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Jennifer Ottervik

Head of the Arthur Friedheim Library and Archives

Jennifer Ottervik has been head of the Arthur Friedheim Library and Archives at the Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University since 2010, directing its operations, services, and personnel. As a member of the Musicology Department, she also teaches the required graduate course, Bibliography, each semester. 

From 1996 to 2010, she was head of the Music Library at the University of South Carolina (UoSC), where she also taught Music Librarianship for the School of Library and Information Science, and Bibliography and Research for the School of Music. In 2009, she earned nomination for the University’s annual Mungo Graduate Teaching Award. In 2000, she became the first librarian at the University to be awarded early tenure. A private donation established the Music Library's Digital Sheet Music Project in her honor. 

From 2002 to 2010, Ms. Ottervik was co-editor and then editor of the peer-reviewed journal Music Reference Services Quarterly, published by Taylor & Francis. She is the author of articles on David Daniels, Carlisle Floyd, and Classical Music in the UoSC Press’s South Carolina Encyclopedia. Last year, her chapter, “Faculty Status and the Music Librarian,” was published inCareers in Music Librarianship III: Reality and Reinvention (Music Library Association and A-R Editions, 2014).

Active in the Music Library Association (MLA) since 1994, she has served on numerous committees, including Marketing, Membership, Nominating, Personnel, and Publications. Most recently, she completed a three-year term on the Bradley Award Committee, serving as its chair in 2012-2013. From 2004 to 2007, she was appointed placement officer for MLA, coordinating its employment service and annual mentoring program. Ms. Ottervik is also a member of Pi Kappa Lambda and Sigma Alpha Iota.

Ms. Ottervik attended the University of North Texas, earning a BA in Jazz Studies, an MM in Musicology, and an Master of Library Science. In 1997, she was awarded MLA's Gerboth Award for research based on her master’s thesis. In 2000, her resulting paper was selected as “Best of Chapters” and at the national conference that year, she presented, “Jazz in Opera: It Ain’t Over ‘til the Fat Lady Swings.” Her thesis is cited in John Franceschina’s Duke Ellington’s Music for the Theatre (McFarland, 2001) and Eddie Meadows, Jazz Scholarship and Pedagogy, 3rd ed. (Routledge, 2006).

In 2001, the Center for Southern African-American Music (CSAM) was established at the University of South Carolina to promote and preserve indigenous music traditions, such as spirituals and Gullah music. Named co-director of CSAM upon its founding, Ms. Ottervik also served as its director from 2004-2006 and as the Center’s archivist until 2008. 

During her seven-year affiliation with CSAM, her immersion in the state’s musical history led to what remains her primary area of research—slave music.  On this topic, she has given numerous presentations and been interviewed on the South Carolina Educational TV (SCETV) shows,“Connections” and “Beats.”  She co-produced and wrote the musical drama In Dis Here Skin: A Celebration of African-American Sacred Music in South Carolina, 1670-1900, which premiered February 2004 in the UoSC School of Music.  For the UoSC Honors College, she taught “The Collision of Musical Cultures: African-American Music in the New World.”  At Peabody, she has guest-lectured in Andrew Talle’s Gospel Music class.


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