School of Music Recordings Archive

The School of Music Recordings Archive is a repository for student ensemble and faculty recital recordings and programs. image of sui orchestra recording reel box

The Archive includes reel-to-reel tapes, cassette tapes, digital audio tapes (DATs), compact discs (CDs), printed programs, and born-digital audio & text files.

  • The reel-to-reels include recordings from 1953 to 2003. Earlier reels (1953-1971) are use copies from the collection of James Dixon. Later reels (1972-2003) are masters from the UI School of Music Recording Studio, which were transferred to the Rita Benton Music Library in 2016.
  • The cassette tapes include recordings from 1971 to 2002 and largely duplicate content available on reel-to-reel tape, though there are some recordings which are unique to this format. Cassettes tapes are use copies made for the Rita Benton Music Library for use by current faculty, staff, and students.
  • The digital audio tapes include recordings from 1993 to 2002, which includes some compact discs. Compact discs are available from 2002 to 2014. Compact discs are use copies made for the Rita Benton Music Library for use by current faculty, staff, and students.
  • Print program collections are available in University Archives (Records of the School of Music, RG 06.24.01, programs pre-1994) and the Rita Benton Music Library.
  • After 2014, the Music Library began collecting all School of Music recordings from the Recording Studio and programs from the Division of Performing Arts as born-digital files. Some video recordings are available for concerts 2013-present, which derive from live-streams produced by the Office of Strategic Communications. Most video recordings are of band, orchestra, and choir concerts.

The recordings and programs collections are not comprehensive.

Accessing the Archive

Current UI faculty, staff, and students may access recordings, 2003-present, in the Iowa Digital Library’s Iowa Sounds collection. Access to audio and video recordings is restricted due to copyright. For more information, please see the University of Iowa Libraries’ statement on Property Rights, Copyright Law, and Permissions to Use Unpublished Materials.
Concert and recital programs are also available in Iowa Sounds, and may be searched, viewed, and downloaded by the public.

Access the online Archive

Participants in a concert or recital may request a copy of that performance’s recording.  Duplication requests are handled using an online system, Aeon. Older recordings (reels, DATs, cassettes) require digital transfer to facilitate access, and therefore can take up to 8-12 weeks to deliver. Cost for copies and transfers is determined by format and quantity.

Login into Aeon (Duplication Request system)

To determine if a recording is held in the archive, please contact the Rita Benton Music Library, providing as much detail as possible about the ensemble, date, and content of the performance (e.g., Symphony Orchestra concert from 1988-1990, Dvořák’s New World Symphony was programmed). The Music Library staff will examine the archive to determine if a recording and/or program is available, and in what format(s).

Current and Future Plans for the Archive

  • The Music Library is working to digitize portions of the older, more fragile collections (reels and DATs). All pre-1971 reels will be digitized in Summer 2019, thanks to support from the Himie Voxman School of Music Library Fund.
  • All recordings are in the process of being cataloged in InfoHawk+. Catalog records will make it possible for recordings to be searchable by date, ensemble, lead performers, conductors, location, repertoire, and more.
  • The Music Library plans to scan all concert and recital programs held in University Archives. Programs are freely available to view and download in the Iowa Digital Library’s Iowa Sounds collection.
  • The Music Library anticipates the inclusion of more video content in the Archive. The Music Library and School of Music are partnering to bring select video content to the public via the School’s YouTube Channel.
  • The Music Library plans to review current digital holdings to identify public domain or works for which licensing or permissions can be obtained so as to make more performances available for streaming as open access recordings.