On Friday, a middle-aged couple came into the Performing Arts Library looking for information on their great grandmother who graduated in 1891 from the Chicago Musical College. They showed me the medal her great grandmother received for a voice competition. She had written a memoir and it mentioned a song she had sung at her recital. The couple wanted a copy of the sheet music. They had not had any luck searching Google. They only knew it was from the opera Mignon. I was piqued because I knew the opera was by the French composer Ambroise Thomas and the title the woman had was in Italian. Knowing that back then, singing operas in different languages was acceptable I went to look at our scores. Indeed, I found a score of the opera in English and Italian published in 1880. I told her that this could have been the very copy her great grandmother used! They were very thrilled with that and very appreciative of the additional information I gave them.
Director, Performing Arts Library