For many scholars, critical analysis of film and media music is stymied by a lack of published or manuscript materials, and discoverability of such materials is many times hampered by how archival materials are cataloged. Yet, numerous composers have deposited their papers at libraries and archives across the globe, but for now many collections are mainly discovered via finding a stray citation in a book or word of mouth.
The reason for this is because archival collections are cataloged with a focus on the creator of the collection and not the individual object (such as a book or manuscript score). Therefore, if the score or other materials for a film are in a collection of a studio or someone other than the composer themselves, they might be hard, if not impossible, to find without a lot of searching or a stroke of luck. Adding to the difficulty is that some of these collections are not fully indexed or searchable, and so many materials remain hidden under a century of backlogged archival processing.
In order to address this problem, the Collections of Cinema and Media Music (C2M2) has been designed, built, and populated by a small team spread across the United States. The project is now being assisted by the Film Music Interest Group of the Music Library Association (MLA FMIG), and is dedicated to the task of helping make these important artifacts of the 20th century easily discoverable to scholars and researchers.
Our presentation will discuss the design and implantation of C2M2, with a focus on the task of creating a custom metadata schema that addresses the unique issues of film and media music, and the myriad of ways a researcher might be trying to access a particular score. In a discussion panel, we will dive into the database, show the metadata schema, and see how the metadata functions and displays within the database. It will also include discussions of the challenges inherent in a project of this scope. We also hope to discuss with the assembled scholars and librarians our hopes for the future of C2M2 and illustrate the types of materials that can be featured in it by drawing on examples from film score collections at University XXXX.
As research into film and media music continues to expand, scholars are clamoring for access to materials to expand their research beyond the realm of music-film relationships and into areas reliant on archival materials. In such a world, tools such as C2M2 will be critical in creating the ease of access that will eliminate the barriers that hamper such work. The database is operable and data is currently being input by members of the MLA FMIG. We expect dozens of manuscript collections and hundreds of scores to be available for discovery by the middle of 2020.