Comparison Between Duckles 5 and the Online Bibliography Database

Since the Music & Dance Reference Project: Online Bibliography Database, in many respects, supersedes the work of Vincent H. Duckles’ Music Reference and Research Materials: An Annotated Bibliography, it is useful to compare the varying strengths of each.

  • Duckles includes a bibliographic citation for each reference work and also frequently includes additional information on the series and physical description. The Database, too–for approximately 1,900 records–includes a bibliographic citation based on the Chicago Manual of Style as well as extensive bibliographic data taken from WorldCat MARC records. Not only are physical descriptions included, but also Library of Congress subject headings and call numbers.
  • Like Duckles, the Database includes an annotation, or critique, that describes the reference work. They are objectively written in a way that expounds upon characteristics found in the original Duckles annotations (See “Guidelines to Critiques”). Not every item in Duckles is annotated and at present this is also the case with the Database (only about 1,500 items are critiqued), but we aim for complete annotative coverage in the future.
  • Similarly to Duckles, the Database attempts to list all known reviews for that particular reference work. Coverage is taken one step further through the inclusion of stable URLs to full-text copies of individual reviews.

There is one feature in the Database that departs from Duckles. For each record there is a monitored comments feature that allows users to submit observations regarding the reference work, which compensates for any disadvantages resulting from the Database’s strictly objective approach to examination.

Below is a brief numerical comparison of coverage and currency. (All statistics reported in this post regarding the Database are guaranteed to change. These are a reflection of the Database in May 2008.)

1. Dictionaries and Encyclopedia

  • Duckles 5: 665
  • Database: 890

2. Histories and Chronologies

  • Duckles 5: 128
  • Database: 142

3. Guides to Musicology

  • Duckles 5: 87
  • Database: 3 (1)

4. Bibliographies of Music Literature

  • Duckles 5: 393
  • Database: 868

5. Bibliographies of Music

  • Duckles 5: 658
  • Database: 864

6. Reference Works on Individual Composers and Their Music

  • Duckles 5: 389
  • Database: 696

7. Catalogs of Music Libraries and Collections

  • Duckles 5: 648
  • Database: 453

8. Catalogs of Musical Instrument Collections

9. Histories and Bibliographies of Music Printing and Publishing

  • Duckles 5: 151
  • Database: 31

10. Discographies and Related Sources

  • Duckles 5: 310
  • Database: 756

11. Yearbooks, Directories, and Guides

  • Duckles 5: 90
  • Database: 71

12. Electronic Information Resources

  • Duckles 5: 50
  • Database: 208

13. Bibliographies, and the Music Business and Library Science

  • Duckles 5: 80
  • Database: 76

Total number of Citations

Cut-off year for content

  • Duckles 5: 1995
  • Database: Open

Number of items in Database, published after 1995: 1,122

1. In this category, we excluded most items Duckles included, as we did not consider them strictly bibliographic reference works.

2. At present, the system of categorization used by the Database does not distinguish between instrument collection catalogs and music library and collections catalogues, so any numbers that ought to appear here are combined in the line above with the library/collection catalogues.

3. Many records qualified for more than one category, and so the numbers reported for each category do not collectively amount to exactly 4,700.

1 thought on “Comparison Between Duckles 5 and the Online Bibliography Database”

  1. Note that most of the statistics in this first posting are now outdated. The database has since grown to 6,029 sources.

Comments are closed.