Cape Philharmonic Orchestra Library, in a mail to the SABC Music Library and the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra Library:
An orchestra library is not a place of research or reference, although it does have certain capacities in that medium.
I’ll get an email from some unknown in Australia who is looking for data concerning their great grandfather who played double bass in the Cape Town Orchestra in the 20s…or was it the 30s? Can I provide them with anything? And I can’t, unfortunately.
To a lesser extent I will be asked for recordings of certain works, and very rarely some musicological question (although Google and Wikipedia seem to have taken up a lot of this in the last ten years).
In essence the Library is there to provide scores and parts for specific performances.
The easy bit is to pull the file boxes off the shelves and load the parts folders. The hard bit is to find, somehow and with limited budget, musical material that the Library doesn’t have!"
Musing in the Music Library #2 - Cape Philharmonic Orchestra Library
Musings in the Music Library #1