URC Funds Granted for Study of ARB's Van Meter Ames Collection

By Lauren Fink, ARB Intern, 2011-2012

When I began working at the Archives and Rare Books Library last June, I never could have imagined all that I would learn in the following year.  As my one year anniversary at ARB is quickly approaching, I find myself reflecting on all of the great collections I have had the opportunity to process and research, all of the priceless books I have gotten to Betty and Van Meter AmesJohn Cagebrowse every day, and all of the help and support I have been given from my wonderful co-workers.

By sheer chance, the very first collection I was given to process, during my initial weeks of working here, was directly related to my percussion performance major and my academic interests.  Page 1 of Manuscript about Cage and AmesThe Van Meter Ames Papers, detailed here in my previous blog, document the friendship between UC philosophy professor, Van Meter Ames, and prolific 20th Century composer, John Cage (who was a composer in residence at CCM from 1966-7).  Most of the collection consists of an unpublished manuscript written by Ames about his own life and Cage’s.

After spending the first few days of processing this collection in awe of what I was holding in my hands – something I was pretty sure no one else knew about – I needed to tell my percussion professor, Allen Otte, of The Percussion Group Cincinnati.  Because Otte was interested in and excited about the collection, and because I wanted a chance to work with the collection more closely, I applied for a grant from the Undergraduate Research Council, with Allen Otte as my advisor.

Having just been notified of my URC award, I am very excited to report that this summer I will have the opportunity to research and analyze the Van Meter Ames Papers in more depth.  My eventual project goals include writing a paper that will be presented at the John Cage Centennial Conference held at CCM this fall.

Because 2012 is John Cage’s Centennial celebration, interested patrons will be happy to know that multiple Cage-related events are being held all over Cincinnati and the world.  For a complete list of world-wide events, see the official centennial website.  To visit the Washington, D.C. Festival homepage, click here.  For Cincinnati events, keep an eye out in publications like CityBeat and CCM’s online calendar.  Multiple Cage performances, including Percussion Group Cincinnati playing Cage’s Renga, for 75 musicians, with the CCM orchestra (on Nov. 29th, 2012), are already scheduled.  Though the Solway Gallery has just ended its John Cage and Friends exhibit, it is still viewable online.

To learn more about the Van Meter Ames Papers or any additional ARB holdings please visit http://www.libraries.uc.edu/libraries/arb/index.html.