The Selch Collection of American Music History

In December 2008, Patricia Bakwin Selch of New York City, widow of noted collector and music scholar Frederick R. Selch, donated her husband's entire collection to Oberlin. The inventory of nearly 10,000 items includes some 700 instruments, 9,000 books (rare first editions and important primary source material among them) and a number of artworks. In addition to her gift of the Selch Collection of American Music History, Mrs. Selch also pledged to endow a professorship in musicology; the new faculty position will expand American studies at the conservatory. Her philanthropy lays the groundwork for establishing the Frederick R. Selch Center for American Music at Oberlin. Students, faculty, and visiting scholars who are interested in organology—the history, design, materials, construction, and use of musical instruments—will soon be able to conduct research at Oberlin on the origins of American music.

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