Scholarship at Penn Libraries

Document Type

Journal Article

Date of this Version

November 2008

Comments

Preprint of article accepted for publication in Notes 65, no. 3 (March 2009): 433-63. Copyright Music Library Association.

Abstract

MLA-L, the electronic-mail distribution list for music librarians, is now twenty years old. Before the establishment of the list in 1989, professional communication among music librarians was paper based and slow. The growth of computer networks in the early 1980s led to the development of applications to promote group communication, including LISTSERV, an e-mail distribution application released in 1986. With the help of Mary Papakhian, a member of the information technology staff at Indiana University, Ralph Papakhian established MLA-L as the first distribution list on the university's LISTSERV server. Growth of the list was rapid: by the end of 1995, there were over 1,000 subscribers, and since then the number has slowly increased to over 1,100. The topics of discussion on MLA-L cover all aspects of the profession, and the archives of messages posted to the list provide a rich resource for the study of the history of music librarianship.

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Date Posted: 20 November 2008