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Edwin E. Gordon Archive Research Guide

A guide to resources related to music educator Edwin E. Gordon

Frequently Asked Questions

On this page you'll find some commonly asked questions about the Gordon Archive and about archival research in general. If you need assistance with access to items in the Gordon Archive, locating items relevant to your research topic, planning an onsite visit, or determining whether you have items that are appropriate to donate to the Archive please contact us via the "Email Me" link on this page.

What is a finding aid?

A finding aid (sometimes called a research guide) is a comprehensive document that has details about the collection. In the Gordon Archive finding aid, materials are organized as he had them arranged in the room where he worked at Thomas Cooper Library. The finding aid serves to provide an overview and detailed information about materials, both published and unpublished, that are included in the collection. Unpublished materials are only documented in the finding aid. Most published items like books are included in the USC library catalog and WorldCat.

What if I just need access to just one article, an unpublished item, or a published item too rare to be available through Interlibrary Loan (ILL)?

For the purposes of research (i.e. reading for personal edification, or paraphrasing and citing in academic papers) there are several possibilities. As many digital items as possible have been made available through this guide. If you need to access an article, small amounts of unpublished materials, or a small portion of a book that is not available online, we can often provide you with a copy on an as needed basis as allowed by current copyright laws. If you need access to an entire book or large amounts of materials, especially unpublished materials, you’ll want to schedule an onsite visit at the Music Library. Any requests having to do with reproduction for publication or non-research-related use will be handled on a case-by-case basis.

How far in advance do I need to request materials not electronically available through this guide?

At a minimum, 48 hours of notice is recommended to retrieve materials from our off-site storage. However, to guard against the unexpected, at least five days of advance notice is recommended.

How do I schedule an on-site visit?

Contact us at the email me link on this page. We recommend contacting us at least week in advance to make an appointment for an on-site visit. It may be helpful to you to contact us sooner rather than later if you have a specific research need, like resources for a thesis or dissertation, so we can help you find the specific materials you are looking for.

Donation of Archival Materials

We are currently accepting the donation of select items relevant to this collection. If you have items to donate, please contact us through the "Email Me" link. In your email please describe the materials you wish to donate and their volume (i.e. a box, an envelope, 5 cassettes). Lists with titles and publication years are greatly appreciated. We ask that you only send materials after we have discussed them and agreed upon what will be sent via email.