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BARD (Braille and Audio Reading Download)

Recently, I’ve been dismayed to hear some patrons say, “I know you don’t have such and such in your collection because I already checked on BARD.” After receiving a few of these comments, I realized that some of our patrons mistakenly believe that our entire collection is available on BARD.  I would like to use this post to explain why the audio and braille books on BARD will always represent only a portion of our collection.

The majority of our audio collection is on BARD but some of our popular titles such as “Introduction to the Piano,” and “Introduction to the Guitar,” are not on BARD. As with some of the newer instructional recordings for the piano and guitar, we are unable to make these titles downloadable due to an agreement with the publisher. Similarly, a number of guitar instructional recordings that were not originally conceived for the blind and visually impaired are only available on cartridge.

As for our braille music collection, about 25 percent of it is currently available on BARD. Digitizing braille music is one of our routine tasks at Music Section. As soon as we complete scanning, editing and formatting a braille score, we upload the braille-ready format (brf) to BARD. We also create a link in our Voyager catalog so that the patron searching our online catalog can download it without having to duplicate the search on BARD.

It will be another few years before we can digitize all of the available braille music titles in our collection because of the sheer number. I write “available braille music” because as with some titles in our audio collection, we do not have permission from all publishers to put the digitized braille music on BARD. The good news is that the new braille music titles that NLS transcribes do not require digitization since the transcribers send us the brf which can be quickly processed and uploaded to BARD.

As you may have guessed, our large print music is available in hard copy only. BARD is only for braille and audio.

All of this is to say that if you don’t find what you are looking for on BARD, please don’t give up. You can look for it on the NLS online catalog at //nlscatalog.loc.gov and contact us with the call number, or we can help you find it. For more information on how to search in BARD and NLS online catalog, please read Mary Dell Jenkins’ blog.


Our Newest Books on (and off) BARD

Since it’s back-to-school time, many folks find themselves looking for new projects, new topics of interest, and new hobbies. I sincerely hope that many of you reading this are hoping to learn how to play music or your favorite song, improving your already extant musical skill, or maybe teaching yourself about some topic in music […]

A Trip Around the World with the NLS Music Section

Do you want to learn how to play piano? We have a book for you! Do you want the libretto for your favorite opera? We have that as well! Do you want to learn about folk music from around the world? Well, we also have books about that. Many patrons get to know us through […]

Happy Birthday Nino Rota

Although motion pictures are, for all intents and purposes, a visual art form, one can still appreciate the music from those films on their own without the movie-going experience. For this I am grateful, as, being more drawn to music than film (and having limited spare time to catch all the movies that I’d like […]

A King and a (Fairy) Queen: Music by Henry Purcell in the NLS Collection

Today (September 10th) we celebrate Henry Purcell’s 356th birthday [Note: this date is actually disputed as no official baptismal record has been found. However, we will use this commonly accepted date, as it gives us a chance to talk about his music!]. Purcell’s contribution to Western classical music is indispensable, as it has influenced numerous other […]

Back to School

September signifies many things to us–cooler temperatures, leaves starting to turn, and…back to school! I would like to showcase some of the items requested with increasing frequency as the semester begins. We have some new titles and some that would be helpful if you’re looking for a guide. Most of these are intended for college […]

NLS Materials for Early Music Education

Tomorrow we celebrate the birthday of one of the Twentieth Century’s most well-known composers and music pedagogues, Carl Orff (1895-1982). Although Orff may be best known for his cantata Carmina Burana, he is also quite well-known in the music education field because of “Orff Schulwerk,” an elementary approach to music he co-developed with his colleague Gunild […]

Behind the Scenes: An Interview with NLS Narrator Laura Giannarelli (part II)

A few weeks ago, I published an interview with NLS narrator Laura Giannarelli. In it, she talks about how she became a Talking Book narrator, and some of her favorite parts of the program. Ms. Giannarelli is one of the many narrators who narrate the liner notes of our newly acquired Smithsonian Folkways books. She […]

Erin go bragh! Irish Music from the NLS Music Section

Although St. Patrick’s Day may remind you of tin whistles, bodhráns, bagpipes (even though bagpipes are, strictly speaking, Scottish–the Irish musical tradition uses Uilleann pipes), or some other such traditional Irish instrument, one may neglect to think of the Celtic harp. The Celtic Harp and O’Carolan The harp is ubiquitous to most musical cultures, but […]

A Tale of Two Resources: The Text-only Online Catalog and BARD

This post was co-written with John Hanson. This post addresses what we have heard are occasional problems or misunderstandings of our online resources, what they are, and how to access and/or download wanted scores and books. Catalogs The Text-only version of our catalog (accessible as the second link at //nlscatalog.loc.gov), is the only complete and […]