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5/20/2015 » 5/22/2015
MLA Board Meeting

6/21/2015 » 6/26/2015
IAML-IMS Congress 2015 New York




Walter Gerboth Award
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Walter GerbothThe 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.


Apply for the 2015 award

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Past recipients and projects

2013Jessica NayThe development of a catalog to the words of Ferdinand Praeger
2012Bonnie E. (Beth) Fleming
A biography of visionary arts patron Betty Freeman
2011Anna E. KijasA bio-bibliography of pianist and composer Teresa Carreño
2010Mac NelsonThe Varga legacy: an oral history
2009Mark PuenteThe development of a Music Library Association personnel characteristics survey
2008Kristine Nelsen
A study of the working musicians of Las Vegas showrooms and lounges from the 1950s through the 1970s
2007Michelle Lynn OswellA database for the English lute song from 1597-1622
2006Christopher MehrensAn investigation of American music criticism sources in the Library of Congress
No award given
2004D.J. HoekAn 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
2003Daniel BoomhowerBärenreiter-Verlag's Bach publications: 1923-1954
2002John AnderiesTri-College Digital Music Initiative: Developing a core integrated collection
2001David HurshA census survey concerning reference services in American academic music libraries
2000John M. BewleyA 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
1999Mary DuMontA qualitative survey of reference performance at decentralized academic music libraries
1998Deborah Herman-Morgan and Philip PonellaThe role of information technology in the public services offered by academic music libraries in the United States

Kristina ShantonResearch on J. Bodewalt Lampe
1997Jennifer OttervikA bibliography of operas incorporating jazz elements
No award given
1995Georgina BinnsAn annotated bibliography of Australian patriotic and nationalistic songs to 1919

Edward KomaraCharlie Patton's 1930 Paramount Records sessions
1994Felicia PiscitelliA bibliography of Catholic hymnals published in the United States from the Second Vatican Council to the present (1965-1993)
1993Harriette HemmasiAn augmentation of the prototype music thesaurus
1992Pamela Bowden DahlhauserA study of unindexed United States District Court Copyright Records
1991Alan A. GreenA bio-bibliography of American composer Allen Dwight
1990David HunterThe preparation of bibliographic descriptions of opera and song books published in England, 1703-1726
1989Joan ReddingA descriptive catalog of the manuscript scores and musical sketches of Lennox Berkeley
1988David 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
1987Robert RichartAn annotated bio-bibliography of György Ligeti
1986Holly Ann GardinierBibliographic and historic research of French music and theater almanacs in the Sibley Music Library