West Side Story: The Creation of a Classic

Last month, the Music Division presented its live webinar, “West Side Story: The Creation of a Classic,” featuring Senior Music Specialist Mark Horowitz presenting on the creation of the 1957 musical. Drawing on materials from the Leonard Bernstein Collection, the Arthur Laurents Papers, and the Oliver Smith Papers to illustrate his talk, Mark engaged attendees in an illuminating discussion of the collaborative, creative process of developing the musical from its earliest conception to its Broadway premiere. Music Reference Specialist Cait Miller also highlights digitized materials related to West Side Story from the Leonard Bernstein Digital Collection, and connects attendees with relevant research guides: Leonard Bernstein: A Guide to Resources and Musicals of Stage and Screen: A Guide to Resources. The webinar wraps up with a Question and Answer session led by Music Archivist Janet McKinney.

Steven Spielberg’s new film adaptation of West Side Story releases in theaters this Friday, December 10th. We hope that watching the recording of last month’s webinar will enhance your own understanding of the musical’s history and provide new insight as you watch the film. If you have any questions about the webinar or anything in the Library’s collections related to West Side Story, please send our reference librarians an email through Ask a Librarian!

Two New Research Guides about Latin American Composers

I am thrilled to announce the online publication of two new Music Division research guides: Latin American Composers in Music Division Collections and Primary Sources for Latin American Composers at the Library of Congress. These guides complement each other, and you can also use one or the other depending on your own research needs and interests.

Celebrate Black History Month with Music Research Guides

As Black History Month comes to a close, the Music Division is pleased to announce three recently published research guides that highlight Black history in our collections: “Harry Thacker Burleigh: A Guide to Resources,” “Early African-American Music: A Bibliography,” and “Black Composers in Music Division Collections.”