Fine and Rare III and IV Introduce Musical Treasures and New Acquisitions

Fine and Rare

Carnegie Mellon University Libraries and Special Collections invite you to join us for two upcoming installments of the “Fine and Rare” series. On December 7, 2023 at 6:30 p.m., Curator of Special Collections Sam Lemley will share rare musical treasures in “Fine and Rare III: Musical Marvels of Special Collections Unveiled.” Then, on January 25, 2024 at 6:30 p.m., “Fine and Rare IV: Inside CMU Libraries’ Special Collections” will introduce recently acquired items in the collections.

Previous “Fine and Rare” events introduced attendees to the many wonders within the Libraries’ Special Collections. The first provided a chance to look closer at the wide variety of artifacts that the collections contain, including World War II Enigma cipher machines, a first edition copy of Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein,” complete in its original binding, and more. The second installment zeroed in on the fascinating history of Carnegie Mellon’s copies of the earliest printings of Shakespeare’s plays.

Music book

This year, Lemley will explore new sets of noteworthy objects and their unique backgrounds.

Music played a surprisingly important role in the early history of the Libraries' Special Collections. Thanks to resources like the Charles J. Rosenbloom Collection, music students, researchers, and enthusiasts alike have access to significant historical documents from the field.

In “Musical Marvels of Special Collections Unveiled,” Lemley will showcase a number of rare and early printed editions of works by well-known composers, including Beethoven, Bach, and Brahms. Special guest Mary Ellen Poole, the Stanley and Marcia Gumberg Dean of the College of Fine Arts, will moderate a Q&A session with Lemley at the end of the event.

Books“What's exciting about these materials is that they're outside of Special Collections' area of focus, which is broadly the history of computing and technology. They're no less important, though, and are endlessly fascinating,” Lemley explained. “The event will therefore show the range of the collection and demonstrate how it speaks to students working across disciplines and academic departments, including in the School of Music.”

As a whole, Special Collections is envisioned as an interdisciplinary workshop where humanistic modes of inquiry combine with innovative tools to study historical technologies, books, and artifacts. The diverse and valuable collections fuel transformative exhibitions, groundbreaking research, and other programs that bring students, scholars, and members of the public into Special Collections and CMU’s Libraries.

In “Fine and Rare IV,” Lemley will share newly acquired objects and books from the Libraries' collection of rare books, artifacts, early scientific instruments, and calculating machines. Attendees will learn about areas of collection strength, ongoing research, and instructional programs in Special Collections. They’ll also get a sneak peek at exciting future plans.

“It's a privilege to share objects and books that I've acquired recently for the collection, particularly because most of these acquisitions have been made possible by donor support,” Lemley said. “I view the fourth installment of Fine and Rare as an opportunity to thank the community for that support and to share a bit about what I've been up to to grow and evolve the collection.”

Both “Fine and Rare III: Musical Marvels of Special Collections Unveiled” and “Fine and Rare IV: Inside CMU Libraries’ Special Collections” are virtual events. Register now to receive a link to attend.

by Sarah Bender, Communications Coordintor