Research Centers for American Music


The American Music Center
The American Music Collection
American Music Institute
American Music Research Center
Arthur Foote Collection
Center for American Music (University of Pittsburgh)

Center for American Music (University of Texas)
Center for Black Music Research
Center for Popular Music, Middle Tennessee State University
Harris Collection, John Hay Library, Brown University
Helen Hartness Flanders Ballad Collection and Vermont Archives of American Music
Institute of Jazz Studies
James Koetting Archive
The John Jacob Niles Center for American Music
The Joseph Downs Collection of Manuscripts and Printed Ephemera
Larry Taylor-Billy Matthews Musical Theater Archive
The Moravian Music Foundation
The Music Library and Sound Recordings Archives, Bowling Green State University
The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Music Division, American Music Collection
Sousa Archives for Band Research
UCLA Music Library Special Collections
University of California, San Diego
University of Hawaii at Manoa Library
University of Maryland at College Park
University of Mississippi Blues Archives
William Ransom Hogan Archive of New Orleans Jazz
Wisconsin Music Archives
World Music Archives


The American Music Center

30 West 26th Street
Suite 1001
New York, New York 10010-2011

Director: Georgina Genova, Information Services Manager
Phone: (212) 366-5260 X11 (Library)

Strengths of Holdings: Approximately 40,000 scores, both published and unpublished, by 20th century American composers; approximately 20,000 sound recordings (primarily LPs, open-reel tapes, cassettes, and CDs); information files on approximately 8,000 contemporary American composers. Scores and CDs circulate to members of the center throughout the world and through inter-library loan.


The American Music Collection

c/o Department of Music
Keele University
Staffordshire ST5 5BG
United Kingdom

Music Homepage:
Library Homepage:

Strengths of Holdings: Keele's American Music Collection includes a wide variety of books and journals that support teaching and research in all aspects of Americans in twentieth-century art music, and especially in its more radical aspects

The American Music Institute

University of Michigan
606 Burton Memorial Tower
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1270

Director Emeritus: Rich Crawford
Associate Director: Mark Clague
Phone:(734) 647-5480
Homepage :

Strengths of Holdings: 30,500-item Corning Sheet Music Collection, including 1800 Wolfe titles, 700 Civil War items, 350 blackface-minstrelsy items, and 1100 African American items; 90,000-item Edison Collection of nineteenth-century and early twentieth-century printed sheet music of American origin; Richard Crawford papers (1949-1974); Baltimore Collection: approximately 7,100 pieces of popular sheet music (film, theater, Broadway, swing, Tin Pan Alley, rock) from the 1920s-1970s; Montgomery Collection: 22,000 pieces of sheet music including 4,500 compositions by black composers, 1,500 pieces reflecting attitudes toward blacks in America.

American Music Research Center

University of Colorado
College of Music
Campus Box 301
Boulder, Colorado 80309-0301

Director: Thomas Riis
Phone: (303) 492-0754

Strengths of Holdings: Colorado composers (Normand Lockwood, George Lynn, Cecil Effinger), separate music sheets from 1870 to 1920 (contained mostly in the Morris Dry and Hartke Sheet Music Collections), the Helen Walker Hill Collection of Black Women Composers (about 200 pieces), the Alfred Layton Theater Music Collection (2400 sets of parts, ready to play, from a leading Denver theatre orchestra conductor of the 1920s and 1930s.


Arthur Foote Collection

Department of Music
Williams College
Williamstown, Massachusetts 01267

Director: Douglas Moore
Phone: (413) 597-2436 or (413) 597-2127

Strengths of Holdings: Contains copies of virtually all of Arthur Foote music published; some manuscripts, published and unpublished; letters to and from Foote; scrapbooks and memorabilia.


Center for American Music

Stephen Foster Memorial
University of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15260

Director: Deane L. Root
Phone: (412) 624-4100

Strengths of Holdings: The Center for American Music contains the Foster Hall Collection, a major reference and research library for American music and culture between 1840 and 1940, and the principal international source of information about Stephen Collins Foster (1826-1864), the first professional songwriter.


Center for Black Music Research

Columbia College Chicago
600 South Michigan Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60605-1996

Director: Rosita M. Sands
Phone: (312) 663-1600, ext. 5559

Strengths of Holdings: The Columbia College Chicago Center for Black Music Research documents, preserves, and disseminates information about black music in all parts of the world. It encourages research in the areas of secular and sacred folk music, blues, ragtime, jazz, gospel music, rhythm and blues, musical theater and dance, opera and concert music, reggae, son, merengue/meringue, bomba y plena, salsa, calypso, and other genres from the Caribbean, and traditional and contemporary music from Africa.


Center for Popular Music

P.O. Box 41
Middle Tennessee State University
Murfreesboro, Tennessee 37203

Director: Paul F. Wells
Phone: (615) 898-2449

Strengths of Holdings: The mission of the Center for Popular Music is to foster research and scholarship in American popular music and to promote appreciation for the role of music as an integral part of American cultural history. The collections contain more than 11,500 books and scores, 82,000 sound recordings, 55,000 pieces of sheet music, 3,500 broadsides, 1,200 periodical titles and extensive holdings of posters, photographs, manuscripts, and ephemera from the mid-eighteenth century to the present.


Harris Collection

John Hay Library
Brown University
Providence, Rhode Island 02912

Director: Jeff Titon
Phone: (401) 863-1000
Homepage: Go through

Strenths of Holdings: 19th century American minstrelsy, 19th century sheet music and song books.


Helen Hartness Flanders Ballad Collection and
Vermont Archive of Traditional Music

Center for the Arts
Middlebury College
Middlebury, Vermont 05753-6177

Director: Jennifer Post
Phone: (802) 433-5653

Strengths of Holdings: The collection houses an archive of New England folk song and folklife materials. It consists of field recordings on cylinder, disc, and tape of traditional song and dance music recorded in all of the New England states between 1930 and 1966. Other materials in the collection includes photographs, manuscripts, letters, broadsides, books, and journals.


Institute of Jazz Studies

John Cotton Dana Library
185 University Ave.
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Newark, New Jersey 07102

Director: Dan Morgenstern
Associate Director: Edward Berger
Phone: (201) 648-5595

Strengths of Holdings: Over 100,000 sound recordings in all formats, from cylinders and piano rolls to CDs and laser discs, over 7,000 books on jazz and related subjects, a comprehensive library of jazz periodicals, including the Harold Flakser Collection, extensive research files on individual performers and selected topics, over 30,000 photographs, 7,000 scores and band arrangements, and a large collection of sheet music, instruments and memorabilia.


James Koetting Archive

Orwig Music Library
Brown University
Providence, Rhode Island 02912

Director: Jeff Titon
Phone: (401) 863-1000
Homepage: Go through

Strenths of Holdings: Old-time string band music and African-American folk music.


John Jacob Niles Center for American Music

105 Fine Arts Building
School of Music
University of Kentucky
Lexington, Kentucky 40506-0022

Director: Ron Pen
Phone: (606) 257-8183

Strengths of Holdings: Archival material representing the American south, particularly the John Jacob Niles Collection and the recently acquired Glenn C. Wilcox Collection, a $250,000 collection consisting largely of early American Sacred music (particularly strong in 18th and 19th century tunebooks and shape note hymnals) and popular music such as a rare Songdex Collection. This builds on a foundation of Appalachian Archives.


The Joseph Downs Collection of Manuscripts and Printed Ephemera

The Wintherthur Library
Winterthur, Delaware 19735

Librarian/Archivist: E. Richard McKinstry
Phone: (302) 888-4699

Strengths of Holdings: The Joseph Downs Collection contains various manuscript and printed music dating from circa 1750-1940. Highlights include approximately 120 manuscripts and printed Shaker hymnals from the Edward Deming Andrews Memorial Shaker Collection, eight illuminated hymnals from the Ephrata Cloister, some Mennonite "notenbuchlein," scattered late 18th and early 19th century music manuscripts, and a collection of approximately 800 pieces of sheet music. The printed book and periodical collection also has a large number of late 19th and early 20th century musical instrument trade catalogs.


Larry Taylor-Billy Matthews Musical Theater Archive

Music Library
University of Miami
P.O. Box 248165
Coral Gables, Florida 33124

Director: Nancy Zavac, Music Librarian
Phone: (305) 284-2429

Strenghts of Holdings: A comprehensive collection of recordings and music focusing on American musical theater and popular music. There are approximately 15,000 long-playing records, 500 compact discs, 300 cassettes, and 20,000 pieces of sheet music. The collection also includes vocal scores, vocal selections, piano-conductor scores, and complete coverage of American recordings of Broadway shows as well as a wide selection of foreign language versions.


The Moravian Music Foundation

20 Cascade Avenue
Winston-Salem, North Carolina 27127

Director: Nola Reed Knouse
Administrator and Development Director: Kevin Brown
Phone: (910) 725-0651

Strengths of Holdings: Vocal and instrumental music used by early Moravian settlers of North Carolina and Pennsylvania; hymnals, including the Irving Lowens Collection of American tunebooks. Concerted sacred vocal music; instrumental music ranging from unaccompanied solo sonatas through symphonies. Primarily 18th and 19th century materials.


The Music Library and Sound Recordings Archives

Bowling Green State University
Bowling Green, Ohio 43403

Director: Bonna Boettcher, Head, Special Collections and the Music Library and Sound Recordings Archives
Archivist: William L. Schurk

Strengths of Holdings: 650,000 popular recordings in all formats of every conceivable popular genre, spoken word, and music. There is a support collection of monographs, reference materials (strength in discography), periodicals, biography, and portrait files, and files of manufacturer and dealers of recordings.


The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts

Music Division
The American Music Collection
40 Lincoln Center Plaza
New York, New York 10023-7498

Collection Curator: George Boziwick
Phone: (212) 870-1650


Sousa Archives for Band Research

236 Harding Band Building
1103 South Sixth Street
Champaign, Illinois 61820

Phone: (217) 244-9309

Strengths of Holdings: American band music, Patuxent Martial Music Collection (800 musical instruments); 74% of the Sousa Band performance collection, holograph manuscript scores, related correspondence, photographs, and artifacts; Herbert L. Clarke personal library, related photographs and artifacts. Additional information available on request.


University of California, Los Angeles Music Library Special Collections

B425 Schoenberg Hall
University of California, Los Angeles
Box 951490
Los Angeles, California 90095-1490

Public Service Requests: Timothy Edwards, Head of Operations, Music Library Special Collections Collection
Development/Curator: Stephen Davison
Phone: (310) 825-1665 or (310) 825-3369

Strengths of Holdings:
1. The Archive of Popular American Music is a non-circulating research collection covering the history of popular music in America from 1790 numbering almost 450,000 pieces of sheet music, anthologies, and arrangements for band and orchestra, and approximately 120,000 recordings on disc, tape, and cylinder. Subject strengths within twentieth-century holdings include music for theatre, motion picture, radio and television, as well as general popular, country, rhythm and blues, and rock songs. In addition to sheet music and sound recordings the Archive also houses a number of comprehensive archival collections, consisting of manuscripts, personal and business papers, correspondence, photographs, and sound recordings. These include the Jimmy Van Heusen Collection, the Walter Jurmann Collection, and the Harry Tobias Collection.

2. The Film and Television Music Archives include manuscripts scores and parts, sound recordings, and associated materials for motion picture productions, and television and radio shows. Significant collections include George Antheil (film and television scores), Capitol Theatre (silent film music), CBS, Inc. (scores and recordings for Columbia films and television productions), General Music Corp. (commercial music libraries), Bernard Hermann (radio, television, and film scores), Henry Mancini (film scores), Alex North (film scores), Hans Salter (film scores), Society for the Preservation of Film Music/Louis B. Schnauber (silent film music), and Herbert Stothart (sound recordings).

3. Jazz Archival Collections include Leonard Feather (approximately 2500 LP recordings), Ella Fitzgerald (sheet music and photographs from the Fitzgerald estate), and Paul Tanner (sound recordings). The Archive of Popular American Music Collections includes a large numbers of sound recordings of Jazz. Of particular note is an extensive collection of the Gennett label, including many early recordings of Louis Armstrong, Bix Beiderbecke, Hoagy Carmichael, Duke Ellington, Fletcher Henderson, and Jelly Roll Morton.

4. Emigre Collections: Eric Simon (correspondence between Simon and many important musicians), Ernst Toch Archive (music manuscripts, text manuscripts, correspondence, printed scores and books, photographs, recordings, realia, ephemera), Eric Zeisl Archive (manuscript scores, recordings, correspondence, photographs), Joseph Rumshinsky (music manuscripts, printed scores), Eugene Zador (music manuscripts).


University of California, San Diego
Music Library
9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla, California 92093-0175

Director: Garrett Bowles
Phone: (619) 534-0189

Strengths of Holdings: 20th Century "Classical" music, including but not limited to the correspondence and writings of Ernst Krenek (1937 to his death), and the collections of Peter Yates, Pauline Oliveros, Robert Erickson, and others.


University of Hawaii at Manoa Library

2550 The Mall
Honolulu, Hawaii 96822

Director: Dr. Chieko Tachihata
Phone: (808) 956-8264

Strengths of Holdings: Hawaiian music song books in English and Hawaiian, Hawaiian sheet music database, music videos.


University of Maryland at College Park
Special Collections in Music
Performing Arts Library
Hornbake 3210
College Park, Maryland 20742

Curator: Bonnie Jo Dopp
Phone: (310) 405-9256

Strengths of Holdings:
American Bandmasters Association Research Center, located at the University of Maryland at College Park, contains the administrative papers of ABA, collections of Merle Evans, Patrick Conway, Patrick S. Gilmore, Edwin Franko Goldman, Lynn Sams and many other band conductors as well as historic band recordings, the Minichini Band Score Collection and many other score collections, serials, reference books, photographs, and a vertical file.

The Irving and Margery Lowens Collection
contains 128 linear feet of papers of Irving Lowens, music critic for the Washington Star and American musicologist. Included are correspondence, article and clipping file, subject files, and research notes for Mr. Lowens's publications.


University of Mississippi Blues Archive

340 Farley Hall
University of Mississippi
University, Mississippi 38677

Director: Edward Komara
Phone: (601) 232-7753

Strengths of Holdings: Blues, Folklore

The Center for American Music
The University of Texas at Austin
School of Music
1 University Station, E3100
Austin, Texas 78712

Chair: David Neumeyer
Associate Chair: Elizabeth B. Crist
Telephone: (512) 471-7346

Strengths of Holdings:
The mission of the Center for American Music is to advance the teaching, scholarship, and performance of American music from all traditions, including concert, folk, and popular musics. The University of Texas at Austin possesses considerable resources relevant to the study and performance of American music at The Center for American History and The Harry Ransom Center.

The Center for American History: The CAH houses approximately 30,000 phonographs of commercial recordings covering every genre of music from 1922 to the present produced by Texas record companies, performed or composed by Texans, or with a Texas theme. Among the genres represented are western swing, Mexican-American music, black gospel, German and Czech folk music, concert music by German immigrant composers, and popular forms such as blues, rock, jazz, and ragtime.

Other significant collections include field recordings made in the 1930s by John A. Lomax, private recordings of Huddie "Leadbelly" Ledbetter, the Chris Strachwitz Collection of recorded South Texas Hispanic music from the late 1940s through the early 1950s, the collection of Houston record producer and promoter Huey "Crazy Cajun" Meaux, and the Townsend Miller Collection of 8,000 recordings of country music artists.

The Harry Ransom Center: The Music Collection contains manuscripts by Paul Bowles, Aaron Copland, George Gershwin, Nicolas Nabokov, and Virgil Thomson. The archive of Ross Russell, founder of Dial Records, contains photographs, papers, recordings, and interviews of notable jazz musicians from mid-century. In the Minstrel Show Collection are some 4,000 items relating to the production of blackface musical theater between 1821 and 1959. The Collection preserves photographs, prints, letters, sheet music, clippings, programs, playbills, scrapbook leaves, and a small number of tintypes for over 700 minstrel show companies and performers, including George N. Christy and Dan Emmett.

In addition, the Performing Arts Collection houses approximately 5,200 items--nearly all of them photographs--from the years 1727 to 1981, with the bulk of materials falling between 1900-1940. Photographs are of approximately 1700 musicians and musical groups: classical composers, conductors, soloists, and ensembles; big bands and bandleaders; bandmasters; impresarios; vaudeville artists, minstrel show performers, and other variety acts; twentieth-century American musical theater composers; and post-1940 popular singers and musical groups, including country singers.

William Ransom Hogan Archive of New Orleans Jazz

Howard-Tilton Memorial Library
Tulane University
New Orleans, Louisiana 70118-5692

Curator: Bruce Boyd Raeburn
Phone: (504) 865-5688

Strengths of Holdings: a primary resource for New Orleans jazz research, the collection includes oral history interviews, recorded music, photographic collections and film, sheet music and orchestrations and numerous files containing manuscript materials, clippings, and bibliographic references. Special collections include notable donations from jazzmen Nick LaRocca, Ray Bouduc, and Knocky Parker.


Wisconsin Music Archives

Mills Music Library
University of Wisconsin
728 State Street
Madison, Wisconsin

Director: Steve Sundell
Phone: (608) 263-1884

Strengths of Holdings: The Wisconsin Music Archives is a special collection housed in the Mills Music Library of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The Archives contains over 25,000 items representing all Wisconsin musical traditions from the 1850s to the present. Strengths of the collection include published sheet music (1850s-1960s), folk and ethnic music recordings and field notes, published and unpublished scores by contemporary Wisconsin composers, recordings of state performers, and recordings issued by Wisconsin labels (1910s to the present).


World Music Archives

Olin Library
Wesleyan University
Middletown, Connecticut 06459

Director: Alec McLane
Phone: (860) 685-3899

Strengths of Holdings: American experimental composers, especially John Cage (archival holdings relating to his literary works, and significant musical holdings), Alvin Lucier, and other composers of the "New York School"; significant holdings of Native American music, including the largest known collection of Navajo recordings; Fats Waller; saxophonist Bill Barron.

Return to the Society Home Page

Society for American Music
Stephen Foster Memorial
University of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
email: sam@