Intro: I am currently developing a digital project entitled Documenting Carreño, as well as writing a bio-bibliography [under contract with A-R Editions]. In order to explore not only the research process, but also the various aspects of creating/publishing content in Omeka and using geo-spatial tools, such as maps and timelines, I decided to start blogging about the project.
Over the last few years, my efforts to research and document the career of Teresa Carreño (1853-1917) have involved scouring through nineteenth and early twentieth-century American and foreign-language print newspapers, archival materials (i.e. clippings, programs, correspondence, notebooks), secondary literature, as well as digital content.
What I have found exciting, yet at the same time overwhelming or challenging, is that during this time, numerous digitization efforts were begun or continued from previous years (not directly linked to Carreño). These projects have been largely undertaken by academic institutions in both the United States and abroad, and focused on the digitization of newspapers, music artifacts (i.e. scores, concert programs), and data related to music practice and performance. The breadth and enormous quantity of data available about Carreño’s career makes it challenging and at times overwhelming for a researcher, because it can sometimes feel like a never ending quest for more information. At the same time, because these digitized resources can be freely accessed worldwide by scholars or public historians alike, it makes them visible to a greater audience and will hopefully generate more research projects and scholarship.
Here are just a few digitization projects, which are of particular interest to me, because they include primary source content or data about Carreño’s performance career:
Gallica (Bibliothèque nationale de France)
- This collective digital library provides access to a range of content, including images, manuscripts, scores, and maps. Not all of the content has been digitized, but there is descriptive metadata and information about the holdings. Included in this collection are images of Carreño, as well as several of her compositions, such as Le sommeil de l’enfant: Berceuse pour piano : op. 35 (Paris: Heugel, 1872).
Edvard Grieg Archive (Bergen Offentlige Bibliotek)
- The Edvard Grieg Archives at the Bergen Offentlige Bibliotek own an enormous amount of original documents created by or related to Grieg. They house the Centre for Grieg Research through a partnership with the University of Bergen and Edvard Grieg Museum Troldhaugen. I have a forthcoming article in the Music Library Association’s journal Notes September 2013, which explores and provides historical context for select sources in the Grieg archive, which are now accessible online from the Bergen Offentlige Bibliotek.
Chronicling America (National Digital Newspaper Program, National Endowment for the Humanities, Library of Congress)
- Searchable database of U.S. newspapers printed between 1836 – 1922 with information (metadata) about each newspaper, as well as select digitized pages. You can view your results as thumbnails of the newspaper page or as a results list, both which can be sorted by relevancy, state, title, or date. Here’s an example of a digitized article about Carreño, which appeared in the Los Angeles Herald, January 30, 1910: 9.
California Digital Newspaper Collection (University of California)
- This is a collection of significant historical newspapers published in California from 1846-1922. One of the unique features of this collection is the text correction tool, which allows users to transcribe the article text (after creating an account).
Hemeroteca Nacional Digital de México (Instituto de Investigacíones Bibliográficas, Biblioteca Nacional, Hemeroteca Nacional Centro Cultural Universitario)
- Full-text searching of over 600 hundred digitized newspaper titles published from 1722 to 1978.
Performance History Search (Carnegie Hall)
- Most recently (Spring 2013), Carnegie Hall announced their project to document the hall’s performance history, which makes information from their performance archive available online. The goal is to document 50,000 events between 1891-present at Carnegie Hall. Searching the online database can be done by simple keywords, as well as name of composer or performer, title of work, as well as event date or a range. The database also includes filter options, which allow you to narrow your search by venue or genre.
Wikisource Zeitschriften – Musik (Wikipedia/Wikimedia)
- This project indexes music journals and newspapers printed in Denmark, France, Great Britain, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Russia, Sweden, and the United States. It provides links to public-domain copies of these journals, which were digitized by other institutions or organizations.