Richard S. Hill Award

Richard HillAn annual award for the best article on music librarianship or article of a music-bibliographic nature.

Richard S. Hill (1901–1961), after attending Phillips Exeter Academy, matriculated at Cornell University, earning his undergraduate degree in 1924. In 1929, he returned to Cornell to begin graduate work, originally in psychology. However, when Otto Kinkeldey arrived at Cornell in 1930 to become the first American chair in musicology, Hill’s interests soon shifted to music.

In 1939, Hill was called to the Library of Congress to be a member of the reference staff in the Music Division, and later became head of that unit. His knowledge of music bibliography made him the ideal person for this position. Paul Henry Lang, writing in the February 19, 1961, issue of the New York Herald Tribune stated: "There is scarcely a cultivated musician or scholar in this country who directly or indirectly did not receive valuable guidance or information from Mr. Hill."

In 1943, Hill became editor of Notes. Under his editorship (1943–1960), the journal grew from a mimeographed publication to a professionally-printed journal, broadened in scope, and which was to become one of the most important of all journals in the field of music. No record of his services to music bibliography can fail to mention another large-scale enterprise which was his own unique conception: the quarterly "Index of Record Reviews," where his editor duties often merged into collaboration with Kurtz Myers. Hill was elected the first president of the International Association of Music Libraries (IAML) in 1951, a post he held until 1955, and was one of the founding figures of RISM (Répertoire international de sources musicales).

Hill had a unique concept of music librarianship, far more comprehensive than the view of those who regard the librarian as the custodian of a collection, as a technician, as an administrator, or as an archivist. All such activities play their part, but the whole as he saw it was something infinitely more rich, more complex and creative.

Hill produced numerous publications that were substantial contributions to the fields of music and of scholarship. The high standards which he applied to studies and compilations of American music were likewise maintained for works in music bibliography and lexicography. As a reference librarian he knew the value of adequate tools and with this in mind he gave his personal scrutiny to numerous dictionaries, encyclopedias, handbooks, yearbooks, "treasuries," and other storehouses of musical facts.

Vincent Duckles perfectly summed up Hill’s impact on the field: "He was one of the great generating personalities in the field of musical scholarship and librarianship...” (Notes 18, no. 2 [March 1961]: 196).

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2020 recipients:

This year's Hill Award recipients are Joe C. Clark, Sheridan Stormes, and Jonathan Sauceda, for the article, "Format Preferences of Performing Arts Students: A Multi-institution Study." The Journal of Academic Librarianship 44, no. 5 (2018): 620-626.

The award committee wrote:

[The article] reveals important information to consider regarding collection development and acquisitions for today’s performing arts librarians. The research design, study, and results clearly demonstrated student preferences among print, audiovisual, streaming, and reference resources, as well as the benefit of considering user preferences and behavior leading to more user-focused collection development and resource acquisition. One noted methodology was the use of focus groups in addition to the surveys, which allowed the researchers to gather in-depth feedback and reception regarding user preferences in a candid nature, allowing for more effective analysis of preferences. Librarians in charge of acquisitions may find this article helpful in guiding future purchases, or provide them with a methodology to gather their own patron input to make sure purchases suit the current needs of patrons.

Past recipients

2019 Beth Iseminger, Nancy Lorimer, Casey Mullin, and Hermine Vermeij. “Faceted Vocabularies for Music: A New Era in Resource Discovery.” Notes 73:3 (2017): 409-431.
2018 Kevin Kishimoto and Tracey Snyder. “Popular Music in FRBR and RDA: Toward User-Friendly and Cataloger-Friendly Identification of Works,” Cataloging & Classification Quarterly 54, no. 1 (2016): 60-86.
2017 C. Rockelle Strader, “Cataloging Music Sound Recordings in the United States: An Evolution of Practice and Standards,” Notes 72/2 (Dec. 2015): 276-327.
2016 Jennifer Oates, “Engaging with Research and Resources in Music Courses,” Journal of Music History Pedagogy 4/2 (Spring 2014): 283-300.
2015 Linda Fairtile, "Verdi at 200: Recent Scholarship on the Composer and His Works," Notes 70:1 (2013), 9-36.
2014 Christopher Reynolds, "Documenting the Zenith of Women Song Composers: A Database of Songs Published in the United States and the British Commonwealth, ca. 1890-1930," Notes 69:4 (2013), 671-687.
2013 James L. Zychowicz, "Gustav Mahler's Second Century: Achievements in Scholarship and Challenges for Research," Notes, 67:3 (2011), 457-482.
2012 Kate van Orden and Alfredo Vitolo, "Padre Martini, Gaetano Gaspari and the 'Pagliarini Collection': A Renaissance Music Library Rediscovered," Early Music History, 29 (2010), 241-324.
2011 Tim Brooks, "Copyright and historical sound recordings: Recent efforts to change U.S. law." Notes, 65:3 (2009), 464-474.
2010 Rupert Ridgewell. "Artaria Plate Numbers and the Publication Process,1778-87." In Music and the Book Trade: From the Sixteenth to the Twentieth Century. New Castle, DE: Oak Knoll Press, 2008.
2009 Edward Komara, "Culture Wars, Canonicity, and A Basic Music Library." Notes 64:2 (December 2007), 232–247.
2008 James Deaville, "Publishing Paraphrases and Creating Collectors: Friedrich Hofmeister, Franz Liszt, and the Technology of Popularity," in Franz Liszt and His World, ed. Christopher H. Gibbs and Dana Gooley. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2006, 255–288.
2007 Jeremy L. Smith, "A Newly Discovered Edition of William Byrd’s Psalmes, Sonets & Songs: Provenance and Significance,” Notes 62, no. 2 (December 2005): 273–98.
2006 Kiri Miller, "First Sing the Notes': Oral and Written Traditions in Sacred Harp Transmission," American Music 22 (Winter 2004): 475–501.
2005 Leslie Troutman, "Comprehensiveness of Indexing in Three Music Periodical Index Databases" Music Reference Services Quarterly 8:1 (2001), 39–51.
2004 No award given
2003 Teresa M. Gialdroni and Agostino Ziino, "New Light on Ottaviano Petrucci's Activity, 1520–38: An Unknown Print of the Motteti dal fiore." Early Music 29 (November 2001): 500–532.
2002 A. Ralph Papakhian , "Cataloging" in "Music Librarianship at the Turn of the Century," Notes 56:3 (2000): 581–590.
2001 Jeremy Smith, "From 'Rights to Copy' to 'Bibliographic Ego': A New Look at the Early Edition of Byrd's 'Psalmes, Sonets & Songs'," Music & Letters 80:4 (1999): 511–530.
2000 David H. Thomas and Richard P. Smiraglia, "Beyond the Score," Notes 54 (1998): 649–666.
1999 Laurent Guillo, "Les Caractère de musique utilisés des origines à environ 1650 dans les anciens Pays-Bas," Yearbook of the Alamire Foundation 2 (1997): 183–235.
1998 Ira Brilliant and Patricia Elliott, "A Ten-Year Review of the Beethoven Auction Market (1985–1995)," The Beethoven Journal 11, no. 1 (1996): 26–31.
1997 Michael Burden, "The Independent Masque 1700–1800: A Catalogue," Research Chronicle 28 (1995): 59–159.
1996 Barry Kernfeld and Howard Rye, "Comprehensive Discographies of Jazz, Blues, and Gospel," Notes 51 (1994–95): 501–47; 865–91.
1995 John Milsom, "The Nonsuch Music Library," in Sundry Sorts of Music Books: Essays on the British Library Collections, ed. Chris Banks, Arthur Searle, and Malcolm Turner (London: The British Library, 1993), 146–82.
1994 Danette Cook Adamson and Mimi Tashiro, "Servants, Scholars, and Sleuths: Early Leaders in California Music Librarianship," Notes 48 (March 1992): 806–35.
1993 John Graziano, "Music in William Randolph Hearst's New York Journal," Notes 48 (December 1991): 383–424.
1992 Jean K. Wolf and Eugene K. Wolf, "Rastrology and Its Use in Eighteenth-Century Manuscript Studies," in Studies in Musical Sources and Style: Essays in Honor of Jan LaRue, 237–291. Ed. Eugene K. Wolf and Edward H. Roesner (Madison, Wis.: A-R Editions, 1990)
1991 Gillian B. Anderson, "Putting the Experience of the World at the Nation's Command: Music at the Library of Congress, 1800–1917." Journal of the American Musicological Society 42 (Spring 1989): 108–49.
1990 John Beckwith, "Tunebooks and Hymnals in Canada, 1801–1939," American Music 6 (Summer 1988): 193–234.
1989 Carl D. Schmidt, "Newly Identified Manuscript Sources of the Music of Jean-Baptiste Lully," Notes 44 (September 1987): 7–32.
1988 Carol June Bradley, "Notes of Some Pioneers: America's First Music Librarians," Notes 43 (December 1986): 272–91.
1987 Austin Clarkson, "The Works of Stefan Wolpe: A Brief Catalogue," Notes 41 (June 1985): 667–82.
1986 Sabina Teller Ratner, "A Cache of Saint-Sans Autographs," Notes 40 (March 1984): 487–502.
1985 Jeffrey Kallberg, "Chopin in the Marketplace," Notes 39 (1982–83): 535–69; 795–824.
1984 James Bradford Young, "An Account of Printed Music ca. 1724," Fontes Artis Musicae 29 (July–September 1982): 129–36.
1983 Richard P. Smiraglia and Arsen R. Papakhian, "Music in the OCLC Online Union Catalog: A Review," Notes 38 (December 1981): 257–74.
1982 Ralph P. Locke and Jurgen Thym, "New Schumann Materials in Upstate New York: A First Report on the Dickinson Collection, with Catalogues of its Manuscript Holdings," Fontes Artis Musicae 27 (July–December 1980): 137–61.
1981 Martin Marks, "Film Music: The Material, Literature, and Present State of Research," Notes 36 (December 1979): 282–325.
1980 Michael D. Williams, Source: Music of the Avant Garde: Annotated List of Contents and Cumulated Indices (Ann Arbor, Mich.: Music Library Association, 1978)
1979 No award given
1978 Richard D. Claypool, "Archival Collections of the Moravian Music Foundation and Some Notes on the Philharmonic Society of Bethlehem," Fontes Artis Musicae 23 (October–December 1976): 177–90.





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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.