Walter Gerboth Award Application

The Walter Gerboth Research Gerboth Award was founded in 1984 by the Music Library Association to honor Past-President Walter Gerboth, librarian, teacher, mentor, leader in the Music Library Association, and pathmaker in music librarianship. The Walter Gerboth Award enables MLA to recognize promising work by its newer members (a group to which Walter Gerboth gave special encouragement) and new researchers, to support scholarship in music, music bibliography and librarianship, and to honor the memory of one of MLA's most distinguished and loved members. Preference will be given to newer MLA members (within your first decade), as well as to MLA members regardless of length of service who are new to research. More details can be found at:

If an award is offered, applicants must be MLA members in good standing in order to accept.

An award of up to $1,650 is available for 2020. Applications are being accepted until July 19, 2019 for the 2020 Gerboth Award. Applications may be submitted via the MLA website using the form provided at

Applicants should be prepared to submit the following with their initial application:

  • A summary of the project including a statement about its significance, progress made thus far, future plans, and details about how requested funds will be used
  • A detailed total budget, specifying the amount of funding requested from MLA (up to the award maximum) and its purpose. Indicate any other sources of funding you ay have already secured.
  • Two letters of recommendation written by two different people—
  • One letter recommending the project
  • One letter recommending the researcher (yourself)
  • A curriculum vitae
  • Names and contact information for two additional references (in addition to the letters provided)

Additional documentation may be requested by the committee.

Successful award recipients may be asked to provide a concise description of their project suitable for publicity purposes.

More information about eligible expenses and sample applications and budgets can be found at:

Recipients will be notified in advance of the registration deadline for the MLA 2020 meeting. If you have any questions about the award or applicant eligibility, please ask any member of the committee.

The Walter Gerboth Research Award Committee
Molly O’Brien (Chair), Lina Sheahan, and Joe Clark

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About MLA

The Music Library Association is the professional association for music libraries and librarianship in the United States. Founded in 1931, it has an international membership of librarians, musicians, scholars, educators, and members of the book and music trades. Complementing the Association’s national and international activities are eleven regional chapters that carry out its programs on the local level.