About the GFA online archive

On April 24, 2007, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) officially announced their 2007 Access to Artistic Excellence grants, including a $10,000 award to the Guitar Foundation of America. The grant proposal, submitted in August 2006, and prepared by the GFA in conjunction with experts from the University of Akron (the host of the GFA Archives), outlines a three-phase project to begin the digitization of historically significant scores in the GFA Archives, and to create an improved web portal for the Archives to interface with the newly designed GFA website.

The GFA Archives were established in 1973 by Dr. Thomas Heck, and are currently housed at the University of Akron in Akron, Ohio. The University is committed to the maintenance and development of the Archives, and will be contributing considerable resources to the Archives. The University has recently acquired a large facility which will house the material in a climate controlled environment designed especially for archival purposes.

The grant proposal named a panel of experts to select the first 100 scores which will be digitized and made available for download through the archives website. The panel includes Thomas Heck (creator of the GFA Archives, founding member of GFA, former librarian, and scholar); Douglas James (GFA Advisory Board President, performer, and scholar); and Stanley Yates (GFA Advisory Board Member, composer, performer, and scholar). The selections will also be performed and recorded under the supervision of University of Akron guitar professor Stephen Aron, and sound clips will be made available on the website. (Current mp3 incipits were performed by guitarist Gary Stewart. Adam Keeler was the engineer.) The GFA will work with the University of Akron to integrate the two websites and to make this information available online to visitors worldwide. The digital scores and sound clips will be available at no cost. Future plans for the archives include eventual digitization of all significant holdings.