The Catgut Acoustical Society Library

The Catgut Acoustical Society was established in 1963, growing out of a collaboration which began in the late 1950s between Carleen M. Hutchins, Frederick A. Saunders, John C. Schelleng, and Robert E. Fryxell. An informal gathering of twelve members in May 1963 at Hutchins' home was described in the first CAS Newsletter of 1 May 1964. One year later, a CAS meeting in New York City was attended by nearly fifty people. Since then, CAS has grown in both membership and activities. The society seeks to stimulate pioneering research in acoustical principles and the application of these principles to the making of fine stringed instruments, including the Violin Octet.

From its founding, CAS began compiling an extensive collection of acoustics research files, which were sometimes donated to the society upon the death of one of its members. By 1990, this collection had grown to encompass nearly 50 file drawers of information, including published and unpublished papers, detailed laboratory notebooks, photos, correspondences, miscellaneous writings, and meeting reports. In the late 1980s, CAS began an effort to establish an appropriate long-term residence for the collection, such that it could serve as a valuable reference source for the musical acoustics community at large. In 1992, the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA) at Stanford University was selected as the repository for this library.

Searchable World Wide Web pages have been created that outline the library contents for the files. In addition, an online index to the Catgut Acoustical Society Newsletters and Journals (1964 - 1994) has been made available on this site. Current file drawers exist for such people as Louis Condax, Robert Fryxell, Felix Savart, John Shelleng, and Melville Clark. The collection also includes a complete set of the CAS Journal publications, and two Benchmark volumes of definitive papers in violin acoustics.