MUSIC 5611's Guide to Archives and Primary Source Research

Preforming Arts Archives (PAA)

Performing Arts Archives resources:

  • This is an imperfect but representative rather than comprehensive list of collections in the PAA that document different aspects of music (musicians, organizations, etc.). Archival collections that are not available digitally (which is most archival collections) are represented online in finding aids. A finding aid is an online inventory of a collection that includes information like:
    • General information about who created the collection and description of that person/organization/entity, dates of materials in collection, and more.
    • Scope and Content note: General summary of what kinds of materials are found in the collection (e.g. manuscript scores, published scores, correspondence, photographs, audio recordings, etc.).
    • On the left side of UMN finding aid webpages, you will find the main categories (“series” and “sub-series”) that are used to organize the collection. These may be things like “Audio/Visual Materials” (series) with a list of items included in the collection under “Photographs” (sub-series), “Audio Recordings (sub-series), etc.

Immigration History Research Center Archives (IHRCA)

The Immigration History Research Center Archives (IHRCA) is a renowned archives and library for the study of immigration, ethnicity, and race. Our collections' strengths are first and second generation immigrants and displaced persons who came to the USA from central, eastern, and southern Europe; the eastern Mediterranean (formerly called the “Near East” region of the Middle East and North Africa); and late-20th and early 21st century immigrants and refugees.  While the IHRCA may seem like an unlikely source for music research, our archives actually has a significant amount of music related materials--we even have some musical instruments in our collections!  These are some topics/subjects that can be found in our collections, and will help you develop keywords as you are searching for resources:

  • Folk music
  • Religious music
  • Band music
  • Opera
  • Theater/plays
  • Vocal/instrumental
  • Labor orientated

*Due to the nature of our archives, it is important to note that we have a significant amount on non-English material.  All of our guides and catalog records list the language(s) of the material, so please make sure to watch out for this important piece of imformation.*

Last Updated: Jan 13, 2022 4:33 PM