Thursday, June 30, 2016
The Dorothy Starr Collection
I was at the San Francisco Main Public Library and saw this display called Dorothy Starr Decade by Decade. It was sheet music from many generations. The backstory was even cooler than the artwork on this music, Starr pursued a career in New York as an operatic and popular singer until, at the age of 51 (in 1959), she relocated to San Francisco and opened The Music Stand at 381-A Hayes Street to fill a niche and sell used sheet music.By the late 1960s, people were more inclined to purchase recordings of their favorite songs than sheet music, which meant Starr could buy a lot of unwanted sheet music for very little money. In many ways Starr was like a music librarian and her store like a music library. Customers described it as an apartment with stacks of music in every location - even in the kitchen. Furthermore, because so much sheet music was out of print, her store became a godsend for those trying to locate their favorite songs of the past By naming her business The Music Stand. She died in 1990 and in February 1991, Starr's estate agreed to sell her remaining inventory to the Library:
This was really cool to see. I am a nut about interesting stuff like this and I am glad that the San Francisco Main Library has them and that they did not end up in landfill somewhere.