Curtis recently celebrated its first Community Day on September 29, a student activities day organized by staff and faculty to celebrate the diversity and history of the Curtis community. The day centered around the themes of community, identity, and celebration and included talks about the founding of Curtis, a tribute to Curtis stalwart Eleanor Sokoloff, and alumni remembrances of Curtis past. Current students participated in small-group breakout sessions to process their connections to these themes and remembrances in light of their experiences of Curtis in the present. In between these two large-group video conference meetings, students had time to explore the themes on their own using resources provided on a library guide (https://libguides.curtis.edu/communityday).
Since it’s creation in 1996, The Internet Archive (IA) at archive.org has been, well...archiving the internet. It might sound like an impossible feat: collecting data from billions of websites, preserving their information, design, and sometimes functionality. However, this is exactly what has been accomplished. The Internet Archive stores roughly 330 billion webpages as well as digital collections of books, audio, video, images, games, and software programs. One personal favorite is the Software Library’s collection of playable 80s-90s video games, such as the Oregon Trail*, PacMan, and Donkey Kong.
When the Curtis Institute opened its doors on Monday, October 13, 1924, its original buildings looked very much as they do now.
Yet they were also very different. Orchestra rehearsals were held in the Common Room, and recitals took place in an “Assembly Room” for lack of a proper concert hall. The school did not yet have a library, and there was a preparatory department in the building at 1720 Locust Street, where the present library is housed. During its early years in the 1920s, the school remodeled its buildings, developed its program, and established its legacy.
Are you stuck at home and missing access to Curtis Library’s phenomenal score collection? Have you tried searching the internet for digital copies of sheet music but come up short? If you answered yes to either of these questions, we are here to help. Published music is covered by U.S. and international copyright laws so it is nearly impossible to find free, legal, digital copies. The library, however, is paying for all Curtis students, faculty, and staff to have access to two digital sheet music databases.
The subject of student life is rarely well documented in archival collections. To find out how students experienced life outside their lessons and practice time, we depend on the personal memorabilia and recollections of alumni. Such contributions are the basis of Curtis’s recent exhibit on student life. Thanks to our most senior alumni and faculty, life at Curtis in the 1940s is well documented, while the late Eleanor Sokoloff (Piano ’38) kindly allowed us to record her personal recollections of student life in the 1930s.