News and Events at Boatwright Library
Music for Everyone:
An Interview with Linda Fairtile, Music Librarian
What kinds of things can students find in Parsons Music Library?
The Music Library has books on musical subjects, as well as music scores, recordings, and videos. The collection includes all types of music, not just what people might consider "academic." We have nearly 12,000 CDs, and about 20% of them contain pop music. They get checked out all the time by students who have never taken a music course. We also have jazz, classical, world music, Broadway shows, and even an archive of student performances going back to the 1950s.
So the Music Library isn't just for music students?
Not anymore. When Parsons Music Library was built in 1996, all of the music collections on campus were moved into Webb Tower, the crossroads between Booker Hall and the rest of the Modlin Center. This gives everyone on campus easy access to our music collections and audio/video playback equipment. Students also love to come here because we offer a quiet study space with plenty of natural light.
How do you decide what to buy for the Music Library's collections?
I follow guidelines to make sure that our collections support the curriculum, but I also purchase materials that I think will have future value in documenting the music of our time. I keep an eye on new publications and CD releases, and I'm also happy to take suggestions from library users - there's a box on the reference desk for that purpose. I can't promise that I'll buy everything students ask for, but I do try to build a collection that they will want to use.
Where can people find a list of all the CDs in the Music Library?
Everything in the Music Library has been entered into the online library catalog. There's a drop-down box that lets you limit your search to Music CDs.
Who was Mary Morton Parsons and why is the Music Library named after her?
Surprisingly, Mary Morton Parsons had no personal connection to the University of Richmond. She was a wealthy lady with a sad story. After her husband died, she fell under the influence of two men who kept her sedated and stole her fortune. Eventually a friend rescued her, and she recovered a portion of her assets, which she willed to the Mary Morton Parsons Foundation. The University was fortunate to receive funding from this organization when the Modlin Center was being built, and they named the Music Library after her.