Performing Arts Librarian
Karen combines three roles as librarian, musicologist & educationalist.
LIBRARIAN. A Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals, Karen has curated music materials at RCS since 1988. A major preoccupation at the present time is in developing the library's music stock composed by women and by BIPOC composers; Karen has given presentations and published on this topic.
MUSICOLOGIST. Karen's PhD is in Music, from the University of Glasgow (2009).
Since 2012, she has been partially seconded to Research & Knowledge Exchange at RCS. Her book, Our Ancient National Airs: Scottish Song Collecting from the Enlightenment to the Romantic Era, was published by Ashgate (2013). She has contributed chapters to Understanding Scotland Musically (2018). and Music by Subscription (2022), both Routledge, and has two further commissioned chapters in the press. She has recently completed her second Routledge monograph, this time with a working title of A Social History of Amateur Music-Making and Scottish National Identity: Scotland’s Printed Music, 1880-1951. Anticipated publication date will be in 2024, subject to the revision/editing process.
September-December 2023, Karen will be the first holder of the honorary Ketelbey research Fellowship in Late Modern History, in the University of St Andrews’ School of History.
August 2017-Ocotober 2018, awarded AHRC Networking Grant: The Claimed from Stationers' Hall network, exploring legal deposit music in British libraries.
October 2015-April 2016, An Athenaeum Award by the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, enabled Karen to commence part-time research into the Stationers’ Hall music collection at the University of St Andrews.
October 2012-15, part-time postdoctoral researcher to the Bass Culture project looking at accompaniments in Scottish fiddle music, an AHRC-funded project spearheaded by Glasgow University.
EDUCATIONALIST. Karen lectures on Scottish music, research and bibliographic skills. Holding a Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Arts Education, her personal project explored the best ways to maximise student engagement in such topics such as electronic resources, bibliographic citation, or historic Scottish music books, in the context of library instruction. Karen is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. (HEA is now part of Advance HE)
Karen has co-organised Musica Scotica conferences; has reviewed books in a variety of periodicals including Times Higher Education's 'What are you Reading?' column; and is a keen advocate of networking in connection with research and career opportunities.
Karen has always had a research interest in the transmission of repertoires - plainsong and mediaeval polyphony, 18th-19th century Scottish song collecting, historic Scottish dance music publications and early legal deposit music in British libraries. At the University of St Andrews' research library facility in Martyrs' Kirk, Karen explored the decisions the University professors took with regard to the copyright music, and the way it was subsequently used by professors, their families and friends. Key findings identify what was most popular, who used it most, and who catalogued it.
Karen's recent AHRC Networking grant prompted increased interest in historical legal deposit music in the UK. Having made significant steps in research into the collection at the University of St Andrews, the network looked at the other collections to explore other dimensions, and a workshop took place in March 2018. The 'Claimed from Stationers' Hall' network blog is now at https://karenmcaulaymusicologist.blog/ - this and Karen's subsequent research can be followed on Twitter @Karenmca
Karen has also been on the steering groups of two research networks based at the University of Glasgow, EAERN (Eighteenth-Century Arts Education Research Network) and Romantic National Song Network
Royal Conservatoire of Scotland
Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Arts EducationSept 2015 - Oct 2017
Higher Education Academy
Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA)
CILIP (Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals)
FCLIP (Fellow of CILIP)
PhD, University of Glasgow
Our Ancient National Airs: Scottish song-collecting c.1760-1888
MA, University of Exeter
Postgraduate Diploma in Librarianship, College of Librarianship Wales
BA, University of Durham
BA in Music (II:i)