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MMD > Archives > October 2005 > 2005.10.19 > 01Prev  Next

Ed Sprankle's Archive
By Matthew Caulfield

Communication with Clif Lund-Rollins indicates that Bob Billings
rescued only the roll-related material from the treasure-trove of
literature that Ed Sprankle had accumulated during his years of
collecting.  Clif got in touch with Tom Hawthorn of Hawthorn's
Antique Audio, who Clif understood had auctioned off what was left,
but Tom replied to Clif that he took only the books on music and
biographies.  He didn't examine Ed Sprankle's numerous files or
cabinets -- just the exposed books on bookshelves.

Does that mean that there is important mechanical music paper still
at risk of being tossed at housecleaning time?  It used to be that
collector Dick Howe, of Houston, Tex., regularly ran ads in the
journals offering to buy significant literature in order to preserve
it and act as a collecting point for what was becoming more and more

The literature of our hobby (passion?) is almost as important as
the artifacts themselves.  When debating the best repository for his
piano-literature collection, Dick Howe dismissed an obvious choice
such as the Library of Congress on the grounds that his narrowly
focussed collection would sink like a pebble in the ocean of material
that the world's largest library owned.  He chose to donate it to
the International Piano Archives at Maryland (a short drive from the
Library of Congress, by the way), where it would be at home among a
smaller group of related material.

Whoever owns important literature should feel the same conscientious
obligation that Dick Howe did, to make careful provision for its
eventual disposition or publication.  Publishing can be laborious and
expensive, but it is a sure cure to the problem.  Internet publication
is one way to go, but it's too early to say how permanent it will be.

Matthew Caulfield
Irondequoit, New York

 [ The <Matthew Caulfield Archive of Wurlitzer Roll Information> ;-)
 [ continues to grow without consuming more space at his home.  How
 [ does he manage this feat?  Visit 
 [ -- Robbie

(Message sent Wed 19 Oct 2005, 15:52:31 GMT, from time zone GMT-0400.)

Key Words in Subject:  Archive, Ed, Sprankle's

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