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Collections and Research

Special Collections

MSPAL is home to several special collections and archives of materials relating to the performing arts.

Special Collections in Performing Arts (SCPA) contains performing arts collections that preserve performance, education, recordings, and scholarship.

International Piano Archives at Maryland (IPAM) is a unique resource for the study, appreciation, and preservation of the classical piano repertoire and its performance. IPAM's collections comprise the world's most extensive concentration of piano recordings, books, scores, programs and related materials, including the archival papers of many great keyboard artists.

Today's hours

Reference and Library Instruction Services

MSPAL reference librarians are available for reference assistance and library instruction. They can provide guidance on how to use specific library tools, as well as general information on searching the music, theatre, and dance literature present. They are also available to meet with classes to provide information on the materials and services of MSPAL.

Circulation Services

MSPAL follows the circulation policies of UMD Libraries, with the following exceptions:

  • Most CDs and DVDs circulate to UMD faculty, staff, and students for at least 12 weeks. 
  • Bound and unbound journals do not circulate at MSPAL.
  • Reference materials do not circulate at MSPAL. Only the Reference Librarians may issue a special permission slip which allows these items to circulate to graduate students or faculty for a short period of time, on a case-by-base basis.

Most items in the general circulating collections may be renewed online. Borrowers should go to the online catalog, sign in and click on "My Account." You may then renew items on your list of current loans. Renewals are not permitted for items with outstanding holds, items more than one month overdue, or for certain other special categories (CDs and DVDs).

UMD student ID cards are not transferable. However, UMD faculty members may loan their ID cards to family members, graduate assistants, etc., with the understanding that the faculty member is personally accountable for all materials borrowed on his/her card. If an ID card is lost or stolen, the Libraries must be notified immediately.

For special score loans from the American Composers Alliance, International Clarinet Association (ICA) Research Center, Contemporary Music Project Collection, or National Association of Collegiate Wind and Percussion Instructors (NACWPI) Research Center, please visit Special Collections in Performing Arts.

Course Reserves

Course reserves items for your courses can be identified through ELMS. Electronic items on reserve (PDFs, ebooks, online articles, streaming media) may be accessed directly through ELMS. For physical items on hold at various campus libraries, including MSPAL, ELMS will provide a call number that may be requested at the library's service desk. For additional help with course reserves in ELMS, see the How to Access Course Reserves tutorial. Reserves at MSPAL are kept at the circulation desk and are available for two-hour loans during the semester, although circulation staff may reduce that length of time during high-use periods. A valid UMD ID must be presented to borrow and the overdue fine is $5.00 per hour.

Placing Materials On Reserve

The most efficient way for faculty to place materials on reserve is through their course's ELMS-Canvas page. For instructions for doing so, see the UMD Libraries's page on placing course materials on reserve. Materials that have to be purchased by the library for reserve must be ordered early; please allow up to 60 days for acquisition. Journal articles and book chapters will be put on reserve electronically, as either links to online sources or scanned copies of articles/chapters provided by faculty (when notice of copyright is included).

MSPAL also allows instructors to place on reserve scores, personal audio and video recordings, class notes, homework solutions, sample exams, and other items. Personal copies of items for placement on reserves should be clearly marked as such. Please remember that all copyrighted materials placed on reserve must contain a notice of copyright. 

When submitting a request please include the following information:

  • Course number
  • Professor
  • Title
  • Author/composer
  • Call number including issue/volume/year
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