Collection of the Stars!

by Shane Stephenson

I have had the great pleasure of working with Andy Anselmo who has lead a "Star Crossed" life. From his youth in Buffalo singing in various nightclubs at the age of 8, to being enamored with the movie stars of the 30's and 40's, Andy has moved forward with his goals. He moved to NYC and established The Singer's Forum with John Albert Harris in the 70's. He has coached many actors and singers today including Mandy Patinkin, Phyllis Diller, Rue McClanahan, Brooke Shields, Liza Minnelli and had spent time with the Rat Pack! Moving back to Buffalo and leaving The Singers Forum in good hands, Andy splits his time between Williamsville and his 100 year old family farm in Portland, NY. 

Andy brought back with him 31 boxes of material from NYC that needed to be archived. There are seemingly an endless amount of musical scores, practice binders, over 600 cassettes, LP's and videos, promotional material, photos of various stars from Hollywood and Broadway! Thankfully, I have had, Trish, my trusted archival assistant with me to help!

The challenge as an archivist is being able to arrange a collection of this size. The first step is to gain "intellectual control" over the records. I needed to find out exactly what was in these boxes. Once that information was gathered, then true arrangement and description began. Breaking the collection into different "series" will make it manageable, and put similar media that was created for the same purpose together. 

Once the collection is done, it will all be housed in the same archival boxes each with clear labels and a finding aid so that users and researchers of the records in the future will be able to find what they are looking for quickly and efficiently. 

There are a few pictures in the gallery showing what we contend with every Sunday, but great progress has been made. There are only a few boxes remaining. Then I will be rehousing them to protect them. We are confident that there is a good home for the Andy Anselmo Collection in Buffalo where it can be used by researchers in years.