Distinguished Service Award: Mary Wallace Davidson (1935-2012).
Davidson was best known as head of the Sibley Library at the Eastman School of Music and the Cook Library at Indiana University, the two largest academic music libraries in the country, and as the co-author with James J. Fuld of 18th-Century American Secular Music Manuscripts: An Inventory. Among her many achievements at Eastman, she planned and supervised the construction of a sumptuous yet highly functional new building, obtained grants for the electronic conversion of its huge card catalogue, and organized a major music preservation program.
At Indiana, where she served for five years after being called out of retirement, she helped implement the "Variations2" digital music library project and taught both bibliography and music librarianship. She was president of the Music Library Association in the mid-1990s and in 1998 received MLA's highest award, a citation for lifetime achievement.
Mary spent her early career in the Boston area and co-edited The Boston Composers Project: Bibliography of Contemporary Music, though never forgetting her roots in her beloved home town of Louisville. Her contributions from that time in Notes, Fontes, Grove dictionaries, and elsewhere deal primarily with library and bibliographic subjects.
After her second retirement in 2004, she continued writing--in American Music, the Lenore Coral festschrift, The Encyclopedia of New England--and continued working on major international bibliographic projects. Between 2009 and 2012 she wrote 68 reviews for the Boston Musical Intelligencer.
Her major service to the Society for American Music included four years as a board member at-large and, from 1989 to 1992, as book review editor for American Music, then the Society's journal. She also chaired two of SAM's award committees.
No words can fully capture Mary's smile, compassion, soft voice, thoughtfulness, and overall gentleness, nor can this brief essay convey her knowledge, skill, resourcefulness, and resolute ability to accomplish what needed to get done.
Through her wonderful personal qualities she influenced and inspired swarms of librarians and faculty members and, most especially, her staff and students, whom she guided, encouraged, and led by example. The loss to her friends, to her field, and to the world at large of this admirable woman is immeasurable.
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|Title Annotation:||Award and Grant Announcements from Little Rock|
|Publication:||Society for American Music Bulletin|
|Date:||Mar 22, 2013|
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