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The Vermont Music Library & Shop is here to be sure your music becomes part of Vermont’s cultural legacy, preserving your music for future generations and celebrating it in the present. It’s a special place where Vermont’s contemporary musical heritage is collected, preserved, and opened to the world to discover. This public library has almost 4,000 recordings by Vermonters on its shelves for the curious to listen to in a cozy, lounge-like space. The music shop has more than 600 Vermont-made CD’s for sale from the third floor storefront and web site. Come visit a cultural institution unlike any other.

Big Heavy World (or “Big Heavy” to its friends!) has been preserving and promoting the music of Vermont with a volunteer crew of mostly high school and college-aged students since 1996, gathering recordings from across the state and celebrating Vermont’s musical artists through CD releases, live showcase events, the Big Heavy World web site and the Vermont Music Library & Shop. Its a quirky, supercharged organization that puts youthful energy to good use on behalf of Vermont’s living history.

Explore our programs and please introduce us to your music if it isn’t already in the listening library or in the shop. We welcome you to send or drop-off a copy of any recordngs you’ve been a part of so we could add them to our historic Vermont music collection and bring your music to the inventory of the online shop.

The Vermont Music Library and Shop is a program of The Big Heavy World Foundation, Inc., a nonprofit corporation supported by gifts from individuals, foundations, businesses and sales of Vermont-made music recordings.

Our collection of Vermont-made music recordings is maintained as a public listening library and includes independent and major label commercial releases, concert recordings, artist demos, performance and interview videos, and studio archives. View our music library catalog.

Attention Vermont Musicians!

Please consider contributing recordings that you appear on to the Vermont Music Library collection. We are striving to create a comprehensive representation of music in Vermont and the effort would be incomplete without your inclusion! Our contact information is below, and we hope you will stop by to meet and leave your music with us in person. Recordings in the Vermont Music Library collection are also available to programmers of WOMM-LP 105.9FM ‘The Radiator’, Big Heavy World’s community radio station.

We also invite your recordings into the inventory of our Vermont Music Shop. Download the Consignment Form (PDF) and return it to the address below with six copies of each recording – five for inventory and one for the library.

Download the Consignment Form

Our Mission

The Big Heavy World Foundation, Inc. is established to preserve the historical record of music originating in Vermont; to create economic opportunity for Vermont’s musicians and the industries vital to them; to develop community among Vermont musicians and their patrons; and to accomplish this mission in a substance-free environment that empowers and educates youth.

The Vermont Music Library & Shop was founded by The Big Heavy World Foundation, Inc. to preserve, celebrate and interpret Vermont’s musical culture; serve as a center for scholarly and popular research through its archive; contribute to public discourse and understanding about the music community and the role of music in Vermont society; and contribute to Vermont’s understanding of its cultural identity.

Among other programs and projects, we endeavor to:

MAINTAIN A MULTIMEDIA PUBLIC LISTENING LIBRARY of music written, performed, or conducted by Vermont musicians. Catalog this library according to Library of Congress standards and integrate this catalog with Vermont’s statewide library system. Develop a comprehensive database of recording information from album liner notes and artist interviews. Create an interactive public interface to this database that includes access to digital media. Develop this library to meet minimum standards for community-oriented public library service in Vermont. Participate in establishment and use of universal standards for digital cultural content.

MAINTAIN A RETAIL MUSIC SHOP to vend independently released Vermont recordings. Develop and promote this enterprise in partnership with other organizations and media that further Vermont commerce, products and culture. Invite volunteer and intern participation by students seeking experience in business, marketing, and community outreach.

Our Philosophy

Big Heavy World honors the lives and voices of Vermont’s musical artists. Preservation of Vermont’s traditional and contemporary cultural legacy, inclusively and without prejudice, is a meaningful concern of its citizens.

The potential of Vermont’s youth is immeasurable. The values of self-worth, respect for diversity, positivity, civic participation, and independent thought are intuitively relevant to the well-being of young adults and worthy of fostering within an institution devoted to community-building and the art of this state.

Our Catalog

Our catalog is a living document and we invite your input. Please don’t hesitate to help us correct errors or in any way improve it for the public’s use.

Vermont Artists and Friends of Vermont Music: PLEASE let us know of Vermont-made recordings that are not held in this collection. We’ll do our best to bring them into this ‘historic record’.

Filmmakers: The VMLS has been a secret of regional independent filmmakers for years as an exceptional and accessible collection of a great variety of independently produced music.

The VMLS thanks Casey Rea, Dan Bolles, and Seven Days Newspaper; Steve Lemcke; Kevin Shapiro; Pete Gershon, and Jimmy Swift at First Night Burlington for their significant contributions to our collection of Vermont-made music.

View the catalog here.

Digital Cultural Content at the VMLS

A goal of the Vermont Music Library is preservation of this cataloged music as digital cultural content. By digitizing this collection to an uncompressed (archival quality) file format the VMLS will enable an interoperable ‘cultural memory.’ Digitization will also conserve the original material recordings, protecting them from the damage and wear inevitable with use by the public in our listening library. We will work toward making the collection searchable – and listenable – online and at workstations in the VMLS.