What kind of recordings does the Music Library have?

The Music Library is home to over 30,000 CDs, DVDs, LPs, cassette tapes, and VHS tapes - many of which UMN-affliated users can borrow and take out of the library for up to seven days. Our physical audio/visual materials are held behind the Music Library circulation desk so there isn't a way to browse them, but you can easily search for them in the University Libraries catalog.

TIP: You can place a request to have any of our physical recordings mailed to you at your preferred address, or held for you to pick up at Wilson Library. See the Access physical items (scores, recordings, books, journals) from the Music Library's collections tab linked from the menu of this guide for instructions!

How to search for physical recordings (CDs, DVDs, etc.)

Digital or streaming recordings are covered on other pages of this guide - check out the Find streaming audio and Find streaming video pages! - but you can use the University Libraries catalog to search our collections of CDs, DVDs, LPs, and more.

The easiest way to find physical recordings in the Libraries catalog is to start by entering keywords into the search box on lib.umn.edu:

An image of the search box on the University Libraries homepage with a red arrow pointing to it and text that reads "Search keywords here!"

Once you see a list of search results, use the Material Type menu  to limit your search results to audio recordings or video recordings (in addition to scores and other types of materials), and the Availability menu to limit results to streaming content ("Available online") or physical CDs and DVDs ("Available on Shelf"):

An image of search results in the University Libraries catalog. The labels for the "Availability" and "Material Type" menus are circled in red, and red arrows point to the "Available Online" and "Available on Shelf" options under the "Availability" menu, and to the "Audio" and "Video" options under the "Material Type" menu. 


Once you've found materials in the catalog that you want to access, the next step is use the information in the record to help you locate the items you want. Click on the record for the resource you want, scroll down, and you'll find information about where it's located in the form of a call number. If the item is a CD or DVD, it will have a call number that includes "CD-" or "DVD-" and a series of numbers. LPs and other materials have various types of call numbers. Lastly, the catalog can tell you whether an item is available ("Item in place") or unavailable because someone else has it checked out ("On loan"). All A/V materials are held behind the Music Library circulation desk, so please bring your call number to a member of the Music Library staff and we'll bring your materials to you!

An image from the UMN Libraries catalog highlighting where to find the call number and how to know if the item is available on the shelf (the catalog will say "Item in place") or unavailable because another user has it checked out (the catalog will say "On loan").


For more information about navigating the Music Library and finding physical materials on the shelves, see the Access physical items (scores, recordings, books, journals) in the Music Library tab linked from the menu of this guide.


Questions? Need help? Please contact Music Librarian Jessica Abbazio (jabbazio@umn.edu) or the Music Library staff (musiclib@umn.edu) for help!

Last Updated: Oct 14, 2021 3:14 PM