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The University of Akron
Bierce Library

Copyright © 1997
by The University of Akron

General Policy Statement

The GFA Archive promotes the preservation and enjoyment of the guitar's musical heritage through a shared and centralized cataloging effort and through a liberal policy of dissemination on demand, at fees which are designed only to cover operating costs. It attempts to provide a means whereby individual collectors may share with other interested guitarists the rare music and guitar related materials which they have acquired over the years.
As is true with several other scholarly special collections (the Deutschea Musikgeschichtliches Archiv in Kassel; the "Stablein" microfilm archive of medieval manuscript in Erlagen; the microfilm library of the Lute Society of America in California), the GFA Archive often does not own original editions of the printed guitar music in its catalog. Many of the cataloged works are photostats (XE) or microfilms (MF) of originals in private hands or in various public and private libraries in the U.S. and abroad. The reproductions were legitimately secured at one time or another by members of the GFA or by friends sympathetic to the organization's artistic and scholarly goals, and now are being shared in a non-profit context in conformity with the donors' wishes.
The Directors of the GFA recognize that the interests of our Membership, and of scholarship in general, are sometimes at odds with the proprietary interests of the libraries which own original editions of guitar music. Hence we pursue a course of reason, fairness, and compromise in reminding those who borrow or copy our microfilms or photostats of originals located elsewhere to credit the owners of the originals whenever much credit is appropriate, and to apply to the owners for permission to publish. We leave the stamp of the originating library on any copy we provide, in order to facilitate credit where credit is due. And while recognizing the rights of owners of originals to acknowledgment and, in the case of manuscripts, to oversee publication rights, we also recognize the rights of owners of copies to share their materials, as they wish, as a means of furthering the study and performance of guitar music.
The GFA Archive thus is a service organization, offering the musical and scholarly communities not so much a wealth of original editions in one location as a wealth of convenience. It promotes dissemination - the surest guarantee of preservation. And by its very existence, the GFA Archive proclaims that not only originals, but also microforms and photostats of rare material have genuine, if derivative, value. They are certainly worth cataloging, publicizing, preserving, and sharing.


Last updated: 29 July 1999