Patricia Puckett Sasser, director of Furman’s Maxwell Music Library, has won the Vladimir Fédorov Award from the International Association of Music Libraries (IAML) for her paper “A Recording Artist: Enrico Caruso and His Scrapbooks.” Presented annually, the award recognizes the best article published in peer-reviewed Fontes Artis Musicae, the quarterly membership journal of the IAML.
Announced at the IAML Conference in Krákow, Poland, in July, the award is named for Fédorov (1901-1979), noted music librarian, first editor-in-chief of Fontes Artis Musicae, and Russian music scholar.
Sasser, who has served as a Furman library faculty member since 2014, said, “I was surprised and delighted to receive this award, both because it is a special honor to be recognized by my IAML colleagues and because it represents the culmination of a long-standing research project.
“My work on Caruso has been generously supported by the Furman Libraries, and it could not have been achieved without their help and enthusiasm – whether by locating resources or by funding research trips to New York and Italy.”
As director of Maxwell Music Library, Sasser oversees music information literacy, research assistance and collection management. She is deeply embedded in the Department of Music’s four-year curricular pathway, working closely with students and faculty in first-year seminars, the music history survey sequence and upper-level independent studies.
With Associate Professor of Musicology Laura Kennedy, Sasser co-teaches the department’s study away course to Paris and London: “Rites of Spring: Paris, the Ballets Russes, & the Arts of Modernism.”
Her research focuses on musical ephemera from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, studying items like ticket stubs, newspaper clippings, playbills, programs and receipts – “things produced during artistic activity that aren’t intended to be preserved,” said Sasser.
She is especially interested in the ways in which both amateur and professional musicians have collected and curated such material in order to shape their own identities, a fascination which spurred her research into Caruso’s scrapbooks, nine of which survive among his private papers.
“His scrapbooks,” said Sasser, “are just one example of the ways in which a popular artist sought to cultivate a private identity.”
Her work has been published in Music Reference Services Quarterly, Notes: The Journal of the Music Library Association, and the Journal of Music History Pedagogy. She has contributed to a number of large-scale collaborative digital projects, including Chronicling America and the Music Treasures Consortium, and has served the Southeastern Music Library Association and the Music Library Association in a number of roles.
Sasser earned her Master of Music from the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University and her Master of Library and Information Science from the University of South Carolina. She holds a bachelor’s in music from the American University.
An abstract of Sasser’s winning paper may be found here. For more information, contact Sasser at 864-294-2192 and firstname.lastname@example.org.