Bowling Green State University’s Music Library and Sound Recordings Archives is thrilled to announce the recent acquisition of a collection of vintage polka music from Music Publishers of America (MPA). The collection consists of thousands of polka charts, folios and sheet music originally published by the Vitak-Elsnic Company, MPA’s predecessor. The Vitak-Elsnic Company was co-founded by former Ohioan Louis Vitak. BGSU now possesses what is arguably the world’s largest collection of American printed polka music.
Music from this genre is a part of America’s musical and cultural heritage, in the same tradition as bluegrass, Dixieland and jazz. Nearly all of the music in the Vitak-Elsnic Collection was composed or arranged by Americans, many of whom were of central European descent.
We need your help to preserve and promote utilization of this invaluable collection. We’re now working on plans to raise awareness of the collection, provide access to the music, and promote the vitality of polka in the modern age.
You may give online at: https://falconfunded.bgsu.edu/preservepolka
Through this “Falcon Funded” crowdfunding campaign, we will begin building an endowment to sustain on-going activities related to the collection, as well as bring in spendable money for more immediate activities. Activities supported will include:
- Ongoing cataloging and processing of the materials;
- Digitization of materials to assist patrons with access and research;
- Promotional and outreach efforts in collaboration with area ensembles;
- Student travel to perform pieces from the collection or present on polka topics at conferences and;
- Acquisition of related polka materials and reference resources.
Thank you for considering a gift to this fund to preserve the heritage of polka music.
Head Librarian, BGSU Music Library and Sound Recordings Archives