Songbook Foundation names new Library & Archives director
Emily Rapoza brings experience in historic preservation, digitization
CARMEL, Ind. – The Great American Songbook Foundation has hired a new professional to oversee its vast and growing historical collections that preserve and tell the story of classic popular music.
Emily Rapoza will begin March 14 as the Foundation’s new Director of Library & Archives. She replaces Lisa Lobdell, who retired recently after serving the organization since 2010.
Rapoza has served most recently as Senior Lincoln Librarian with the Lincoln Financial Foundation Collection in Fort Wayne, Indiana, one of the world’s most comprehensive collections of artifacts related to former president Abraham Lincoln. She holds a master’s degree in Library and Information Sciences from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, as well as a master’s in Digital History and a bachelor’s degree in History from Ball State University.
The Songbook Library & Archives, housed in an 8,000-square-foot facility in Carmel, currently comprises more than 500,000 documents, images and artifacts representing composers, lyricists, arrangers, performers and other figures associated with timeless jazz standards and other music from Tin Pan Alley, Broadway and Hollywood. Highlights include the papers of The Music Man creator Meredith Willson; musical arrangements written for such artists as Natalie Cole, Rosemary Clooney, Sammy Davis Jr. and Andy Williams; Hy Zaret’s original lyrics for “Unchained Melody,” one of the 20th century’s most recorded songs; and a growing library of sheet music, books and audiovisual materials. The collections serve as a resource for scholars, journalists and musicians from around the world, including Broadway producers and documentarians from PBS, the BBC and other organizations. More information is available at TheSongbook.org/Archives.
In her new role, Rapoza’s responsibilities will include overseeing acquisition, management and digitization of the collections; assisting and tracking researcher requests and visits; developing public exhibits of historical materials; contributing to grant proposals and fundraising activities; and leading community outreach initiatives and collaborative partnerships related to the Library & Archives.
“Emily has experience not only in preserving historical collections, but also in using technology to make the materials more accessible to researchers and more engaging for the general public,” said Christopher Lewis, Executive Director of the Great American Songbook Foundation. “Her skill set and her track record of innovation are ideally suited to our vision for the Library & Archives.”
About the Great American Songbook Foundation
The mission of the Great American Songbook Foundation, founded in 2007 by five-time Grammy® Award nominee Michael Feinstein, is to inspire and educate by celebrating the timeless standards of pop, jazz, Broadway and Hollywood. Headquartered at the Center for the Performing Arts in Carmel, Indiana, the Foundation advances this rich legacy by curating physical artifacts of its creators, performers and publishers in the Songbook Library & Archives; operating a multimedia exhibit gallery; overseeing the Songbook Hall of Fame; offering programs for the public and research opportunities for scholars and artists; and providing educational opportunities for student musicians, including the annual Songbook Academy® summer intensive. The Foundation is a Cultural Affiliate of the Los Angeles-based Grammy Museum®. More information is available at TheSongbook.org.