Skip to main content

Primary Sources for Music

Explore Digital Images on the Web

Music Treasures Consortium
Access the digital collections of five important music collections:  the British Library, Harvard University, the Juilliard School, the Library of Congress, the Morgan Library & Museum, and the New York Public Library. 

A digital library composed from collections held at the Bibliothèque Nationale of France. Contents are mainly rare and primary source materials and out-of-print and hard to access documents which are in the public domain. Holdings include printed materials (books, journals, newspapers, printed music, dictionaries, etc.), graphic materials (engravings, maps, photographs, etc.) and sound recordings.

Early English Books Online
Includes many scores as well as books.  DiscoverE contains records for many of the individual titles, and the collection may also be searched directly from the link above.

Parker Library on the Web
More than 550 manuscripts at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, from the 6th century through the 16th.  Collection strengths:  Anglo-Saxon manuscripts, Anglo-Norman and Middle English texts, and English illuminated manuscripts. The manuscripts are described and annotated, with references to relevant editions and other literature.   User aids and on-line tutorials on searching are included.

DIAMM:  Digital Image Archive of Medieval Music
To search, you must first register with the site.

Digital Scriptorium
An image database of medieval and renaissance manuscripts in American libraries.

Library of Congress, Digital Collections portal

British Library
The Online Gallery may be searched separately, but no advanced search is available.

Juilliard Manuscript Collection
Digitized images of an important collection of manuscripts, sketches, engravers' proofs, and first editions of major composers' works. (Also available through the Music Treasures Consortium.)

Beethoven-Haus Bonn, Digital Archives

Beethoven's 9th Symphony Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, Preussischer Kulturbesitz

Mendelssohn Bartholdy, Felix - Werke
Complete edition of Mendelssohn's works published 1874-1744 by Breitkopf & Härtel, from the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek

Letters and Documents of Mozart and His Family

William Levi Dawson:  The Collection at Emory University

Find Published Facsimiles and Microforms

To find facsimiles in the Emory Libraries, use discoverE.

Records for facsimiles of manuscripts have one of these subject headings:

[Composer name] —Manuscripts—Facsimiles

The library also hold facsimiles of some early printed editions.  The searches below may yield these as well, unless you include "manuscripts" as a search term.

Search strategies

  • Try a subject search on the composer's name along with facsimiles. e.g., Subject: beethoven facsimiles.
  • For specific works, search the composer's name, title [uniform title if known] and facsimiles or facsimile*.
    • E.g.,  mozart zauberflote facsimile* will find facsimiles of "The Magic Flute."
    • Weihnachts-Oratorium and facsimile* will find facsimiles of Bach's Christmas Oratorio.
  • For collections of more than one piece, the shelf mark of the holding library or the popular title of the manuscript (e.g., Egerton 3665, Tregian Manuscript, Squarcialupi codex)

Browse the shelves to find many of the Music and Media Library's facsimiles.

Many facsimiles are classed in ML96.4 and ML96.5 and are kept together in a special "folio" section. These may be checked out. 

However, numerous other facsimiles are not kept here. These include

  • Items in microform.
  • Items classed by their instrumentation. (These are often early printed works.)
  • Materials in the Pitts Theology Library
  • Facsimiles kept in MARBL due to their cost and rareness
  • Items kept behind the desk in Music and Media: these have a location "MM-DESK" in EUCLID and may be used in the library.
  • Facsimiles in sets, e.g., Renaissance Music in Facsimile.

To find microfilm and microfiche collections at Emory, also use discoverE.

Search for these as if they were printed materials—there's no subject heading for microfilms, microfiche, or other microforms.

If you know that a microform set is held at Emory, but you don't know the title, try limiting searches to LOCATION:  MICROFORMS.

Notable sets at Emory:

  • For Bach:  Musikhandschriften der Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin—Preussischer Kulturbesitz.  Teil I:  Die Bach-Sammlung.
  • For BeethovenMusikhandschriften der Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin—Preussischer Kulturbesitz.  Teil 3:  Die Beethoven-Sammlung.
© Emory University Libraries - 540 Asbury Circle, Atlanta, Georgia 30322