1. By default, a search in WorldCat UMD will return items held in libraries worldwide, with items available at UMD College Park usually displayed at the top of the list. But what if you want to limit your search results to only things that are held at the Performing Arts Library?

    It’s easy: just select the Performing Arts Library from the drop-down menu of libraries to search, and your results will contain only items held at our branch. This is great when you’re already in the library and want to get your hands on some sources quickly.

    But wait! Did you know there’s a way to limit your search to just the PAL Reference section?

    By entering the right location code with your search, you can narrow your results to particular areas of the library, such as reference, stacks, or special collections.

    Just enter your search terms followed by the label b8: and a four-character code for the exact location. The list of codes can be found on this page of the Subject Guide about WorldCat UMD.

    For example, let’s say that you remember seeing some cool dictionary about percussion but you can’t recall the title and don’t want to wander aimlessly around the reference section. Just search for percussion and add b8:umaq (the code for PAL Reference), and you’ll see only items in our reference section downstairs.

    So that’s where I found that drumming encyclopedia…


  2. Banned Books Week and “Degenerate” Music

    To mark this year’s Banned Books Week (Sept. 21-27), the Performing Arts Library is displaying examples of music that was censored by Nazi Germany for supposedly “manifest[ing] symptoms of national decline.” At a 1938 exhibit called Entartete Musik (“degenerate music”), Nazi cultural politicians publicly condemned atonal music, jazz, and works by Jewish composers. 

    The display case near the Performing Arts Library’s circulation desk highlights some major works of music that were censored in Nazi Germany, including Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire, Berg’s opera Wozzeck, and Kurt Weill’s satirical ballet Seven Deadly Sins. All of the recordings and scores on display are part of the library’s collection. 

    The Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library is proud to support the freedom to read and listen. 


  3. Coming to The Clarice on 9/20: La Santa Cecilia - check out their NPR Tiny Desk Concert!


    La Santa Cecilia photo by Humberto Howard

    Are you a fan of Latin culture, rock, world music, and NPR? Check out  La Santa Cecilia’s Tiny Desk Concert and don’t miss them at The Clarice on Saturday, September 20th at 8pm.
    (For more information and tickets, visit 
    The Clarice online.)


  4. shellved:

    *(and could be yours if you visit the MSPAL rummage sale)

    To prepare for the Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library’s upcoming rummage sale at the NextNOW Fest, we sifted through a few thousand LPs that had been gathering dust and found a little bit of everything: harmonica bands, yacht…


  5. For those about to research rock…


    Whether you’re looking for an obituary of Jimi Hendrixa 1977 feature on Blondiea 1988 recording of an interview with the Pixies, or aRolling Stone review of Hanson’s debut albumRock’s Backpages is a great place to begin your search. 

    The database contains more than 25,000 articles published since 1960, including over 400 audio recordings of interviews with artists and others involved in popular music. Articles are categorized by subject, making it easy to browse material on many subgenres of pop, rock, soul, hip-hop, and more.

    The content comes from major publications such as Rolling StoneNew Musical Express, and Melody Maker, as well as from smaller, specialized music magazines. In addition to feature articles about artists and styles, you’ll find album and concert reviews, interviews, and commentaries.

    Try Rock’s Backpages for your research or just to find some interesting writing on your favorite band. 


  6. MSPAL Power is back!

    Welcome to the revived, resurrected, reestablished MSPAL Power, back for the start of the 2014-2015 academic year. We’re working hard to bring you a new-and-improved way to keep up with us and we have lots of exciting events and helpful info to share, so check back regularly for updates from the University of Maryland’s Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library!

    (Our archives are still available if you’re looking for something in a past MSPAL Power post. Happy searching!)