relating to the position; calendars of activities; minutes of meetings; records of proposed and actual accomplishments; conference programs; budget requests; financial and audit reports; publicity; two "best copies” of MLA publications; official MLA artifacts, mailings and memos to members, ballots with bios and candidates’ statements, texts of awards and citations.

Confidential files should be sent with suitable provisions for restricted access.

If you are uncertain whether to retain something for transfer to the MLA Archives or to discard it, retain it.

What Not to Transfer

Do not send in-force contracts, minor email exchanges, financial documents of only temporary value (e.g., cancelled checks), or multiple copies of documents.

How to Transfer Materials?

Materials transferred to the MLA Archives should be accompanied by the official form, "Transfer of Documents to the MLA Archives”. This serves as an inventory of hat you are sending.

Label each folder or other container with the name of the position, committee, etc., and a subheading that includes the dates of the contents. (e.g., "Publications Committee – minutes – 1995-1997.”

For containers of analog or digital data, include technical specifications on the label of the container, CD, etc.

Pack containers securely for mailing or other conveyance and send them to the address on the Transfer form. Postage is paid by the sender, but reimbursement may be available from MLA in the absence of such support from the institution with which the sender is affiliated.

Send materials with transfer form to:

Vincent J. Novara 

Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library/SCPA

8115 Alumni Drive
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742-1630

Attn: MLA

 See the complete Guidelines for Transfer for further information.



For questions related to the holdings of the MLA Archives please contact:

Vincent J. Novara

Curator, Special Collections in Performing Arts
Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library/SCPA
University of Maryland
tel 301.405.9220 fax 301.314.7170

For more information about the MLA Archives please contact:

Sandy Rodriguez

MLA Archivist
University of Missouri--Kansas City
tel 816.235.2229 fax 816.333.5584

Current MLA Archives Projects

Reappraisal, Deaccessioning, Arrangement, Description, and Processing Project

The MLA Archives is currently unprocessed and the only aids for identifying material in the collection are an inventory and other various documents maintained by the Curator, SCPA. Upon the MLA Archivist’s recommendation (see special report to the Board), the MLA Archives is currently undergoing reappraisal and deaccessioning. Funds must be secured in order to arrange, describe, and minimally process the collection. The MLA Archivist is currently investigating funding sources for this project.

Transfer of Chapter Materials to Regional Institutions

The MLA Archives holds materials from the various chapters of MLA. The MLA Archivist recommends that these materials be transferred to a more accessible regional institution with the exception of the New England chapter (see special report to the Board). The Curator, SCPA is working with the MLA Archivist and Chapter Chairs on coordinating the transfer of chapter materials once regional institutions have been identified.

Update of Electronic Submissions Process

The MLA Archivist in collaboration with the Curator, SCPA will update the electronic submissions process, in light of the University of Maryland’s TRAC compliance as a trusted digital repository. See the UMD's Digital Preservation Policy.