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What is the Litoff Jazz LP collection?

by Michael Crowley on 2019-10-01T10:46:00-04:00 in Music | 0 Comments


Over the summer, David Chorowski (B.M. Sonic Arts) and I worked to process and assess a collection of vinyl records donated to the music library by Mel and Phyllis Litoff, former owners of the iconic NYC jazz venue "Sweet Basil." You can browse or search the collection holdings by visiting the Music Research guide.       

Since the Litoffs' gift was intended to support Jazz studies at CCNY and CUNY, David and I wanted to determine how many of the collection's 689 jazz albums were already easily accessible to CUNY patrons. David searched each album in CUNY's online catalog and found only a small percentage of the albums (17%) were available at a CUNY library. By providing access to the Litoff collection at the music library, we enable access to over 570 jazz albums previously inaccessible at CUNY.

We also found that 233 albums (33% of the collection) are NOT available on Spotify, Amazon Music, Apple Music or YouTube. By comparing library holdings to the major streaming platforms, we hope to emphasize the important role libraries play in preserving cultural heritage materials. Thanks to all the data generated from the study, we have a clearer picture of which albums should be prioritized for preservation.   



This project was made possible thanks to the college's Opportunities in Research and Creative Arts (ORCA) program. David presented the results of our study at last week's ORCA poster session. In case you missed it, David's poster is copied below.  Great job, David! 



Top Image: David Chorowski (left) and Michael Crowley (right) with the Litoff LP collection. Photo credit: Sean O'Heir

Middle Image: David Chorowski at the ORCA poster symposium. Photo credit: Michael Crowley.

Bottom Image: "What is the Litoff LP collection?" poster. Posted with permission from David Chorowski.  

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