Library Ireland Week 2020 - Libraries Endure: Continuity in a Crisis

2020 has been a year like no other for many, including the arts and library sectors. This year’s Library Ireland Week, organised by the Library Association of Ireland, aims to reflect how libraries have adapted and changed in order to provide continuing services in a rapidly changing environment. Composers, musicians, students and audiences currently face a significant period of change in Ireland and around the world. CMC has aimed to adapt and develop library services to continue to provide core services to those engaging with contemporary music from Ireland, and to promote our collection to a broad and diverse audience.

CMC’s collection

Contemporary Music Centre’s collection consists of sheet music, audio material and bibliographical and ephemeral materials. Due to the contemporary nature of the CMC collection, and due to continued investment in emerging technologies and digitisation, a large portion of the collection is digitised. This investment has proved vital in continuing to provide core library and archive services since March.

Digital resources

CMC’s digital collections have been enhanced in recent years thanks to 2018 funding from the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht/Creative Ireland 2018 Cultural Digitisation Scheme. In October 2020 received funding from the Heritage Council/An Chomhairle Oidhreachta’s Community Heritage grant, which has facilitated the digitisation of almost 400 cassettes in CMC’s audio archive. These cassettes hold unique recordings, not available to the public anywhere else. This digitisation project has made these more accessible to current researchers and has safely preserved these recordings for future use.

Promotion and exploration of CMC’s collection

As CMC’s Library on 19 Fishamble Street has been largely closed to the public since March, CMC Library Co-ordinator Susan Brodigan has developed a new online feature Through the Digital Door. This fortnightly feature shines a light on various aspects of this unique collection of over 10,000 works. Explore the previous 22 editions of Through the Digital Door here.

This week’s Through the Digital Door explores some of the recently-digitised recordings included in the Heritage Council’s Community Heritage-funded project.