Publications and Research

Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2018


Libraries are positioned at the nexus of creative production, music publishing, performance, and research. The academic library community has the potential to play an influential leadership role in shaping the music publishing life cycle, making scores more readily discoverable and accessible, and establishing itself as a force that empowers a wide range of creativity and scholarship. Yet the music publishing industry has been slow to capitalize on the digital market, and academic libraries have been slow to integrate electronic music scores into their collections. In this paper, I will discuss the historical, technical, and human factors that have contributed to this moment, and the critical next steps the academic library community can take in response to the booming digital music publishing market to make a lasting impact through setting technological standards and best practices, developing education in these technologies and related intellectual property issues, and becoming an active partner in digital music publishing and in innovative research and creative possibilities.


This is the final manuscript version of the article which first appeared in Library Trends, Volume 67, Issue 2, Fall 2018, pages 303-318. Copyright © 2018 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.



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