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An Internet primer for music librarians: tools, sources, current awareness.

In "Electronic Information and Applications in Musicology and Music Theory" Mary K. Duggan observes that "the impact of electronic information goes beyond research on music and writings about music to the processes of creating, notating, printing, performing, and recording music."(1) Recognizing the importance of network resources, Duggan discusses various means of electronic communication--electronic mail, discussion lists and journals--as well as databases of digitally encoded music notation and sound. Since the publication of her article, network resources have grown at a phenomenal rate. New electronic journals are created seemingly each week; discussion groups are born; databases are uploaded and made available for searching or transferring to remote computers; software programs to help access this information are created for both the mainframe and personal computer; guides are written to facilitate network use. Music librarians must master the skills needed to use this virtual library as its resources become more prevalent and consequently more in demand from our constituents.

The difficulty lies not in mastering the number or kind of electronic resources--the librarian has always managed to create order out of the chaos of resources available to our patrons. Rather, the difficulty lies in understanding the arrangement of resources, how they are accessed, and how to keep current with the appearance of new resources. Unlike the world of printed information, there is yet no commonly shared paradigm upon which one might draw to develop an overview of this world of networked information. Our standard reference sources, in spite of all they offer, cannot help locate archives of MIDI files, or databases of lyrics, or indexes of popular song available for searching online.

This article must include the caveat found in all print communication regarding the Internet: by the time it is read, some of the details will be out-of-date. While the sources (discussion groups, databases, etc.) may change, the tools used to access these sources will still be valid. Consequently, this article does not try to catalog all music sources available on the Internet, but rather discusses tools (basic and advanced) and introduces a representative number of sources. Emphasis is placed on those sources and tools that allow a network user specifically interested in music to keep current. By consulting the relevant footnotes, those already familiar with network tools will find instructions for accessing specific resources mentioned in the article's text. Neither does this article purport to teach basic network skills. The novice is urged to consult the list of references at the conclusion of this article for publications that provide a comprehensive introduction to networks and networking.

Outside of Duggan's article, little has been written on the Internet or network communication with the music library community in mind. Richard Griscom's "Bibliography for MLA Networkers," offered in conjunction with his presentation at the 1991 Music Library Association national meeting in Indianapolis, emphasizes BITNET (a logical emphasis considering the Music Library Association Mailing List is a BITNET LISTSERV list) and, while many of the cited sources are still useful, others have been superseded.(2) The 1992 issue of the annual Computing in Musicology: A Directory of Research contains "Using Networks in Musical Research: Tutorial and Forum."(3) For the novice, the information offered in the tutorial will not be a sufficient introduction to network use. The authors try to fit too much information into the allotted space and the result is confusing; in places the discussion itself is confused.(4) However, the charts devoted to musicology-related discussion lists and data archives may be of use. Finally, several articles have appeared in the MLA Newsletter, most notably "Online Catalogs Available on the Internet."(5)


Creative metaphors have been designed to help us better envision the [virtual] reality of the Internet. It has been described variously as "a type of highway system," "an ocean upon which you may take a trip," or "an all-night, nonstop block party with a corner table of kindred souls who welcome your presence at any time."(6) What these metaphors are attempting to describe is an international network of networks, each using the TCP/IP protocol. TCP/IP--Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol--governs the manner in which data are exchanged across a communications link; it is the Internet standard protocol. In a broader sense non-TCP/IP networks such as BITNET, which have developed special gateway connections to allow for the exchange of information, might also be said to be part of the Internet.

We must pass by the history of the Internet, and a variety of intriguing issues regarding governance, copyright, privacy, privatization, commercialization, and technical workings of the Internet in order to discuss the tools, or basic network applications, that can move us along this highway of information. Ed Krol's The Whole Internet: User's Guide & Catalog should be singled out as providing a thorough, yet comprehensible, introduction to the issues not treated here.(7)


Basic network applications are divided into three categories: communication, remote login, and file transfer. Communication includes electronic mail; various types of electronic discussion lists, journals, and digests; and Network news. Remote login (telnet) refers to accessing databases and other resources on remote computers in real time, while file transfer (FTP) entails the transfer of data from one computer to another. Beyond these three basic applications lie a range of advanced resource discovery tools: Archie, WAIS (Wide Area Information Servers), Gopher, the World-Wide Web (WWW), and Mosaic.


Email (electronic mail) is fast becoming a primary channel of communication in the music library community. A reference question may arrive in one's electronic mailbox from a faculty member on the floor above, a former student a continent away, or a colleague who knows the strength of a particular collection. This asynchronous form of communication--one need not be at the reference desk or on the other end of the telephone when the question arrives--allows the librarian time to consider fully a response and yet still reply in a timely manner.

In order to use electronic mail effectively, one must master skills beyond one's local email program. Addressing conventions for email on networks other than the Internet or BITNET should be understood as should methods for finding current email addresses.(8) Colleagues move, computer addresses change, printed directories may be inaccurate. However, there is yet no comprehensive "white pages" that lists the addresses of all users; the Internet is simply growing too quickly and, since it is really a network of networks, there is no one network information center to record this information. Methods of finding addresses range from a rather purpose-defeating telephone call to using network directory services such as WHOIS, Knowbot, or NETFIND.(9)

An electronic discussion list permits network users to confer collectively on issues of mutual concern. One important list of discussion lists is maintained by the Network Information Systems Center at SRI International; as of June 1993 there were over 1,200 entries covering all manner of vocation and avocation.(10) Those devoted to professional topics, such as the Music Library Association Mailing List (MLA-L) or the Public Access Computer Systems Forum (PACS-L), are usually outlets for useful exchanges of information as members ask questions, offer solutions, air opinions, and work through common problems. The combined knowledge and experience of discussion list members can be a powerful tool in the music library environment.

Some electronic discussion lists on the Internet are set up as mail reflectors; that is, a message is sent to an address and then copies are forwarded ("reflected") to list members. A similar facility exists on BITNET but uses the software program LISTSERV. This program automates many list functions such as subscribing, unsubscribing, distributing messages, searching and retrieving files, etc.(11)

Enother means of participating in an electronic discussion group is to read Network news.(12) Originally a UNIX to UNIX facility, Network news has grown to encompass other platforms as well. This service works differently than a mail reflector or a LISTSERV list. Instead of being distributed to the mail box of every subscriber, a single copy of a message or article is held on a server computer and read using a news reader. There are multiple servers across the globe and news is exchanged among them. Network news discussions are organized under a set of broad, topical headings called "newsgroups" which are arranged hierarchically. Available newsgroups depend on what computer the news reader uses for its news server; there are several news readers from which to choose.

The news server collects information from a number of places including USENET, local news sources, mail reflectors, LISTSERVers, etc. Most newsgroups come as part of USENET. A rather amorphous entity, USENET descriptions vary. Krol defines it as a set of rules for passing and maintaining newsgroups and a set of volunteers who use those rules.(13) In some cases, USENET is used as a synonym for Network news, adding to the terminological confusion.

There are thousands of newsgroups accessible through Network news; hundreds of thousands of postings to these groups are made each week; well over one hundred groups are devoted to music. Even in those groups concerned with music in some way, much of the traffic will interest only the specialist (e.g., for Grateful Dead fans or for early music devotees). Discussions often are carried out by enthusiastic amateurs and relevance for the academic community varies. However, these discussions and those who participate in them could be gold mines of information, particularly for popular culture issues. In addition to discussion groups created for USENET, the output of a mail reflector or a LISTSERV list can be forwarded to a newsgroup. Thus it is possible to read EMUSIC-L, a BITNET LISTSERV list, using a news reader under the category bit.listserv.emusic-l.

Of interest to the music community is a newsgroup such as A moderated group, provides a resource for information, news, and items of musical interest. Periodically posted articles include the lists Internet Musical FTP Sites, Internet Musical Resources, USENET Musical Newsgroups, and Music-related Fan Clubs. Submissions to also include items such as new mailing lists, discographies, charts, concert dates, and more.

Keeping current about new discussion lists--music-related or otherwise--can also be accomplished by subscribing to the list NEW-LIST.(14) This list was established as a central address to post announcements of new public mailing lists; it is also available on Network news,

There are a number of lists of lists for discovering what groups are currently active.(15) The Musical List of Lists has been one of the most comprehensive list of lists dealing with music. Presented by The Cleveland Free-Net Music SIG (special interest group), the MLoL is update sporadically.(16) Charles Bailey maintains the frequently updated Library-Oriented Lists and Electronic Serials.(17) The Directory of Scholarly Electronic Conferences, compiled by Diane Kovacs, et al., contains descriptions of electronic conferences on topics of interest to scholars.(18) Included are discussion lists, interest groups, electronic journals, electronic newsletters, USENET newsgroups, forums, etc. A list of all BITNET LISTSERV lists is maintained by BITNIC while the list of Internet lists is available from the Network Information Systems Center at SRI.(19) Be aware that the latter two files, particularly the Internet list, are quite large. USENET lists of newsgroups and mailing lists include the List of Active Newsgroups, Alternative Newsgroup Hierarchies, and Publicly Accessible Mailing Lists. They are available from the MIT USENET archive.(20) While there is overlap in many of these lists of lists, unique items are found in each.


Telnet is the TCP/IP application for logging into a remote computer. Once connected, services and databases are used as if one were logged in directly to the remote computer. Telnet can be used both for logging in to a computer on which one has formal permission to use (i.e., login name and password) or logging in to a computer offering public services not requiring an account (e.g., library catalogs). While many telnet commands are standard across various computer mainframe platforms, local variations may occur.(21)

An ever-increasing variety of databases and services is available to the Internet traveler. While online public access catalogs (OPACs) are probably the best known resource to the library community, they are only the beginning. One may telnet to campus-wide information systems (CWIS), Free-Nets, bulletin board systems (BBS), databases and data archives. The CWIS offers items of local interest--everything from class schedules to critiques of local restaurants. They often contain directories of faculty, students, and staff; there may be connections to the local OPAC and other reference tools. If the CWIS is supported by a Gopher server, as is often the case, there will be connections outside the local system as well.

Community-based Free-Nets are proliferating. These bulletin board systems, usually accessed by telephone within the community, provide email, information services, and communications facilities. Like some electronic bulletin board systems, a number of Free-Nets are available to the network community. Software programs such as HYTELNET, described below, can provide connection information.

In "Using the Internet for Reference," Sharyn J. Ladner and Hope N. Tillman surveyed librarians for their use of the Internet in a reference context.(22) They reported that remote login was used for:

Searching library catalogs and union lists;

Searching online systems, e.g., RLIN, LEXIS, EPIC, MEDLINE;

Scanning journal tables of contents, e.g., BioSci, UnCover;

Searching non-OPAC databases outside organization.(23)

There are many advantages to searching remote library catalogs (in contrast to searching a bibliographic utility): one may wish to establish holdings information and the status of a particular work before inter-library loan is attempted; a faculty member may request advice on the strengths of a particular collection before visiting; not all electronically accessible collections are in OCLC or RLIN.(24) Unlike the bibliographic utilities, there are no connect-time or database charges for OPACs. When a service such as EPIC or RLIN must be searched, Internet access means a saving of telecommunications charges in using these for-fee databases. For services outside the United States, such as the British Library's BLAISE-LINE, access is really only practical over the network.

An increasing number of non-OPAC databases of interest to music librarians are found on the Internet. For example, Arizona State University offers an index of popular songs in collections owned by the Music Library, while the Hawaii Sheet Music Index is a database of Hawaiian songs found at the Bishop Museum, Hawaii State Library, and the University of Hawaii Library.(25) In all likelihood, the availability of song indexes on Internet-accessible computers will increase. Syracuse University supports the Belfer Audio Archives, a collection of over 7,000 cylinder recordings, 1,520 of which are searchable over the network.(26) The Ira F. Brilliant Center for Beethoven Studies at San Jose State University offers the Beethoven Bibliography, a database of books and printed music that contains 2,700 bibliographic records as of March, 1994.(27) One of the most recent music-related databases to come online over the network is the combined catalog of the Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/Musique (IRCAM) and the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS). Containing ca. 18,000 bibliographic records for printed music and books on music and musicology, this database offers the option of using prompts in either English or French.(28)

Discovering useful databases for remote login is a challenge that will increase as music-related resources proliferate on the network. Computing in Musicology provides information on a variety of networked resources specific to the disciplines of musicology and ethnomusicology. It is clear from the research activity listed in this directory that more music-related network resources will be forthcoming. Printed directories covering all subjects, such as the resource catalog of Krol's The Whole Internet User's Guide or Section 4: Knowledge at your Fingertips in the North WestNet User Services Internet Resource Guide, provide descriptions of many sources and instructions for accessing them.(29) Two other noteworthy guides are Information Sources: the Internet and Computer-Mediated Communication by John December, and Craig Yanoff's Special Internet Connections.(30) Both are compact, frequently updated, and present only brief descriptions of resources but offer the necessary information to access them; knowledge of basic network skills (email, telnet, FTP) is assumed.

While these directories sit by the user's computer and provide the comfort of being an actual printed source, there are also microcomputer programs available that furnish directory information. HYTELNET, created by Peter Scott at the University of Saskatchewan, is a hyper-text program that provides telnet addresses for online public access catalogs, campus-wide information systems, bulletin board systems, and databases (free and fee-based), as well as information on accessing resource discovery tools such as Gopher, WAIS, and WWW.(31) Programs similar to HYTELNET include LIBTEL, INFOPOP, CATALIST and LIBINET.(32) Many sites are now incorporating HYTELNET or similar programs into their CWIS or Gopher systems.(33)


FTP or file transfer protocol is the TCP/IP application for moving files between computers connected to the Internet. In a manner similar to telnet, FTP has two discrete applications. Files can be moved between two network computers on which one holds accounts, or retrieved from public data archives which require no account (i.e., anonymous FTP). The basic commands required to move files between hosts are relatively few and easily mastered; however, implementation of FTP across the network is not standard. In addition, one must take into account the requirements of files that use different transfer modes (i.e., ASCII as opposed to binary), large files that are compressed to save space (and consequently must be uncompressed before use), the minor inconsistencies that develop from file transfer between different mainframe systems, and file transfer for those not on the Internet.(34)

Many of the guides, handbooks, and instructional manuals consulted for this article find the benefits of FTP so self-evident that there is little written about why one would want or need to transfer files. In essence, FTP makes possible the convenient sharing of the most up-to-date version of a given resource. Moreover, the variety of transferable text and data files is astounding--even from the humanist's point of view. The following examples are but a fraction of the type of available files and programs:

Text files: many of the documents used for this article or entire books;

Computer software for micro and mainframe platforms: simple freeware screen savers programs or desktop publishing shareware;

Graphics: clip art for use with popular word processing programs or album cover art;

Archives of legal, historical, sociological and, musical data: lyrics to popular songs, sound samples, discographies, etc.;

Audio: MIDI archives or album sound clips.

While there are a number of archives that maintain music-specific files, three should be singled out. The Music Archive at the University of Wisconsin, Parkside contains a wealth of information including popular song lyrics, MIDI files, graphics files, new releases information, reviews, archives of mailing lists (including, music-related FAQs (frequently asked questions--files that answer basic questions about a given newsgroup), and more.(35) Another popular music archive is the Internet Underground Music Archive which provides access to "low-key" bands and artists. The site provides lyrics, audio clips, biographies, and cover art.(36) The Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/Musique (IRCAM) in Paris has also established an FTP archive.(37) This site contains programs and documents related to IRCAM, networking, music notation programs, MIDI files, etc. In general, the IRCAM site is directed toward the composer of electronic music while the other two sites have more of interest for the musical dilettante.

As with network communication and remote login, the challenge in using FTP is to find the relevant archives and repositories; there is no comprehensive source to which one can turn to find all FTP sites of interest to the musician or music librarian. Often news of a relevant FTP site is announced over electronic discussion lists. With experience, one becomes familiar with some of the network archive sites: wuarchive. for microcomputer software;, the repository for USENET newsgroups' FAQs; or, for library-related documents and programs. Many of the printed sources listed in the discussion of telnet--The Whole Internet User's Guide, NUSIRG, the publications by December and Yanoff--list addresses for documents available through anonymous FTP. Obtaining the most recent update of a known document or program can be accomplished by searching an Archie server, considered in the following section.


The preceding discussion of basic Internet tools cites a number of printed guides and manuals designed to assist in network navigation. Because the Internet changes daily, directory information and description of resources in even the best of these tools may become quickly out-of-date. This problem is ameliorated in part by the development of electronic resource discovery tools such as Archie, Gopher, WAIS (Wide Area Information Servers), World-Wide Web (WWW), and Mosaic. Each tool provides a uniform, user-oriented interface to various network resources, decreasing the need to know arcana such as a specific computer address or in which directory a sought-after item might be stored.

These tools, like many other network applications, employ the client/server model or protocol. On a basic level, a "client" is a computer running a software application that allows the computer to communicate with a server and execute some of the tasks necessary to process a given request. A "server" is a computer running a program that communicates with the client, providing access to resources or information when requested by the client. Clients have been developed for many applications and platforms. Individuals with personal computers connected directly to the network can use sophisticated, graphically-oriented clients that reside on the personal computer. Individuals accessing the network by dial up (connecting to a terminal server or mainframe computer by telephone) will invoke a client on a mainframe host.(38) These terminal-based clients lack many of the special features available to the networked clients; nevertheless, the benefits of accessing network resources with these tools far outweighs any disadvantages.


Created at McGill University, the Archie service "is a collection of tools that, taken together, provide an electronic indexing service for locating information in the Internet environment."(39) Archie is a searchable database of over 2,100,000 file names available at 1,000 FTP sites.(40) Each site is periodically polled by Archie, automatically updating the listing of file names. A second Archie service, the "whatis" database, provides the name and a brief description for public domain software packages, datasets, and informational documents located on the Internet. Archie is reached by telnetting to one of the (currently) nineteen servers available throughout the world.(41)

The Archie database may be searched by using an Archie client program, by logging in remotely to an Archie server, or, for those without Internet access, by sending commands in an email message to an Archie server. While simple searches require little knowledge of the command language, more complex requests dictate employing a rather esoteric set of commands and symbols; reading the help file is recommended.


Created at the University of Minnesota as a distributed campus information system, Gopher is a truly user-friendly application that makes discovering network resources nearly effortless. In this "distributed" system, data--text files, programs, graphics, audio--can reside on many computers at many locations. To the user, linkage between computers is transparent. The Gopher application creates "a seamless network of information servers, all of which can be easily accessed through a single, menu-driven interface" used to link servers all over the world.(42) As with other client/server applications, there is sophisticated software to support personal computers or workstations on the network. One may also access public Gopher sites by telnet.(43)

Gopher presents a series of nested menus. The arrangement is analogous to the hierarchical directory structure familiar to computer users (i.e., the top-level menu = root directory; submenus = subdirectories). By picking menu items and moving up and down in the menu hierarchy, one can retrieve text files, initiate FTP sessions (and actually transfer files to one's account), access an Archie or WAIS gateway, telnet to a remote site, search for directory information, and even, with the proper hardware and software, view images and hear sound. This integration of resources and services behind a simple-to-use interface undoubtedly will increase network accessibility. There are now hundreds of servers in "Gopherspace;" assistance in finding specific menu items is provided by Gopher's keyword search of the host computer's menus and files (known in some locations as Jughead) and by Veronica, a service that maintains an index of titles from hundreds of Gopher servers, and provides key-word searches of those titles.

A useful source for the Internet novice is the InterNIC Information Services InfoSource Gopher.(44) This server includes information designed to make finding out about the Internet easier. In particular, the section "Learning to Use the Network" provides an overview of network tools (FTP, Gopher, WAIS, etc.) and how to use them.(45)

Since Gopher is an interface to existing Internet resources, many of the music-related items cited earlier in this article are accessible through Gopher (e.g., using Gopher to establish a telnet session to the Arizona State University OPAC can provide access to the Popular Song Index). Gophers of interest to music librarians are proliferating. Those covering a broad range of music topics include the Indiana University Music Library Gopher, designed to provide information about the School of Music as a whole and about the Music Library and its services; the Rice University Gopher with its arrangement of information by subject area--music includes nearly sixty entries; the University of California at Santa Barbara Gopher, the Skidmore College Gopher, and the University of Utah Music Gopher. The Institute for Music Research at University of Texas at San Antonio provides a Gopher server to the MRIS [Music Research Information Service], a gateway to research information in the fields of music education, music psychology, music therapy, and music medicine. MRIS is the gateway to the CAIRSS [Computer-Assisted Information Retrieval Service System], a bibliographic database of music research literature, and TIME [Technology in Music Education], a bibliographic database of music software and software archives, as well as remote music services.

Gophers with more narrowly-defined parameters include the All-Music Guide at Ferris State University, the largest organized collection of music albums, ratings, and reviews open to public comment; the Lester S. Levy Sheet Music Collection at Johns Hopkins University consisting of over 30,000 sheets of American music spanning the years 1780 to 1960. Currently under construction, this Gopher server will provide bibliographic access points (topic, song title, composer, author, publisher, lithographer, and first line) as well as scanned images of the sheet music covers. The University of Michigan Library Gopher offers an entry on popular music as part of the Internet Resource Guide series while electronic serials devoted to music may be located on the CICNet Gopher. Popular music discographies and various top 100 lists are found on the Wiretap Gopher. Finally, the Seymour Puppy Project (Maryland's Online Information Retriever) provides a link to a bibliography of articles on the occupational diseases of musicians produced by the Music Medicine Clearinghouse.(46)


Employing the client/server model, WAIS is a system for searching, displaying, and retrieving the contents of databases distributed across the Internet using a common interface.(47) Specially indexed databases reside on WAIS server computers; WAIS clients query these indexes. Databases may be text, data, graphics, or sound--since the WAIS client performs a keyword query of the associated index, database content is irrelevant. As with other client/server applications, WAIS clients have been developed for each major computer platform.(48)

Currently, there are over 500 databases available for searching. For example, the WAIS searcher can access USENET newsgroup archives, or genetics research, or Internet guides, or the documentation from the Preservation Department of Stanford University Library, Conservation OnLine (COOL). While there are not yet many music-related databases, a search of the keyword "music" in the WAIS Directory of Servers produced the names of sixteen databases. Included among these are the Sheet Music Index from Duke University, popular song lyrics from the University of Wisconsin, Parkside, a database devoted to Indian classical compact discs, a collection of documents about MIDI, and the archives of two music lists, earlym-l and bgrass-l.(49)


World-Wide Web was developed originally at the European Particle Physics Laboratory (CERN) in Switzerland, directed toward the High Energy Physics community. The project has since broadened in scope and now aims to give universal access to documents across the Internet. Described as a "wide-area hypermedia information retrieval initiative,"(50) WWW uses hypertext to create links between (virtual) documents. The Web uses a standard naming convention (the Universal Resources Locator or URL) and a standard transfer protocol (the HyperText Transfer Protocol or HTTP) to send and receive documents which are formatted with a standard markup language (HyperText Markup Language or HTML). Like other applications discussed in this section, WWW employs the client/server model--clients are called "browsers" in WWW terminology--and a number of sophisticated window-oriented browsers, including NCSA Mosaic, have been developed.(51)

Music resources on the Web are experiencing phenomenal growth. The subject now has its own section in the WWW Virtual Library, listing sixteen links to major repositories of music information as of March 1994. Two particularly rich links are found at Leeds University, Department of Music and at Music Resources on the Internet from the Indiana University Music Library. Reference librarians will wish to take note of The Digital Traditions Folk Songs archive, a searchable database of over 4,000 folk songs that includes both full text and tunes. Also included are links to the All-Music Guide, MIDI archives, music FTP Archives, and the WNUR-FM Jazz Information Server, to name only a few.


The World-Wide Web will continue to expand due primarily to client programs or browsers such as NCSA Mosaic. Developed at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Mosaic is "a distributed hypermedia browser designed for information discovery and retrieval. NCSA Mosaic provides a unified interface to the diverse protocols, data formats, and information archives used on the Internet."(52) Building upon existing network tools such as FTP, Network news, Gopher, WAIS, and World-Wide Web, Mosaic makes it easy for users to access documents, graphics, video, and sound stored on Internet computers. Unlike the other resource discovery tools cited in this section which support both microcomputer and mainframe clients, Mosaic is designed for use only on those computers with a direct network connection (e.g., ethernet or SLIP connections).(53)


Given the exponential growth of the Internet, keeping abreast of new developments could be a full-time job. Nevertheless, it is possible to be cognizant of many developments without devoting an unreasonable amount of time to the task. Music-related lists, such as MLA-L or rec. should be monitored.(54) Chief among non-music lists is the Public Access Computer Systems Forum (PACS-L).(55) While the traffic on this list is high, it is not necessary to read each submission to gain an understanding of the current network environment. In addition to discussion over a wide range of network issues, PACS-L distributes publications such as the Public Access Computer Systems Newsletter, the Public Access Computer Systems Review, and Current Cites. This latter newsletter, published by Information Systems Instruction & Support, the Library, University of California, Berkeley, contains annotated citations from library and computer literature in the areas of electronic publishing, information transfer, networks and networking, optical disc technologies, etc.(56)

Other options include the InterNIC lists net-resources and net-happenings, which contain announcements of new tools, services, and resources available over the Internet; HYTEL-L which posts information on new resources between releases of HYTELNET; and NEW-LIST, a list for announcing new lists.(57) Finally, see the section "How to Keep Current" in Crossing the Internet Threshold for additional suggestions as well as a selected list of newsletters and journals on networks and networking.(58)


One does not need to be a computer genius (or even computer friendly) to realize that more music-related resources will be mounted on the network and that questions about these resources will end up in the music library. For example, the Lester S. Levy Collection of Sheet Music project at Johns Hopkins University demonstrates that sheet music covers can be scanned, provided with access points, retrieved electronically and printed out on the other side of the world. How long before entire collections of printed music or sound recordings are afforded this same treatment? Such developments should engender debate within the music library community on a whole range of related issues: the ephemeral nature of the electronic text, ownership and copyright issues, the unjust imbalance between the information rich (those who can afford hardware and software) and the information poor (those who cannot), as well as resource allocation (staff and budgetary) and training for the new technology.

The Internet and related networks are going through a maturation process that will ease the difficulty of accessing network resources. The development of the advanced resource discovery tools noted above is one proof of this fact, as are the current upheavals in privatization of network resources and the formation of cooperative organizations such as the InterNIC.

In the past, a good librarian understood the bibliographic tools appropriate to a particular subject or area--the major encyclopedias, dictionaries, indexes, subject bibliographies, handbooks, guides, and manuals, etc. As we approach the twenty-first century, the existence of networked information has added to this panoply of standard tools a whole range of electronic tools such as FTP, telnet, Gopher, WAIS, World-Wide Web and Mosaic. In the future, a good librarian will understand these new tools as well.

1. Mary K. Duggan, "Electronic Information and Applications in Musicology and Music Theory," Library Trends 40 (Spring 1992): 756.

2. Griscom's bibliography may be obtain by anonymous FTP at, directory libsoft, file name internet_mlabib.txt or by sending an email message to LISTSERV@IUBVM.BITNET with the message GET GRISCOM HANDOUT.

3. Computing in Musicology: A Directory of Research, edited by Walter B. Hewlett and Eleanor Selfridge-Field (Menlo Park, Calif: Center for Computer Assisted Research in the Humanities, 1992), 31-60.

4. For example, telnet (logging into a remote computer) is discussed in the section about file transfer. These are two distinct network applications that should not be confused, especially in a tutorial.

5. David Lesniaski, "Online Catalogs Available on the Internet," MLA Newsletter 94 (September-October 1993): 1, 3; see also "Sheet Music at Duke on WAIS," MLA Newsletter 94 (September-October 1993): 13; H. Stephen Wright, "But I Don't Have Access to E-Mail!" MLA Newsletter 92 (March-April 1993): 3, 8-9; "Music Library Association Clearinghouse (MLAC)," MLA Newsletter 88 (March-April 1992): 6; Richard Griscom, "MLA-L Notes," MLA Newsletter 85 (May-June 1991): 5; Mark McKnight, "Music Libraries and Electronic Mail," MLA Newsletter 83 (November-December 1990): 5-6; Mark McKnight, "E-Mail Digest," 83- (November-December 1990).

6. Roy Tennant, John Ober, Anne G. Lipow, Crossing the Internet Threshold: An Instructional Handbook (Berkeley, Calif.: Library Solutions Press, 1993), 9; Tracy LaQuey with Jeanne C. Ryer, The Internet Companion: A Beginner's Guide to Global Networking (Reading, Mass: Addison Wesley, 1993), 1.

7. Ed Krol, The Whole Internet: User's Guide & Catalog (Sebastopol, Calif: O'Reilly & Associates, 1992). Specifically, see "What is the Internet" (Chapter Two), "How the Internet Works" (Chapter Three), and "What's Allowed on the Internet" (Chapter Four). The second edition of this most useful book was released in April 1994--not quite in time for the preparation of this article.

8. The Internet Companion, 52, contains a useful one-page chart for reaching other networks. The Whole Internet User's Guide, 96-99, and Jonathan Kochmer, NorthWestNet User Services Internet Resource Guide (NUSIRG) (Bellevue, Wash: NorthWestNet, 1992), 35-39, present a more detailed treatment of this topic. See also Donnalyn Frey and Rick Adams, !%@: A Directory of Electronic Mail Addressing and Networks (Sebastopol, Calif: O'Reilly & Associates, 1991); Tracy Lynn LaQuey, Users' Directory of Computer Networks (Bedford, Mass: Digital Press, 1989); and, John J. Chew and Scott Yanoff, Inter-Network Mail Guide, obtain via anonymous FTP from, directory pub, file internetwork-mail-guide.

9. Concise descriptions of the directory services WHOIS, Knowbot, and NETFIND along with other aids to finding email addresses may be found in The Internet Companion, 128-33, and in Crossing the Internet Threshold, 43-44. See also the "White Pages" entry in The Whole Internet User's Guide, 330-31.

10. The Internet list of email lists is available via anonymous FTP from host, directory netinfo, filename interest-groups and by email from, command "send interest-groups".

11. The section "Electronic Discussion for Librarians," in Crossing the Internet Threshold, 45-55, is a good introduction to this subject. This section includes a number of useful hints as well as many of the basic LISTSERV commands. A LISTSERV-like program, call Listproc, has been developed for UNIX-based platforms. For a discussion of the differences in commands between the two programs, see Jim Milles, "An Introduction to Using the Internet at Saint Louis University School of Law." Available by anonymous ftp from, directory /pub/millesjg, filename interlaw.txt.

12. Contact local systems managers to see if your institution has Network news capability. Public access to Network news is available through the World-Wide Web. Telnet to (no login required), select (3) Places to Start Exploring, then (3) by Type of Service, then (9) Network news or telnet to, login kufacts, in the section Reference Shelf, select Internet Resources, then USENET News.

13. The Whole Internet User's Guide, 129. Chapter Eight of The Whole Internet User's Guide, "Network News," 127-54, presents an in-depth discussion of Network news and USENET. For a more technical discussion, see Bart Anderson, Bryan Costales, Harry Henderson, UNIX Communications, 2nd edition (Carmel, Ind: SAMS, 1991), 213-425.

14. To subscribe send mail to LISTSERV[at]VM1.NODAK.EDU or LISTSERV[at]NDSUVM1. BITNET, with the message SUB NEW-LIST your name. Two instructive files maintained in the NEW-LIST archives include "Some Lists of Lists" by Marty Hoag and "How to Find an Interesting Mailing List" by Arno Wouters. To obtain these files send mail to LISTSERV[at]VM1.NODAK.EDU or LISTSERV[at]NDSUVM1.BITNET, with the message GET LISTSOF LISTS or GET NEW-LIST WOUTERS. They may also be obtained via anonymous FTP from, directory new-list, file names listsof.lists or new-list.wouters.

15. There may be multiple ways in which to access these lists, including Network news, FTP, gopher, WAIS, World-Wide Web, or Mosaic. Not all methods are described here.

16. The list is available by sending a free-text email message to mlol-request[at]

17. This list is distributed periodically over PACS-L or available as a file. Send an email message to LISTSERV[at]UHUPVM1.UH.EDU, with the command GET LIBRARY LISTS in the body of the message. It is also available on the University of Houston's Library Gopher ( [right arrow] Looking for Other Sources [right arrow] Information about the Internet [right arrow] Library-Oriented Lists and Electronic Serials).

18. For an older print version of this list, see Michael Strangelove and Diane Kovacs, Directory of Electronic Journals, Newsletters and Academic Discussion Lists (Washington, D.C.: Association of Research Libraries, 1992). The electronic version of Kovacs' list is available from LISTSERV[at]KENTVM.BITNET or LISTSERV[at]KENTVM.KENT.EDU (GET ACADLIST README to begin; the music-related lists are in ACADLIST FILE3) and via anonymous FTP to, directory library. An electronic version of Strangelove's listing of electronic serials is available from LISTSERV[at]ACADVM1.UOTTAWA.CA, GET EJOURNL1 DIRECTRY and GET EJOURNL2 DIRECTRY.

19. The list of BITNET lists may be obtained by sending an email message to LISTSERV[at]BITNIC.BITNET with the message LIST GLOBAL. Cf. note 10 for instructions on obtaining the Internet list of interest groups.

20. The filenames are active-newsgroups, alt-hierarchies, and mailing-lists. Retrieve by anonymous FTP to, directory /pub/usenet/news.answers or via email from mail-server[at] The appropriate commands are "send usenet/news.answers/active-newsgroups/*"; "send usenet/news.answers/alt-hierarchies/*"; and, "send usenet/news.answers/mail/mailing-lists/*".

21. For an explanation of telnet including basic commands, accessing non-standard ports, and tn3270 (IBM mainframe full-screen telnet) see The Whole Internet User's Guide, 46-58.

Leslie Troutman is Music User-Services Coordinator and Assistant Professor of Library Administration at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. An earlier version of this paper was presented at the annual meeting of the Music Library Association, Kansas City, Missouri, 4 March 1994.

22. Sharyn J. Ladner and Hope N. Tillman, "Using the Internet for Reference," Online 17 (January, 1993): 45-51.

23. Ibid, p. 46.

24. For example, the library collections at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign are available in OCLC from roughly the mid 1970s on; there has been no complete retrospective conversion. However, ILLINET Online (the OPAC used at UIUC) does contain brief bibliographic records for this earlier material, thus providing at least limited access. In the case of the Music Library collection at UIUC, only 40-45% of the printed music and 65-70% of the sound recordings are in OCLC; many of the microfilm music manuscripts are also omitted. Brief bibliographic records do exist in ILLINET Online for this non-OCLC material.

One wonders to what extent similar situations exist in our major research collections. A useful document for the music library community would be a directory of all Internet accessible music research libraries--which might include collection strength, details of what part of the collection is online, and information on accessing the collection electronically.

25. Arizona State University popular song index: telnet to, login carl; Hawaii Sheet Music Index: telnet to, login lib.

26. Telnet to, login suvm, then suinfo entered twice.

27. Telnet to, login lib.

28. Telnet to, login libquery; select English by typing l = e at the prompt.

29. The Whole Internet User's Guide, 284-331; North WestNet User Services Internet Resource Guide, 90-172.

30. Obtain December's publication via anonymous FTP to, directory pub/communications, file internet-cmc; Yanoff's via anonymous FTP to, directory pub, file

31. HYTELNET is available via anonymous FTP from, directory pub/hytelnet. A demonstration version may be previewed by telnetting to, login hytelnet or by telnetting to (no login necessary) [right arrow] Search the Internet [right arrow] HYTELNET.

32. These programs are available via anonymous FTP from, directory library or from, directory libsoft. This latter FTP archive contains hundreds of software programs and text files for library use.

33. The CWIS at the University of Kansas provides an excellent example of integrated online services including HYTELNET, Gopher, WAIS, and WWW. Telnet to, login kufacts.

34. See the North WestNet User Services Resource Guide, 40-53, or Crossing the Internet Threshold, 71-84, for a basic introduction to FTP. A more exhaustive discussion, slanted toward the UNIX platform, can be found in The Whole Internet User's Guide, 59-90. This latter source also covers file retrieval using electronic mail, 123-26.

35. Anonymous FTP to, directory music.

36. Anonymous FTP to, directory pub/electronic-publications/IUMA.

37. Anonymous FTP to, directory pub.

38. A SLIP (Serial Line Internet Protocol) connection is also an alternative. This type of connection allows a personal computer dialing into the network to run Telnet, FTP, and other network services as if connected directly to the network; it enables use of sophisticated client programs such as Mosaic in the dialup environment.

39. Peter Deutsch, "Resource Discovery in an Internet Environment--The Archie Approach," Electronic Networking 2 (Spring 1992): 46.

40. Figures taken from the help facility at the Archie site, March 1994.

41. A list of Archie servers can be found in most of the comprehensive Internet guides cited in this article. See, for example, Harley Hahn and Rick Stout, The Internet Complete Reference (Berkeley, Calif: Osbourne McGraw-Hill, 1994), 334. Telnetting to and issuing the command "servers" will also provide a selective list of other Archie servers.

42. Lynn Ward, "Exploring the Power of the Internet Gopher," UIUCnet 6 (Dec. 1992/Jan. 1993): 2. Ward's discussion of Gopher is an excellent introduction; it is available via anonymous FTP from, directory libsoft, file vo16no1.txt and from, directory doc/net/uiucnet. Gopher users may find it by accessing the UIUC Gopher (those without access to a Gopher client may telnet to UIUC's public Gopher server,, login gopher). Select Computer Documentation, Software, and Information [right arrow] CCSO's UIUCnet Newsletter [right arrow] Exploring the Power of the Internet Gopher.

43. A list of twenty-three public Gopher clients is found in Hahn and Stout, The Internet Complete Reference, 438. FTP to, directory pub/usenet/news.answer/gopher-faq to obtain the file of Frequently Asked Questions about Gopher which also includes a list of public clients.

44. For those without access to a Gopher client, telnet to, login gopher.

45. The InterNIC is a cooperative project between the National Science Foundation, the Internet community, and three private concerns: Network Solutions, Inc., AT&T, and General Atomics/CERFnet. These three companies have been contracted to provide and/or coordinate services for the Internet community. Network Solutions will provide Registration Services, while AT&T will oversee Directory and Database Services, and General Atomics/CERFnet will administer Information Services. A document describing the InterNIC and its services is available via anonymous FTP from, directory pub/InterNIC-info, file

46. Indiana University Music Library Gopher:; Rice University Gopher: [right arrow] Information by Subject Area [right arrow] Music; University of California at Santa Barbara Gopher: [right arrow] UCSB Gopher Central [right arrow] InfoSurf (Davidson Library Gopher) [right arrow] The Subject Collections [right arrow] The Arts Collections [right arrow] Music; Skidmore College: [right arrow] The Electronic Reading Room [right arrow] Arts, Music, Theater [right arrow] Music Resources; University of Utah Music Gopher:; University of Texas at San Antonio, Institute for Music Research: 3000 (also telnet to, login imr, password <CR>); Ferris State University, All-Music Guide:; Johns Hopkins University, Lester S. Levy Sheet Music Collection: [right arrow] Lester S. Levy Sheet Music Collection; University of Michigan Library Gopher: [right arrow] Humanities Resources [right arrow] Internet Resource Guides for the Humanities [right arrow] Guides on the Humanities [right arrow] Popular Music; CICNet Gopher: [right arrow] Electronic Serials [right arrow] General Subject Headings [right arrow] Music; Wiretap Gopher: [right arrow] Wiretap Online Library [right arrow] Music; Seymour Puppy Project (Maryland's Online Information Retriever): [right arrow] Find a Book or Article [right arrow] Occupational Diseases of Musicians.

47. See Brewster Kahle, et al., "Wide Area Information Servers: An Executive Information System for Unstructured Files," Electronic Networking 2 (Spring 1992): 59-68, for a rather technical discussion of WAIS by the creators of the system. See Lynn Ward, "Shopping for Information on the Internet with WAIS," UIUCnet 5 (October 1992): 1-5, for a more "user-friendly" description. This article is available via anonymous FTP from, directory doc/net/uiucnet; Gopher users may find it by accessing the UIUC Gopher (those without access to a Gopher client may telnet to UIUC's public gopher server,, login gopher). Select Computer Documentation, Software, and Information [right arrow] CCSO's UIUCnet Newsletter [right arrow] Shopping for Information on the Internet with WAIS.

48. Hahn and Stout, The Internet Complete Reference, 480, list six public WAIS clients. For a demonstration telnet to, login wais.

49. Although listed, the lyrics database from the University of Wisconsin, Parkside is apparently not functioning as a WAIS source.

50. From the executive summary of the World-Wide Web project. Telnet to (no login necessary) or, login www; follow the link About WWW to the executive summary. See Tim Berners-Lee, et al., "World-Wide Web: The Information Universe," Electronic Networking 2 (Spring 1992): 52-58, for an introduction that does describe future (at that time) improvements. The most useful and current documentation on WWW is that available by using WWW itself.

51. For those without a network connection, telnet to (no login necessary) to use a simple line mode browser; telnetting to, login www will allow access to a full screen WWW application; six other public WWW browsers are listed in Hahn and Stout, The Complete Internet Reference, 500.

52. Frank M. Baker, "Navigating the Network with NCSA Mosaic," Educom Review 29 (January/February 1994): 46.

53. Mosaic, which was released in April, 1993, has been developed for the Macintosh, Microsoft Windows, and X Windows operating systems; it is available via anonymous FTP from See also Thomas J. DeLoughry, "Software Designed to Offer Internet Users Easy Access to Documents and Graphics," The Chronicle of Higher Education July 7, 1993: A23-24.

54. To subscribe, send the message SUB MLA-L your name to LISTSERV[at]IUBVM.BITNET. See the discussion on Network news for information on; MLA-L is also available via Network news as bit.listserv.mla-l.

55. To subscribe, send the message SUB PACS-L your name to LISTSERV[at]UHUPVM1.UH.EDU; PACS-L is also available via Network news as bit.listserv.pacs-l.

56. In addition, Current Cites is available through Gopher or as a WAIS source; it may also be obtained via anonymous FTP from

57. To subscribe to net-resources, send the message SUB NET-RESOURCES your name to LISTSERV[at]IS.INTERNIC.NET; to subscribe to net-happenings, send the message SUB NET-HAPPENINGS your name to LISTSERV[at]IS.INTERNIC.NET; to subscribe to HYTEL-L, send the message SUB HYTEL-L your name to LISTSERVC[at]KENTVM.KENT.EDU or LISTSERV[at]KENTVM.BITNET; and, to subscribe to NEW-LIST, send the message SUB NEW-LIST your name to LISTSERV[at]VM1.NODAK.EDU or LISTSERV[at]NDSUVM1.BITNET. See also the Network news-groups bit.listserv.hytel-l and bit.listserv.newlist.

58. Crossing the Internet Threshold, 28-31.


N.B.: An asterisk signifies those items that are comprehensive introductions to networks and networking. An excellent and frequently-updated annotated bibliography, entitled "Where to Start" is maintained by Jim Milles, moderator of the NETTRAIN list; it is available by anonymous FTP from, directory/pub/millesjg, filename newusers. faq. It may also be obtained via email by sending a message to LISTSERV[at]UBVM. CC.BUFFALO.EDU containing the command GET NEWUSERS FAQ NETTRAIN F = MAIL. See also the annotated bibliography prepared by. Hope N. Tillman, "Introduction to the Internet: A Reading List," available via Gopher from [right arrow] Internet Information and Resources [right arrow] Introduction to Internet Bibliography.


Anderson, Bart, Bryan Costales, and Harry Henderson. UNIX Communications. 2d ed. Carmel, Ind.: SAMS, 1991.

Frey, Donnalyn and Rick Adams. !%[at]: A Directory of Electronic Mail Addressing and Networks, Sebastopol, Calif.: O'Reilly & Associates, 1991.

*Hahn, Harley and Rick Stout. The Internet Complete Reference. Berkeley, Calif.: Osbourne McGraw-Hill, 1994

Kochmer, Jonathan, NorthWestNet User Services Internet Resource Guide (NUSIRG). Bellevue, Wash.: NorthWestNet, 1992.

*Krol, Ed, The Whole Internet: User's Guide & Catalog. Sebastopol, Calif.: O'Reilly & Associates, 1992.

LaQuey, Tracy Lynn. Users' Directory of Computer Networks. Bedford, Mass: Digital Press, 1989.

*LaQuey, Tracy with Jeanne C. Ryer. The Internet Companion: A Beginner's Guide to Global Networking. Reading, Mass.: Addison Wesley, 1993.

Strangelove, Michael and Diane Kovacs, Directory of Electronic Journals, Newsletters and Academic Discussion Lists. Washington, D.C.: Association of Research Libraries, 1992. The electronic version of Kovacs' list is available from LISTSERV[at]KENTVM.BITNET or LISTSERV[at]KENTVM.KENT.EDU (GET ACADLIST README to begin; the music-related Lists are in ACADLIST FILE3) and via anonymous FTP to, directory library. An electronic version of Strangelove's listing of electronic serials is available from LISTSERV[at]ACADVM1.UOTTAWA.CA, GET EJOURNL1 DIRECTRY and GET EJOURNL2 DIRECTRY.

*Tennant, Roy, John Ober, Anne G. Lipow, Crossing the Internet Threshold: An Instructional Handbook. Berkeley, Calif.: Library Solutions Press, 1993.


Baker, Frank M. "Navigating the Network with NCSA Mosaic," Educom Review 29 (January/February 1994): 46-51.

Berners-Lee, Tim, et al. "World-Wide Web: The Information Universe," Electronic Networking 2 (Spring 1992): 52-58.

Computing in Musicology: A Directory of Research. Edited by Walter B. Hewlett and Eleanor Selfridge-Field. Menlo Park, Calif.: Center for Computer Assisted Research in the Humanities, 1992.

DeLoughry, Thomas J. "Software Designed to Offer Internet Users Easy Access to Documents and Graphics," The Chronicle of Higher Education July 7, 1993: A23-24.

Deutsch, Peter. "Resource Discovery in an Internet Environment--The Archie Approach," Electronic Networking 2 (Spring 1992): 45-51.

Duggan, Mary K. "Electronic Information and Applications in Musicology and Music Theory," Library Trends 40 (Spring 1992): 756-80.

Kahle, Brewster, et al. "Wide Area Information Servers: An Executive Information System for Unstructured Files," Electronic Networking 2 (Spring 1992): 59-68.

Ladner, Sharyn J. and Hope N. Tillman. "Using the Internet for Reference," Online 17 (January, 1993): 45-51.

Ward, Lynn. "Exploring the Power of the Internet Gopher," UIUCnet 6 (Dec. 1992/Jan. 1993): 1-7. Available via anonymous FTP from, directory doc/net/uiucnet.

Ward, Lynn. "Shopping for Information on the Internet with WAIS," UIUCnet 5 (October 1992): 1-5. Available via anonymous FTP from, directory doc/net/uiucnet.

Electronic sources

Chew, John J. and Scott Yanoff. Inter-Network Mail Guide. Obtain via anonymous FTP from, directory pub, file internetwork-mail-guide.

December, John. Information Sources: the Internet and Computer-Mediated Communication. Obtain via anonymous FTP to, directory pub/communications, file internet-cmc.

Griscom, Richard. Bibliography for MLA Networkers. Indianapolis, February 1991. Obtain via anonymous FTP at, directory libsoft, file name internet_mlabib.txt or by sending an email message to LISTSERV[at]IUBVM.BITNET with the message GET GRISCOM HANDOUT.

Milles, James. An Introduction to Using the Internet at Saint Louis University School of Law. Available by anonymous ftp from, directory /pub/millesjg, filename interlaw.txt.

Yanoff, Scott. Special Internet Connections. Obtain via anonymous FTP to, directory pub, file
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Author:Troutman, Leslie
Date:Sep 1, 1994
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