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Find and Use Materials

Start your research by identifying the materials you need. Use NUsearch, our online catalog, to search the books, scores and recordings held in the Music Library and other NU libraries. (Note: While Northwestern University musical performances since 1995 can be located in NUsearch; earlier performances can be located in the card file in the Music Listening Center.)

Access materials

Once you have your item's call number, use our Locate Materials webpage to find its physical location, usually in the Music Library or elsewhere in Deering Library. 

A very limited amount of printed music and music books are held in the Oak Grove Library Center (OGLC), and all phonodisc (LP) sound recordings are located in on-campus storage. Music dissertations are also stored remotely.

Borrow materials

Many materials from the Music Library's collection can be borrowed according to the circulation policies that apply to other University Libraries' items. The Borrowing Materials section of our website can provide information on borrowing cards and loan limits. 

However, some items are limited to use in the library or are available to faculty and grad students only for an abbreviated lending period. Exceptions and restrictions are listed below.

Sound recordings

The majority of the CD  and LP collection is available to circulate to the Northwestern community. Some individual sets will remain "room use only."

Reference books

Reference books do not circulate and remain room use only.

Monument scores and collected editions (M2s and M3s)

Use of these materials vary by audience: Undergraduates, staff and guests cannot check out these materials. Faculty and graduate students can borrow them for up to three days.

Rare materials, manuscripts and special collections

Rare materials do not circulate. Make an appointment in advance to view these materials on-site. Learn more about accessing these items.

Reproduce materials

Visitors to the Music Library can use:

Research assistance

We will assist you in locating materials and conducting research. Stop by the Music Library Service Desk, or contact us via phone (847-491-3434) or email