Library and Information Services, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

Friday, 18 November 2011

Catalogue searching for singers!

"I need this song ...."

The Whittaker Library catalogue lists the contents of all our song collections and recorded song collections, unless there are over 100 songs in the album.*  If you're looking for a song, and you know even some of the words of the title, go ahead and search the catalogue.  Start by searching on words that you're sure about - and don't bother with "the" or "a"! 

Limit on collection (whether recording, vocal score, or whatever) to see if we have the format you need.

If you're not sure about the words of the title, that makes things more tricky.  And if the song is an aria in an opera or oratorio, then - yes, that's more challenging.  I don't index every aria and recitative in an opera.

You can search printed indices or bibliographies if you know the first word(s) of a song or aria.  If you don't know the first word(s), it may actually be more fruitful to Google it.

Today I had a challenge.  The first word was either "In" or "Oh" or "Un".  Guess what?  I Googled it.  Then searched our catalogue for the correct title.  Found it - literally in the nick of time.

*  I memorably indexed all 600-odd songs in the Scots Musical Museum.  It wasn't until I came to look for the book that I realised there was a problem: I'd reached the point where the catalogue entry was too long, and it didn't display in the catalogue at all.  And that's why I draw the line at 100 songs per catalogue entry!

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