Montgomery Sheet Music Collection

Assembled by Michael Montgomery, a jazz and ragtime pianist, sheet music collector, and U-M alum, the Montgomery Sheet Music Collection contains more than 20,000 pieces dating primarily from 1900 to 1950. The collection provides exceptional documentation of popular music in the early 20th century, with works by both well-known and unfamiliar composers. 

A significant feature of this collection is its heavy concentration of music by Black composers (an estimated 4,500 works) and songs representing contemporary Black life. Duke Ellington, Fats Waller, Eubie Blake, W. C. Handy, James P. Johnson, Shelton Brooks, Chris Smith, and Gussie Davis are among those represented. 

Other heavily represented composers include Irving Berlin, George Gershwin, Hoagy Carmichael, George M. Cohan, Con Conrad, Peter DeRose, Walter Donaldson, Fred Fisher, Cliff Friend, Albert Gumble, Ray Henderson, Jerome Kern, Jack Little, Jimmy McHugh, George Meyer, James Monaco, Theodore Morse, Cole Porter, Fred Rose, Jean Schwartz, Jule Styne, Egbert Van Alstyne, Jimmy Van Heusen, Harry Warren, and Richard Whiting. 

More than half of the items in the Montgomery Collection can be found in Library Search and there is ongoing work to complete cataloging.

Two people in a biplane and the moon behind them in a dark sky.

Partial cover of the sheet music The aeroplane: rag and two-step by Jack Glogau.


Corinne Forstot-Burke

Head, Music Library

Photograph of Jason Imbesi, Librarian for Music, Theatre and Dance
Jason Imbesi

Librarian for Music, Theatre and Dance