Wes Fisher Collection

The Wes Fisher Music Score Collection was donated by Wesley Fisher, a noted Berks County, Pennsylvania musician, to the Reading Area Community College. It consists of approximately 200 string music titles, 600 complete orchestra titles, 100 chamber music titles, 100 salon music titles, 150 German published titles, 300 dance band music titles, and 1300 piano music titles. In addition, the collection includes many hand-written music scores written by Berks County composers and arrangers. The age of the collection ranges from the late 1800s to the 1980s.

In 2002 the college received a federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant from the Pennsylvania Office of Commonwealth Libraries which funded the cataloging of the collection, so that researchers could better access the collection.

About Wes Fisher

Wes FisherWesley “Wes” Fisher was born in 1913. As a youth he began playing the violin and bass violin. While attending Reading High School, he was student director of the concert band, organized a string ensemble, and joined the Reading Symphony Orchestra as a bassist. Mr Fisher was the bassist for the Reading Symphony Orchestra for over fifty years as well as playing with the Lancaster Symphony, Harrisburg Symphony, Valley Forge Symphony, Pottstown Symphony, and Allentown Symphony orchestras.

He also organized and conducted the Reading Pops Orchestra. During his long professional musical career accomplishments, Mr. Fisher served the local community in many ways as a member of boards, committees, and festivals. For many years he was involved with the “Music in the Schools” program, and, in fact, helped broaden its scope in both musical content and school locations. During his long musical career, Wes Fisher collected music scores from a variety of sources and created a significant collection, which he generously donated to Reading Area Community College in the 1990s.

Wes Fisher Project

The generous gift by Wes Fisher of his music score collection was a welcome addition to the collection of The Yocum Library of Reading Area Community College. Its size and format presented some challenges in organizing and accessing the collection. Photo of Piano Music "Love's Victory" 

The library staff first worked on preserving the collection by removing foreign materials which were threatening to damage the items (rusting paper clips, melting rubber bands, etc.) and transferring the scores to archival folders. The Foundation for Reading Area Community College helped to fund the purchase of many cabinets to store these music folders. The College then had the collection inventoried and appraised. At this point, the only access to the collection was by using Wes Fisher’s original numbering system and his notebooks.

A grant application was submitted to the Pennsylvania Office of Commonwealth Libraries to fund the cataloging of the Wes Fisher Music Score Collection. In 2002 the College was notified that the project would be funded with federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) funds administered through the Office of Commonwealth Libraries. With this grant, the bulk of the collection was cataloged and included in the catalog of The Yocum Library, which is a catalog shared by many of the libraries in Berks County, including the Berks County public libraries and Alvernia College. In addition, information about the collection was included on the web site of the College.

Project staff members included Jose-Alby Fabiani, James Corbit, Bridget Heckman Swoyer, Mary Ellen G. Heckman, Patricia Nouhra, Ryan Sittler, Kim R. Stahler, and Lori Zonca. Linda Lawrence, The Yocum Library’s Technical Services Librarian, provided invaluable cataloging training and assistance for the project. The College’s Web site staff, David Richards and Ronald Kelly, and project staff member, Jose-Alby Fabiani, collaborated to create the project’s web site.

For further information about the collection contact:
Mary Ellen G. Heckman - mheckman@racc.edu
Director of Library Services
610-372-4721 ext. 5061