Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Finding Music and Composer Archives
There are many sources for finding manuscript and archival music material, including composer's archives and papers (meant here in the sense of correspondence, sketches, and other unpublished materials). These include, but are not limited to:
- National libraries and archives
- Catalogs like NUCMC and WorldCat
- Printed tools like Resources of American Music History by Krummel
- Composer thematic catalogs, bio-bibliographies, and guides to research
See the other boxes on this page for links to some of these tools.
Archive and Collection Catalogs
Destination for searching through historical documents, personal papers, and family histories held in archives around the world. Thousands of libraries, museums, and archives have contributed nearly a million collection descriptions to ArchiveGrid. Researchers searching ArchiveGrid can learn about the many items in each of these collections, contact archives to arrange a visit to examine materials, and order copies.
Many libraries have begun digitizing their primary source materials.
Once you know which library owns a specific manuscript or edition,
check the library's website to see if a digital image is available.
The following sites give access to major research libraries: