Obituary: Lenore Coral

It was with great sadness that we learnt of the passing of Lenore Coral. The following is a selection of obituaries, which highlights the wide range of her achievements, in addition to those pertaining to IAML.

It is my sad duty to tell you all that Lenore Coral, librarian of the Sidney A. Cox Library for Music and Dance at Cornell University, passed away last night, 9 March 2005, from cancer. She was 66 at the time of her passing. The loss to the profession, of both musicology and music librarianship, is great. A bright light has gone out, and we will all be the less for it. Lenore's passion for everything she did was evident throughout her career. She was a vocal advocate for the information needs of scholars, and worked endlessly for improved standards for access to music information. Lenore was instrumental in spearheading many of the projects which we now consider standard tools for music research, and was the founder and director of the U.S. RILM Office at Cornell. Within IAML, she was quite active and visible presence. Most notably, she was chair of the Cataloguing Commisssion, vice-president of the association for two terms, active on the ISBD working groups, elected as honorary member in 2001, and co-owner of IAML-L.
We will all miss her wise counsel, her unending friendship, and her immense wit. She was mentor to a whole generation of music librarians and scholars. For those of us lucky enough to bask in her aura, be fired up by her passion and wit, she remains in our hearts always, and will always be an icon of modern music librarianship. A Festschrift in Lenore's honour is in process. Titled 'Music, Libraries, and the Academy,' and edited by Jim Cassaro, the volume is scheduled to be published by A-R Editions of Middleton, WI in 2005. A memorial service will be scheduled at a later date.
Jim Cassaro

Lenore served on RIPM's Commission for Indexing Norms in the early 1980s, helping us in important ways to develop the indexing system we have used and developed since that time. Lenore's ability to view a forest-full of information and to focus therein on a tiny unhealthy seedling--a potential future problem-was truly remarkable, as were her proposed solutions. RIPM profited greatly from Lenore's presence in its early, formative years. I have always been very grateful for Lenore's contribution to RIPM, for her always helpful, straightforward and at times colorful directives ("garbage in, garbage out") and, for her unique way of rightly keeping us in line. I miss Lenore as an exceptional, concerned colleague whose vast knowledge, experience and analytical skills were so often enlightening, and I miss her as a friend.
H. Robert Cohen

I was most saddened to read this unexpected news. I am sure I speak for many of my colleagues in the UK in saying that we have lost someone whom we could call one of the giants of IAML. Thank you, Jim, for your moving overview of Lenore's many achievements; I can think of no better way to honour Lenore's memory than to celebrate those achievements and the passion with which she dedicated herself to our profession.
To those who were close to Lenore, our thoughts and love are with you today.
Geoff Thomason

We all shall miss her. My sympathies to Anders, and all of her friends. As another native detroiter and graduate of Cass tech high school, we frequently shared our motown experiences. But I would also add a little known fact - namely that Lenore was instrumental in getting the Music OCLC Users Group off the ground in the late 70's - she understood what the impact of OCLC would be on music librarianship. I also remember sending out the first MLA-L message in March 1989, as Lenore was completing her term as MLA President. the subscribers were Lenore, Richard Griscom and me. The test was successful.
It's truly difficult imagining MLA without Lenore's presence.
A. Ralph Papakhian

Dear RILM colleagues,
by now, you may have heard the very sad news of Lenore Coral's death Tuesday night. Lenore founded and ran the RILM committee in the United States for decades, and was closely involved with RILM since its establishment in 1966. A stronger, more determined, more devoted supporter RILM has never had.
I was fortunate enough to spend time with Lenore in her HospiCare room Monday afternoon. She was very tiny and weak, never really opened her eyes, and spoke only a little. But from that little, and from other means of communication (the trademark Lenore shrug, for example), it was clear that Lenore's mind and personality were entirely there. She wanted to hear about the latest goings on with RILM-interested in the project to the end.
I brought her flowers from the RILM staff. A visiting friend (she was surrounded by devoted friends and colleagues, who had named themselves The Coral Society) said something about the pretty crocouses in the bouquet, and Lenore said (without having opened her eyes), "They are frescias. I can smell them." She was right! She made sure I was given chocolate (she'd received several boxes) as soon as I arrived. The next words out of her mouth were an apology for not being able to deliver her paper at the RILM conference next week. What an amazing spirit she had...
Lenore will be honored at our conference next week. In place of her paper, which was scheduled in the last slot of the conference, I will talk about RILM and all the work she did for the project.
Barbara Mackenzie

The obituary on
In Memoriam: Lenore Coral, from Infoshare.


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