Skip to content ↓

R.D. Lewis Music Library turns 10

Interior of the newly renovated Rosalind Denny Lewis Music Library at MIT.
Interior of the newly renovated Rosalind Denny Lewis Music Library at MIT.
Photo / L. Barry Hetherington
Cole Porter
Cole Porter
Arcangelo Corelli
Arcangelo Corelli

The newly renovated Rosalind Denny Lewis Music Library opened its doors 10 years ago. Thanks to the generosity of Cherry Emerson (S.M. 1941) and other donors, the library added a mezzanine, new listening/viewing equipment, comfortable study rooms, an audio preservation room, a special collections room and new office space for staff. New detailing included glass panels etched with a canon composed by Institute Professor John Harbison.

Since 1996, the renovated library has served its users well: People entered the library more than 500,000 times; approximately 330,000 items were circulated; more than 26,000 books, scores and recordings were added to the collection and more than 20 concerts and events were performed in the library by MIT faculty, students and staff.

A total of 26 music oral history interviews with 16 individuals were also recorded.

The library will host a celebration of its 10th anniversary on Wednesday, Nov. 15 from 2 to 4 p.m. For information on upcoming events, please go to

Music library records top ten CDs, scores

The ten most frequently borrowed CDs and musical scores over the past 10 years show the Institute community is classically inclined yet enjoys a world music beat.

Top ten most circulated CDs:

1. Vivaldi - L'Estro Armonico & Bartók - String quartets (tied at 226 loans)
2. Schumann - Dichterliebe, Liederkreis & Corelli - Concerti Grossi Op. 6 (tied at 215 loans)
3. Corelli - Trio Sonatas (213 loans)
4. Wagner - "Tristan und Isolde" (209 loans)
5. Mozart - "Don Giovanni" (204 loans)
6. "Music from Ethiopia" (202 loans)
7. Handel - "Messiah" (198 loans)
8. Bizet - "Carmen" & Bach - Brandenburg Concertos (tied at 196 loans)
9. "Shona Spirit: Mbira Masters from Zimbabwe" (193 loans)
10. Mozart - String Quartets 14 & 15 (191 loans)

Top 10 most circulated scores:

1. Schubert - Gesänge für eine Singstimme mit Klavierbegleitung, Peters (99 loans)
2. Haydn - String Quartet in B flat major, Op. 76 No. 4. Wiener Philharmonischer (81 loans)
3. Boulez - "Le Marteau sans Maître," pour voix d'alto et 6 instruments, Universal Edition (77 loans)
4. Strayhorn - "Take the 'A' train"; edited by Gunther Schuller. Smithsonian Institution (75 loans)
5. Haydn - Quartet for 2 Violins, Viola and Violoncello. Op. 74, No. 1. Eulenburg & Mozart - "Don Giovanni." Vocal score, Schirmer (tied at 72 loans)
6. Chopin - "Balladen." G. Henle (69 loans)
7. Corelli - Sonate: a violino e violone o cimbalo. Edizioni Scelte & Beethoven - Klaviersonaten I. G. Henle & Vaughan Williams - "The Lark Ascending": Romance for Violin and Orchestra. Eulenburg & Beethoven - Piano sonatas; edited by Heinrich Schenker. Universal Edition (tied at 68 loans)
8. Purcell - "Dido and Aeneas"; edited by Ellen Harris. Eulenburg & Bartók - Music for string instruments, percussion and celesta. Boosey & Hawkes (tied at 67 loans)
9. Beethoven - Klaviersonaten II. G. Henle (66 loans)
10. Porter - The Cole Porter song book. Simon and Schuster (65 loans)

For call numbers and additional information about Top 10 titles go to:

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on November 1, 2006 (download PDF).

Related Links

Related Topics

More MIT News