The Vincent H. Duckles Award is the Music Library Association's annual prize for the best book-length bibliography or reference work in music. The prize, awarded since the 1976 publication year, was named in honor of Vincent Duckles in 1985.
Vincent H. Duckles (1913–1985) was Head of the Music Library and Professor in the Department of Music at the University of California, Berkeley. During his long and distinguished career he made major contributions to music libraries, librarianship, and scholarship. In his 33 year tenure at Berkeley he built the music library into one of the country's most important collections. He was active in the Music Library Association, serving on the board of directors as member-at-large and MLA President in 1961. He also chaired the Survey of Library Resources, Constitutional Revision, and Program committees. In recognition of his stature in the profession MLA awarded him its highest honor, an Citation in 1980. Vincent Duckles' most widely known work is Music Reference and Research Materials, which grew out of his famous music bibliography course at Berkeley. First published in 1967, it rapidly became and has remained the standard book in its field. The last edition to appear under his sole authorship was the third, in 1974; it is now in its fifth edition, under the editorship of Ida Reed (New York, Schirmer Books).
Vincent Duckles received his Ph.D. in musicology from the University of California at Berkeley in 1953. He was a specialist in seventeenth-century English song and the author of Thematic Catalog of a Manuscript Collection of Eighteenth-Century Italian Instrumental Music in the University of California, Berkeley, Music Library, published in 1963. Toward the close of his career he turned his attention to historiography of music and the history of musical scholarship. He was active in the local musical scene as a performer on the double bass, organ, and piano. He was a dedicated concert-goer, and had a large and admiring circle of students, colleagues, and friends.