Music Library Special Collections

Our Music Library’s Special Collections consist primarily of early editions of musical scores and books. 18th century music — including chamber music, orchestral works, and French opera — is particularly well represented, as are early theory treatises and histories of music, and the music of Arcangelo Corelli, the Bach family, and Ignaz Brüll. 

The Women Composers Collection, featuring the largest holding of Pauline Viardot songs in the country, is a highlight, along with our sheet music holdings. These include the extensive Edison Sheet Music Collection (more than 100,000 pieces spanning from 1800 through the 1920s) and the Montgomery Collection (more than 20,000 pieces dating primarily from 1900 to 1950).

Notable collections

  1. Women Composers Collection

    Musical works and scores from more than 700 composers from the 18th through 20th centuries.

  2. Edison Sheet Music Collection

    A comprehensive collection of published sheet music that was available in America before 1920.

  3. Montgomery Sheet Music Collection

    Materials documenting popular music in the early 20th century, including significant representation by Black composers.

  4. Scores, Papers, and Recordings

    Varied music special collections from composers, musicians, arrangers, conductors, and more.

Grayscale image of 1898 men's football team with "THE VICTORS" text below.

Partial cover of the first edition of sheet music for The Victors by Louis Elbel.