Not only is the fundamental course of the Music Department subjected to the suppression of the authorities, but the whole study of music is checked by an inaccessible library hidden in one of the basements of Widener. While all other major departments at Harvard have their own libraries, music concentrators and graduates in ever-increasing numbers are forced to wade through the formalities of Widener to get information in their field. Those who may descend into the stacks are struck by the appalling deterioration of the books and scores of one of the best music libraries in the country.
During the past few years, there has been constant agitation to move the music library into the basement of Paine Hall, where it belongs. The authorities, fearing the cost, have refused any petitions on the part of the student body. The truth is, however, that the basement has been laid out perfectly, with one large room, sixty by twenty-six feet, for a library and a number of smaller rooms for victrola playing. The expense of clearing out discarded physics equipment and rehabilitating the rooms with books and scores, already in the hands of the University, would not prove overburdensome.
The advantages of a library accessible to all students are a hundred times as great as the cost involved. With comparatively little money the University can realize the otherwise lost investment of the underground rooms in Paine Hall; and the students will be able to depend more upon reading material and less on an over-worked teaching staff. Taking the musical library out of the hands of Widener and putting it within reach of the Department would undoubtedly eliminate one of the constant checks on the progress of musical study at Harvard.