Due to the Summer 2008 Flood and the resulting damage to Voxman Music Building, the Rita Benton Music Library is located in the University’s Main Library. Music Library services, including reference, circulation, course reserves, access to current periodicals and media are located in Room 2006, Main Library. The Music Librarian’s office is now in room 2102, at the south end of the Main Library’s second floor. These changes should remain in place until the School of Music and the Rita Benton Music Library move into a new facility.
The Rita Benton Music Library, named in honor of its founder and first director Rita Benton (1918-1980), is located on the second floor of the Voxman Music Building, the southernmost of three connected buildings comprising the “music complex,” the others being Hancher Auditorium and Clapp Recital Hall. The complex is situated along the Iowa River one mile south of I-80 at exit 244. During weekdays metered parking is available for visitors. Most of the Hancher commuter lot is free after 4:30pm on weekdays, and all day on weekends. A free campus-wide bus service (the cambus) links the complex to all the other university buildings, dormitories, and downtown center.
The Music Library currently holds over 63,000 music scores (including chamber music sets), 45,000 books (including bound journals), 3200 microforms (chiefly manuscripts and early printed books), 28,000 media items in all formats. It currently receives about 300 journals. Its Rare Book Room has particular strengths in 18th- and 19th-century music theory treatises and instrumental methods, and an outstanding collection of keyboard and chamber music by Ignaz Pleyel. Music manuscripts of the composer Phillip Greeley Clapp, Director of the School Music from 1918 to 1944, are currently housed in the Department of Special Collections in the Main Library. The Goldman Band Collection is also kept in the Main Library under the supervision of the School of Music’s Director of Bands.
The Music Library accommodates approximately 100 patrons at carrels and tables, with additional space in the listening room with stations that are outfitted with computers, turntables, CD decks, or cassette decks. Separate small rooms house microformat readers and video equipment. The photocopier accommodates sheets of the size 11 x 17 inches and provides enlargement and reduction capabilities. All print materials are on open shelves; patrons must request audio records, videos, and microformats. The large reference collection is supplemented by several online resources including Music Index, IIMP, Grove Music Online, RILM, RISM, RIPM, WorldCat, and InfoHawk, the University’s online catalog. Online resources for streamed audio include Classical Music Library, Naxos Music Library, Naxos Jazz, African-American Song, Smithsonian Global Sound, and the Database of Recorded American Music (DRAM).
Materials circulate according to their type and the status of the borrower. In general, items circulate to faculty and students of the University of Iowa, and to those institutions with which this university has reciprocal agreements; non-academic residents may qualify for borrowers’ permits. Detailed information on loan of print, audio, and visual materials, is outlined in the Circulation Policies.
Prospective visitors from out-of-town are advised to contact the Music Library in advance if they anticipate needing the assistance of library staff, with some indication of their specific interests or concerns.