James A. Rubin Collection

Miscellaneous topics on Carnatic music

James A. Rubin Collection

#1  Postby Shivadasan » 21 Mar 2012 09:28

Recently came up against this information inSangeethapriya
The James A. Rubin Collection of South Indian Classical Music
Archive of World Music, Eda Kuhn Loeb Music Library, Harvard College Library
The James A. Rubin Collection consists of almost 1,000 tapes, 400 78 rpm
records, more than 20 program books, several other books about Indian
music, and 30 spiral-bound notebooks detailing the performances Rubin
recorded in India.
Under the auspices of the Library Digital Initiative, this collection is
being made available to scholars and lovers of Indian music. The tapes will
be copied in an archival digital format for permanent storage. A finding
aid to the James Rubin
Collection<http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:FHCL.Loeb.Faids:mus00008>,
containing a complete catalog of all original performances in the
collection.
Does any one have more information ?
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Re: James A. Rubin Collection

#2  Postby mahavishnu » 22 Mar 2012 03:34

Shivadasan-sir: I have heard of Sri James Rubin (also known as Rubin mama) in several contexts. He was a regular attendee of the Music Academy concerts in the late 50s/early 1960s who continued to record concerts till the late 1980s.

An associate of his named Sri Howard Erdman (formerly of Dartmouth College, NH and a historian that specialized in the rise of the Swatantra party) was well known to me. My understanding is that he left his entire collection of Carnatic music to the music library at Harvard, which has preserved the old reel-to-reel tape and some 78rpm records. There are some absolute treasures in that collection. I imagine that one would need University privileges to be able to access these materials on site; although most Harvard libraries offer visitor passes for short periods to assist bonafide researchers. I am not aware of "copyright" issues surrounding these recordings and if a request can be made to archive them in the public domain.

Given the time frame of Sri Rubin's early visits to India and his association with Smt MSS for her first tour of the US, I am guessing that Sri VK Viswanathan (and/or Sri MKR) would know more about him.

MODS: could we perhaps move this thread to History of CM?
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Re: James A. Rubin Collection

#3  Postby mahavishnu » 22 Mar 2012 04:26

On a related note, my own University's arts library has a treasure trove of old Tamil kriti books with notations (Neelakanta sivan, Kavikunjara bharati etc released in the 1950s by Komatisankara Iyer/Annamalai Univ press) which was brought to my attention by a senior colleague. I hope to share them with L-ji soon.

These items are already in storage and due to space shortages, we might end up losing them permanently. We need a benefactor like Sri Rubin to make sure that they are archived in a permanent collection and preserved for posterity.
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Re: James A. Rubin Collection

#4  Postby cacm » 22 Mar 2012 22:52

mahavishnu wrote:On a related note, my own University's arts library has a treasure trove of old Tamil kriti books with notations (Neelakanta sivan, Kavikunjara bharati etc released in the 1950s by Komatisankara Iyer/Annamalai Univ press) which was brought to my attention by a senior colleague. I hope to share them with L-ji soon.

These items are already in storage and due to space shortages, we might end up losing them permanently. We need a benefactor like Sri Rubin to make sure that they are archived in a permanent collection and preserved for posterity.

Dear Vishnu,
MAYBE we can meet during Cleveland Festival to discuss this. Also I can give a long detailed core dump on Rubin Collections & its tortuous path. Dont have energy& time to write the details.Maybe you can astract it if you wish to. VKV
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Re: James A. Rubin Collection

#5  Postby mahavishnu » 23 Mar 2012 00:36

VKV sir, sounds like there is an interesting story in there.

I would love to catch up with you at Cleveland. I am uncertain about whether I will be able to make it (due to work travel commitments in the other coast). But I will try to swing a brief stop on the way back.

However, I might be visiting Santa Fe later this year; if I do I would be delighted to drive over to Los Alamos and pay my respects to you.
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Re: James A. Rubin Collection

#6  Postby cacm » 23 Mar 2012 06:04

Hope we can meet soon. PL Don't use words like respects etc! If anything I can learn from you. PL write your mailing address; In case we don't meet in Cleveland I will mail you the 2DVD SET on MMI thats going to be distributed in Cleveland to selected persons. VKV
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Re: James A. Rubin Collection

#7  Postby Sreeni Rajarao » 26 Mar 2012 00:16

Shivadasan,

Thank you for this amazing link in your first post! It was fascinating to browse the contents.

Just to make it easy for others, I am providing the same link here:

http://oasis.lib.harvard.edu//oasis/del ... d=mus00008

This treasure must be preserved. I hope to see a day when we can all listen to these treasures!

It was interesting to see some recordings of Mysore vaiNika C Krishnamurthy listed there!
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