Special Collections at the Wilson Music Library: Blair Archives

An overview of the special collections available for students, faculty, and researchers held by the Anne Potter Wilson Music Library.

The Blair String Quartet, featuring Sheldon Kurland, Stephen Clapp, David Vanderkooi, and Lee Kull, black and white photograph (1967), Vanderbilt University Special Collections.

Blair School of Music faculty and staff, black and white photograph (Commodore Yearbook, 1985), Vanderbilt University Special Collections.

Preserving the Blair School of Music's Legacy:

Preserving the legacy of the Blair School of Music is part of the Anne Potter Wilson Music Library’s mission.  Blair’s legacy is principally manifested in over 7000 recordings – a number that can grow daily during the semester – in a variety of formats. The earliest recordings in the collection are from the George Peabody College for Teachers, dating back to the 1970s, and new recordings are routinely added. Thirty-nine percent of the recordings in storage have been digitized, and can be searched and streamed through the online Blair Performance Archive.  The Music Library also has copies of promotional and personal photographs, certificates, letters, and other ephemera.  

About the Blair Archives:

  • Strengths of the Collection: Now streaming: Almost 400 faculty recitals, about 250 guest recitals;  over 120 masterclasses, 280 large student ensemble recordings, 40 opera theatre production recordings, 220 Concert Series recordings, 150 Nightcap/Signature Series recordings, 15 BMI Composer-in-Residence recordings, 30 student composition/Living Sounds recordings and 195 lectures; plus over 1050 student and 270 precollege recordings; textual and visual ephemera; all content is unique
  • Diversity – Recordings as diverse as the expanding curriculum of Blair: Art/”classical” music (including musics of non-European traditions), jazz, old-time/bluegrass and pop; a variety of textual and visual materials; evolving formats: reel-to-reel, DATS, cassettes, videotapes, CDs, DVDs, and WAV files.
  • How Do I Access the Collection? The Blair Performance Archive streaming database is available from the Music Library’s webpage.  Newer Blair recordings not yet added to the digital archive can be requested from Blair Technical Services.  Recordings from the early 2000s to near-present not yet added to the digital archive may be requested for in-house access at the circulation desk.  All other Blair archive materials can be requested by contacting Sara Manus or Holling Smith-Borne.
  • For more information on Blair Archives, see the Research Guide at http://researchguides.library.vanderbilt.edu/blair_50

Access the Blair Performance Archive: