Saturday, December 22, 2012

CBMR (Center for Black Music Research) Digest: 'Head Librarian and Archivist Suzanne Flandreau Retires'

Fall 2012 | Volume 25, No. 2

Suzanne Flandreau

Columbia College Chicago
Fall 2012 | Volume 25, No. 2
Head Librarian and Archivist Suzanne Flandreau retired from the CBMR at the end of September, after twenty-two years of service. She came from the Blues Archive at the University of Mississippi in 1990 to establish the CBMR Library and Archives, one of the key elements in the Center’s multi-faceted programs. In the following twenty-two years the CBMR Library and Archives grew from the contents of a closet to a repository with 125 archival and score collections, 10,000 sound recordings, and a 6,000-volume collection of books and dissertations. Under Flandreau’s supervision, the CBMR Library and Archives has become a major resource for the study of black music. Scholars, students, teachers, performers, and lay persons from all over the world have visited the CBMR to use the Library’s collections.

During her time at the CBMR, Flandreau was active in professional associations, including the Society of American Archivists, where she gave presentations on collecting and archiving black music, the Music Library Association, where she founded the Black Music Collections Roundtable, and the Society for Ethnomusicology, where she headed the Archiving committee and served as SEM treasurer during 2004–2010. In 2003 she was appointed by the Librarian of Congress to the National Recording Preservation Board, where she represented the Society for Ethnomusicology until 2010. She was also an invited speaker for a number of organizations, including the Conductors’ Guild, Chamber Music America, the Major Orchestra Librarians’ Association, and the American Choral Directors’ Association. Her professional activities helped to further the cause of black music scholarship and performance while publicizing the programs and resources of the Center for Black Music Research in particular.

Flandreau was honored with a retirement reception on September 14. Her colleagues and friends presented her with a two-volume collection of letters and cards from well-wishers. “People have said so many nice things about me and my career at the CBMR,” she commented, “but really the same things could be said of anyone here at the Center. We all work together to fulfill the Center’s mission of promoting scholarship about the music of the African diaspora. I feel privileged to have worked with such wonderful colleagues, researchers, and performers, and to have participated in the many successful efforts of the CBMR. I have been so fortunate to work in a field I’m passionate about. It has been a very fulfilling career.”

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