We’ve just added an exciting new collection to the Music Library and Sound Recordings Archives in the form of the back catalog of the Vitak-Elsnic publisher. A gift of Music Publishers of America (MPA)–the company that currently owns and still sells the catalog–the collection includes two copies of almost all of the titles published by polka publisher Vitak-Elsnic over the last 120+ years.
Materials in the collection include scores of music for accordion, concertina, and piano, as well as charts for small band and orchestra ensembles, and a few other odds and ends. In many cases, the same tune is arranged for several different instruments and/or ensembles, allowing users of the collection to trace different uses of compositions and tunes. All told, the collection includes almost 6,000 pieces.
One pleasant surprise we discovered when packing the collection was the presence of re-order history for many of the titles on cards that we thought were simply shelf dividers. This information will provide valuable insights into the popularity of these titles over time.
While it will take some time for us to add full descriptions of these materials in our library catalog, the collection is all in order, and we can retrieve materials for researchers easily. Sales for commercial performances are and will continue to be available directly from MPA.