The UMN Music Library's collections support the full range of degrees and courses offered by the School of Music, and the diverse research and performance interests of its students and faculty.

The main collection includes

  • scores,
  • audio and video recordings,
  • books, periodicals,
  • and microforms.

It covers all areas of Western art music, as well as selected coverage of non-Western and vernacular forms of music, including folk, jazz, and rock. The collection is strong in the areas of opera, history of music theory, and 19th- and early 20th-century German periodical literature.

We have around 150,000 scores and books, 400 periodical titles (current subscriptions list), and over 50,000 CDs, LPs, audiocassettes, video cassettes, and DVDs.


Other special collections

Several special collections are held in the Music Library.

The Rare Book Room houses

  • the Stanley E. Hubbard Music Collection,
  • the music library of radio station KSTP,
  • a collection of music theory treatises,
  • eighteenth- and nineteenth-century opera scores,
  • and nineteenth- and twentieth-century hymnals and tune books.

The Roy A. Schuessler Vocal Arts Collection was established in 1986 for the study of vocal arts and literature.


Finding materials

Scores and books in the Music Library are shelved in alphabetical and numerical order, according to Library of Congress classifications (e.g., M, ML, MT). Within these classes, like-sized materials are grouped together. Use the Music Library floorplan to get started.

Scores (and parts)

  • Historical anthologies and editions of composers’ complete works (Quarto/Folio M1-M3) are found in shelf ranges 1 – 5A.
    These are for use only in the Music Library. (The words “Quarto” or “Folio” immediately before the call number designate larger-size publications, which in the UMN Music Library are shelved separately from “octavo” and “miniature” scores).
  • Miniature scores are housed in shelf ranges 5B – 7A. These may be checked out.
  • Larger performance scores and parts (Quartos and Folios) are in shelf ranges 21A – 32A. These may be checked out.
  • Over-size scores (i.e., larger than Quartos and Folios) are found in shelf range 24. These may be checked out.
  • Many music scores are available digitally in databases such as Classical Scores Library, Naxos Music Library Sheet Music, IMSLP: Petrucci Music Library, Choral Public Domain Library, and Mutopia Project, among others. Access digital scores from the Libraries home page, under the heading “Databases A-Z.”
     

Books

  • Regular-size MLs are found in shelf ranges 7B – 19A.
  • Regular-size MTs are in shelf ranges 19A – 20B.
  • Regular-size A-L classes are found in shelving range 5B, and regular-size N-Z classes are found in shelving range 20B.
  • Quarto & Folio MLs & MTs are in shelf ranges 32A – 35A.
  • Quarto and Folio A-L classes are found in shelving range 21A.
  • Quarto and Folio N-Z classes are found in shelving range 35A.
  • Some titles found in UMN’s online catalog are available only as e-books. The full texts of these can be accessed directly in the UMN’s online catalog.
  • Current print editions of most music-reference books (e.g., dictionaries, encyclopedias) are in the low shelving units in front of the circulation desk in the Music Library. These are for use only in the library.
  • Many music-reference resources are available in full-text versions online, including African American Music Reference, Classical Music Reference Library, Encyclopedia of Popular Music, Garland Encyclopedia of World Music Online, The Oxford History of Western Music, Oxford Music Online (featuring the authoritative Grove Dictionaries), and more.
  • Some books on music are available online through sources such as Cambridge Books Online, Oxford Scholarship Online-Music Collection, Project Muse, and JSTOR. Access ebook titles from the A-Z title list on the Libraries home page.
     

Music periodicals

  • Current and recent print issues of music journals are found on the display shelves adjacent to the public computer terminals near the circulation desk.
  • Subscription music journals are published in digital form only. Access the full texts of these titles through UMN’s online catalog.
  • Print back-issues are shelved alphabetically by title in ranges 35B – 39B.
  • Many older back-issues are in off-site storage. Request from the online catalog for delivery to the Music Library within 3 working days.
  • The full texts of a growing number of music journals are available online via JSTOR, International Index to Music Periodicals (IIMP), Music Index Online, RILM, and other databases. Access full-text periodicals from A-Z title list on the Libraries home page.
     

Audio & video recordings

  • All audio & video recordings in the Music Library’s collections are shelved behind the circulation desk.
  • They are available for listening or viewing on playback equipment in the Music Library, and normally do not leave the library.
  • Find the “accession numbers” of the recordings you want in UMN’s online catalog (e.g., CD-457, DVD-1,672), and request those numbers at the circulation desk. Staff will deliver them to you at the desk and provide headphones, if needed.
  • LPs, audio cassettes, and VHS cassettes can also be found in UMN’s online catalog. Search older LPs via the card catalog near to the Listening/Viewing area in the Music Library. Bring the number of any of these items to the staff at the circulation desk for retrieval.
     

Microfilms and microfiche

  • Microfilms and microfiche are stored in 2 tall shelving units in shelf range 1.
  • Most of them are listed in UMN’s online catalog.
  • Bring the cataloging number of any of these items to the staff at the circulation desk, and they will be retrieved for you. Circ-desk staff can also help you get set up on one of the machines adjacent to shelf range 1.
     

Vocal arts collection

  • Materials in the VAC are cataloged in UMN’s online catalog.
  • Give the call number(s) to staff at the circulation desk, and items will be retrieved for you.
  • They are for consultation only in the Music Library.
     

Rare books

  • Most materials in the Rare Book Room are cataloged in UMN’s online catalog. They are for consultation only in the Music Library.
  • Give the call number(s) to staff at the circulation desk, and items will be retrieved for you.