RB News & Notes

June 8, 2008

Beginning the archival evaluation

Filed under: Bitgood Papers Annex — Grace @ 12:03 am

A rough assessment of Roberta Bitgood’s unprocessed papers in terms of what is where, with reference to physical locations in her home, and the extent and content of the materials, is the starting point of my evaluation process. I hope that an overall survey of materials in each location at the Bitgood home can provide the basis for further analysis and processing, such that the unprocessed Bitgood collection can soon begin to be compared with its companion archive at Connecticut College. Four main locations need to be surveyed:

(1) the second floor studio

(2) the ground floor bedroom

(3) the basement

(4) the ground floor passageway

As of June 1, I am working in the basement. In this location alone, I have uncovered materials fitting all 7 categories listed in the previous post. To review, these are:

  • (I) Clippings
  • (II) Printed programs
  • (III) Correspondence
  • (IV) Notebooks
  • (V) Music formats
  • (VI) Books and pamphlets
  • (VII) Periodicals
  • June 7, 2008

    Outline of the unprocessed Bitgood papers

    Filed under: Bitgood Papers Annex — Grace @ 11:36 pm

    Between 1999 and 2003, after resigning from her final position as organist and choir director of Crossroads Presbyterian Church in Waterford, Connecticut, Roberta Bitgood lived at home under the care of her family with the help of an able part-time staff. In 2003 she moved to the Odd Fellows Home of Connecticut in Groton, where she remained until her death in 2007. Her papers now formed two separate corpora, one collection already owned by Connecticut College and partly described by Carolyn Johnson, Librarian of the Greer Music Library, the other collection remaining at her home in Quaker Hill, still unprocessed.

    The task of organizing and analyzing the unprocessed collection, to determine whether transmittal of parts of it to the Shain Library (as annexes to the existing archive) would be desirable or appropriate, was complicated by the fact that some materials had remained embedded in the business of Dr. Bitgood’s daily life until its regular patterns were either disrupted or forgotten, while some others had apparently not been seen since their storage in containers prior to moving to Connecticut many years before.

    Another problem was the unknown degree to which particular materials duplicated papers and printed resources already collected and maintained by the Shain Library’s Department of Special Collections as described above. It seemed likely, however, that parts of the unprocessed collection represented unique documentation of Roberta Bitgood’s career which could justifiably be annexed to the Roberta Bitgood Archive and made accessible to future researchers.

    A bird’s-eye view of the scope of the unprocessed collection (hereafter, the Bitgood Papers Annex) would need to include the following categories:

    (I) Clippings

    Clippings about Roberta Bitgood

    Other clippings (RB collected or received in correspondence)

    (II) Printed programs

    Recital programs (organ, given by Roberta Bitgood)

    Recital programs (organ, RB attended or received in correspondence)

    Convention and workshop programs (mostly AGO, but various auspices)

    Other musical programs (featuring Roberta Bitgood as a participant)

    Other musical programs (RB attended or received in correspondence)

    Printed orders of worship (churches served by Roberta Bitgood)

    Printed orders of worship (featuring Roberta Bitgood as a participant)

    Printed orders of worship (RB attended or received in correspondence)

    (III) Correspondence

    Correspondence and papers—professional activities (AGO business, church employment, organ consultations, guest appearances: recitals, workshops, etc.)

    Correspondence and papers—publications, related contracts, royalties, proposals

    Correspondence and papers—honors, awards, citations

    Correspondence and papers—alumni/volunteer activities

    Correspondence and papers—personal, family

    Miscellaneous records

    (IV) Notebooks

    (V) Music formats

    Music manuscripts—unpublished Bitgood autographs, sketches, unknown/partial works

    Musical scores—oratorios, cantatas, operettas

    Published music by Roberta Bitgood

    Sheet music and collections—liturgical and sacred music (choral, vocal solo)

    Sheet music and collections—organ solo

    Sheet music and parts—instrumental, organ and other instruments

    Sheet music and parts—secular (choral, vocal solo, with piano or organ)

    (VI) Books and pamphlets

    Hymnals and other liturgical collections

    Prayer books and other devotional literature

    Religious press non-fiction

    Trade press non-fiction

    (VII) Periodicals

    The American Organist

    The Diapason

    The Tracker

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