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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Music and Performing Arts Library: Welcome New Students

This guide is for new undergraduate and graduate students in the Department of Dance, Department of Theatre, and School of Music. It serves as an orientation to the Music & Performing Arts Library for new users.


Welcome to the Music & Performing Arts Library (MPAL) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign! This guide is designed to serve as an orientation to MPAL for new dance, music, and theatre students.

Use the tabs to the left to explore the guide and learn about what resources are available to you through the Library!

We have books, music scores, journals, magazines, CDs, DVDs, technology, and other materials that you can use for research and enjoyment. Most of our materials, including CDs and DVDs, can be borrowed from the Library (for free!) using your I-Card. Check out our Lending Policies & Loan Periods to learn more about checking out materials from MPAL.

We also have computers with software for researching and writing your papers as well as wireless access and open seating areas if you'd prefer to bring a laptop.

We look forward to seeing you in the Library!

Getting Help

If you have any questions about research or using the Library, you can get help in-person at the service desk or remotely via chat or email. You can also use the buttons bellow to schedule an appointment or research consultation with one of MPAL's librarians to meet one-on-one and discuss your research. 

Using the Library Catalog

Check out the next two pages in this guide for an overview on finding materials in the Library and searching for them through the catalog.

We also have separate guides (linked below) that go into more detail on both the basics of using the library catalog and the complexities of searching the library catalog for music materials. The Finding Music Materials guide also clarifies the various music print and audio-visual formats we have available and explains how to identify them in the catalog.

Other Locations

Several other libraries on campus have materials relating to music, dance, or theatre. We've included a few recommendations below to help structure your browsing and point you to other campus libraries to explore!

The Sousa Archives & Center for American Music and the Rare Book and Manuscript Library also have significant (non-circulating) music holdings.