Digital Materials and Collections
This is is by no means exhaustive, and we encourage you to search for other options beyond this list.
- Library of Congress Digital CollectionsThis link directs you to their performing arts collections, but do feel comfortable searching the entire database.
- New York Public Library (NYPL) Digital CollectionsThis link directs you to the results of a keyword search for "performing arts" materials, but do feel comfortable searching the entire database.
- British Library Archival Sound RecordingsListen to a selection from the British Library’s extensive collections of unique sound recordings, which come from all over the world and cover the entire range of recorded sound: music, drama and literature, oral history, wildlife and environmental sounds.
Internet Archive: Nine million audio recordings
- Internet ArchiveNine million audio recordings
- Umbra Search African American HistoryA freely available search tool and widget that brings together over 400,000 digitized materials documenting African American culture and history from over 1,000 libraries, archives, and cultural heritage institutions.
- Gallica:Digital library (bibliothèque numérique) of French and francophone culture maintained by the Bibliothèque nationale de France. Contains numerous electronic texts, manuscripts, scores, sound files, and other sources and publications. Click here for advanced search.
- The Juilliard Manuscript CollectionDigitized images of the extraordinary collection of autograph manuscripts, sketches, engravers proofs, and first editions donated by Bruce Kovner in 2006 and subsequently.
- DIAMM (Digital Image Archive of Medieval Music)DIAMM is a leading resource for the study of medieval manuscripts. They present images and metadata for thousands of manuscripts on this website. They also provide a home for scholarly resources and editions, undertake digital restoration of damaged manuscripts and documents, publish high-quality facsimiles, and offer expertise as consultants.
- Digital Scores: Loeb Music Library (Harvard University)The Loeb Music Library is engaged in an ongoing program to digitize scores and libretti selected for their rare or unique natures and their popularity as objects of research and teaching. By providing online access to historical editions from its holdings, the Library seeks to make primary source materials available for classroom and research use at Harvard and to scholars all over the world.
- African American Sheet Music, 1820-1920The sheet music in this digital collection has been selected from the Sheet Music Collection at the John Hay Library at Brown University. The full collection consists of approximately 500,000 items, of which perhaps 250,000 are currently available for use.
- Digital Public Library of America (DPLA)A searchable online catalog with millions of digitized items to browse, including photos, maps and books, from libraries, archives, museums, and cultural institutions around the United States.
- The Strachwitz Frontera Collection of Mexican and Mexican American RecordingsOver 100,000 songs celebrating North America’s Spanish-language musical heritage.
Resources to Know About that are not Digitized
Please note that some of these resources may have *some* digital content as well.
- WorldCatFind books, journals, articles, maps, music scores, sound recordings, films, theses/dissertations, machine-readable data files, and any other materials available in libraries worldwide. All subject areas are covered. Request items through Interlibrary Loan using the ILLiad link on each item's record. A mobile version of this database is available. Limited to 65 simultaneous users.
- You can use WorldCat to see what resources institutions outside of the University have. Search for a composer and/or title, or try keyword or subject searching to get broader results. Facsimiles and some primary source material might be available to request via Interlibrary Loan (ILL). This will also just give you a good idea of where materials on your topic are located across the world, which will be useful as you may discover a research trip will be needed in the future.
- RISM-OPAC: International Inventory of Musical SourcesOpen-access database of over 700,000 mainly manuscript sources, most written before 1800, from hundreds of libraries and archives around the world. This catalog gives public access to the RISM A/II series: Music Manuscripts after 1600. Search by composer, title, thematic catalog number, music incipit, library, etc.; some catalog entries include links to digitized sources. Sponsored by Répertoire international des sources musicales.
- RISM: United Kingdom & Ireland"This database holds details of the 17th- and 18th-century music manuscripts preserved in libraries and archives in the UK and Ireland. It includes manuscripts from national, public and academic libraries, county and city record offices, cathedral and chapel libraries and some private collections."
- RISM: SwitzerlandThe Swiss RISM records music manuscripts and printed musical sources in Swiss libraries and archives. Click on the "i" for more information. The RISM database contains 34,941 musical manuscripts and 21,768 printed scores from 55 Swiss musical institutions, both private and public, including archives, libraries, convents, and private collections.
- Library of Congress Special Format CollectionsThe Library’s special format collections include photographs, maps, music, sound, film, manuscripts, and other media.
- Center for Black Music ResearchFounded at Columbia College Chicago in 1983, The Center for Black Music Research exists to illuminate the significant role that black music plays in world culture by serving as a nexus for all who value black music, by promoting scholarly thought and knowledge about black music, and by providing a safe haven for the materials and information that document the black music experience across Africa and the diaspora.
- Center for the History of Music and LiteratureEstablished in 1998, the Center for the History of Music Theory and Literature (CHMTL) brings together various research activities and projects in the fields of music theory and historical musicology centered at the Jacobs School of Music (Indiana University), also in collaboration with other institutions in the United States and abroad.
- Research Centre for the History and Analysis of Recorded Music (CHARM)Sound Files Search and Discography. A partnership of Royal Holloway, University of London (host institution) with King's College, London and the University of Sheffield, CHARM's aim was to promote the musicological study of recordings, drawing on a wide range of approaches ranging from computational analysis to business history.
Last Updated: Jan 13, 2022 4:33 PM