Virginia Commonwealth University

Make it real.

Archive | Music

RSS feed for this section

Orlando: Women’s Writing in the British Isles

Find It

Advancing our understanding of the history and present of women’s contributions to the literary, cultural and political life of Great Britain, VCU Libraries provides access to the landmark database, Orlando:  Women’s Writing in the British Isles from the Beginnings to the Present. Orlando exemplifies digital humanities’ efforts to broaden access to little known or studied texts, provide historical and cultural context for authors and their works and inspire transformative ways of reading and understanding women’s literary engagement with their readers and the world through writing. Created at Cambridge University, Orlando is designed with a “unique structure and searchability,” encouraging researchers “to examine its information and critical comment in a wide range of configurations and to re-form this in new and creative ways. Orlando is open to the serendipities of productive browsing,” and fosters in-depth research through cultural, biographical, and textual discovery. More than 1,300 writers are included, and approximately 30,000 items are available for discovery–a growing list of authors and texts. Orlando will greatly enhance teaching and research at VCU, and foster a dynamic and innovative reading experience.

Find It

By Kevin Farley, humanities collections librarian

Image:  “A Woman Seated at an Organ (or Writing Desk),” Yale University Art Gallery, public domain.

Naxos: Streaming classical music

Find ItStill life with musical instruments and books

VCU Libraries’ subscription to Naxos Music Library offers more than 1,750,000 streaming tracks from 120,000 albums. Classical music is the heart of the Naxos Music Library, but you will also find Broadway musicals, soundtracks, jazz, classic rock and world music. Check out new releases, with about 800 albums added each month.

Listen to music from today’s top artists such as Lang Lang or classic artists like Arthur Rubinstein. Explore composers through eras from Johann Pachabel to John Zorn. Relax to Brahms’ Clarinet Trio in A Minor performed by VCU’s Charles West. Stream on your laptop, your iPad or phone. Create playlists of favorites or enjoy the monthly Naxos selections.

Naxos is comprised of preeminent classical recording labels including Decca, Deutsche Grammophon, EMI, RCA and Sony Classical as well as many smaller, specialty labels. You will not find music from these core labels on consumer services such as Pandora.

Try these music connoisseur features:

  • Search by artist, composer, instrument, genre, period or song duration.
  • Find liner notes, cover art and detailed performer, instrumentation and publisher information.
  • Review biographies of composers and artists, a glossary, musical terms, pronunciation guide and analysis of core classical works.
  • The opera section has more than 700 libretti and synopses.
  • For music educators, find a junior listening section and K-12 curriculum and teaching materials.

Naxos Music Library and Music Online  will become your home for deeper music exploration and research.

Find It

Image: Bettera (artist). (Mid-17th Century). Still Life with Musical Instruments and Books. Italy. Creative Commons

Music Online: Audio and video music reference

Find It

Music Online is the best place for music lovers to get access to more than 7 million tracks from all over the world. From bluegrass to indie, Music Online makes all genres of music available for users everywhere.

Users can browse through various people, titles and instruments to find everything that they may be looking for. It contains notable works from artists such as Etta James and Jean-Philippe Rameau to stream through.

The database provides users with information on particular tracks, including the release date, catalog number and duration. Music Online also includes the appropriate citation for various formats.

With more than 1,000 videos and 20,000 books and documents to browse through, everyone’s music-related inquires can be answered right in one spot.

Find It

By Katlyn Pierre, public relations intern. For more information about this resource or others

Image: Creative Commons

Collections Profile: Kevin Farley

Kevin FarleyCollection librarians advise on acquisitions and materials to support teaching and research as well as new course and degree development.
Humanities Collections Librarian Kevin Farley serves the VCU Department of Music.

Schools and Departments Served: African-American Studies, English, History, World Studies (including Philosophy, Religious Studies, and world languages), MATX, Music


  • Ph.D., English, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
  • MLS, Library Science, UNC-Chapel Hill
  • MA, English, Kent State University
  • BA, English, Old Dominion University

Areas of Interest

  • The future of humanities publishing
  • Cultural theory
  • Digital Humanities
  • Shakespeare
  • World literature and translation studies
  • Poetry and poetics
  • Film studies and experimental film
  • Music history

What do you like most about what you do?

Collections are at the forefront of tremendous changes underway in academic libraries, reflecting the transformations taking place in how disciplines are taught, studied and practiced. This is challenging but also very exciting, and with the increasing role of digital collections, it’s possible to see researchers find connections that are now often more visible than ever before. The variety of ways of thinking about oneself and the world that is the foundation of doing the humanities has been my lifelong fascination. Creation in the humanities is especially vibrant at VCU. Contemporary humanities are diverse, inclusive and internationalist in thinking and approach, and to be part of that is fulfilling both professionally and personally.

What currently has your attention?

At work, the shift into digital environments for media access, and ways to provide dynamic and wide-ranging streaming access to the VCU community. At home, the intricacies of the classical guitar, which I am determined to learn.

* * *

Collection librarians like Farley work in collaboration with outreach librarians, who support research, curricular and information literacy. More about other outreach librarians for the arts: Creative Catalysts: VCU’s arts librarians

African-American Music: Genres, artists and liner notes

Find It

African-American Music Reference contains more than 50,000 pages of text and 17,000 pages of liner notes that offer insight into one of the many forms of African-American musical expression.

The site provides essays with commentary on the various works it has to offer. It contains a variety of genres from American folk to hip-hop and rap. Discover artists like Willis Laurence James and Jay-Z. With the database, users can not only search through their works, but are able to read artists’ biographies and find related resources on that very person.

Users can search genres, people, instruments and more. African-American Music Reference also allows users to create playlists to compile personal favorites for class viewing and listening assignments or use as a teaching resource for in-class use. It is regularly updated so users can use the “what’s new” option to search through the newest updated images and essays.

Find It

By Katlyn Pierre, public relations intern. For more information about this resource or others

Image: Creative Commons