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Primary Sources in Music

Locating Primary documents, including facsimiles, composer's correspondence, art works, contemporary articles and more

Duke University Digital Collections: Historic Sheet Music

Jazz iconography, Radio Shows, Interviews

Online Sheet Music Resources

Library of Congress Music for the Nation: American Sheet Music, 1870-1885
More than 47,000 pieces of sheet music registered for copyright during the years 1870 to 1885. Included are popular songs, piano music, sacred and secular choral music, solo instrumental music, method books and instructional materials and music for band and orchestra.

African-American Sheet Music
This collection, selected from the collections of the Brown University Library, consists of 1,305 pieces of African-American sheet music dating from 1850 through 1920.

Historic American Sheet Music: 1850-1920
The Historic American Sheet Music collection presents 3,042 pieces of sheet music drawn from the Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library at Duke University.

The Lester S. Levy Collection of Sheet Music
The Lester S. Levy Collection of Sheet Music is part of Special Collections at the Milton S. Eisenhower Library of The Johns Hopkins University. It contains more than 29,000 pieces of music and focuses on popular American Music spanning the period 1780 to 1960. An image of the cover and each page of music will be retrievable if the music was published before 1923 and is in the public domain.

Inventions of Note: Sheet Music Collection at the MIT Lewis Music Library
Inventions of Note Sheet Music Collection was established in 1977 by the Lewis Music Library at MIT. This sheet music collection consists of popular songs and piano compositions that portray technologies as revealed through song texts and/or cover art. Most items dates from ~1890 to 1920.

Folklife Center at the Library of Congress: Online Collections

This image from the LC Lomax CollectionThis image from the LC Gordon Collection

American Folklife Center Online Presentations

This collection includes "... audio samples of music and stories, digital images of rare letters and photographs, and video clips."  Access photos, audio , artworks and more from the Folklife Center as well as LC's American Memory Project

Library Of Congress American Memory

Rolling Stone Magazine


Rolling Stone Magazine is an excellent resource for locating contemporary news articles, concert reviews, interviews, advertisements and other porimary documents.