Explore the Collection
The Northwestern University Music Library has a broad collection that includes books, scores, sound recordings, and databases that support the many needs of both students and faculty of the Bienen School of Music, as well as the entire Northwestern community. The Music Library's collections cover all historical periods, with particular strength in twentieth-century music. Our mission is to collect as comprehensively as possible all Western art music written since 1945. Collection highlights include:
- Archival and manuscript collections: The Music Library is home to archival collections that document the work of composers, conductors, performers, and organizations through a variety of primary source material. Collections represent multiple styles and eras and range from the archives of experimental musician John Cage, to the modern conductor Fritz Reiner. Other rare materials include musical autographs, general music manuscripts and correspondence from the 14th century to the present. More on our archival and manuscript collections.
- General Collection: Use our online catalog, NUsearch, to find circulating materials such as books, scores, and recordings.
- Northwestern performance recordings: Northwestern faculty recitals, faculty master classes, and performances by School of Music ensembles are accessible at the Music Library. Performances since 1995 can be located in NUsearch; performances prior to 1995 can be located by consulting the card file in the Music Listening Center. See the Find and Use Materials page for information about circulation and reproduction of these recordings.
- Rare books and published scores: Find first and early editions of treatises, libretti and printed music as well as facsimiles of manuscripts and other primary sources. Use NUsearch to locate rare books and published scores.