With holdings of nearly three-quarters of a million items, the Sibley Music Library is recognized as one of the world’s preeminent research libraries devoted to all aspects of the study of music. Materials are assigned either to the circulating collections or to the Ruth T. Watanabe Special Collections, which includes rare books, archival collections, the Eastman School of Music Archives, and the Eastman Audio Archive.
The circulating collections include scores, books, journals, microforms, and audio and visual recordings. Some of these formats, such as current periodicals, recordings, and microforms, circulate for use primarily within the Library. Scores and books are loaned for use; the precise loan periods are specified under “Circulation Policies.”
Ruth T. Watanabe Special Collections
completing a biography of Verdi (1886). In 1885, he was
appointed chief editor of Le ménestrel. His vast working library, containing scholarly texts and also many operas in full score, piano-vocal scores, and piano solo transcriptions, was acquired by the University of Rochester in 1923, and divided between the Rush Rhees Library and the Sibley Music Library. His principal interest was the musical theatre, an interest manifest in this reference work which he compiled.
miniscle hand, the Admont-Rochester codex is a 12th century
collection of early medieval theoretical music treatises.
Written in Germany or Austria, it was previously owned by the
Benedictine Admont Abbey, near Salzburg, Austria, and
was purchased by the Sibley Music Library from E.P. Goldschmidt
in 1936. The last page of the manuscript features an exquisite
Guidonian hand (photographed), devised by theorist Guido
d'Arezzo to propagate a method of sight-singing which
relied on the six syllables ut, re, mi, fa, sol, and la.
(Milan: Ricordi, 1904)
with revisions in the composer's hand. The copy is one of a substantial cache of rare editions of nine operas by Giacomo Puccini, purchased with funds generously provided by Dr. John F. Flagg (UR '36). The Sibley Music Library published a catalogue of these editions in 1997, edited by Dr. Michael V. Pisani (ESM '96)
Libro de musica de vihuela
(New York: Random House, 1935)
(Monachii [Munich], 1604)
Die Kunst der Fuge (Art of the Fugue) (Leipzig, 1752)
- 11th-century Reichenau/Rochester Codex, and the 12th-century Admont/Rochester Codex (MS 494) both containing significant theoretical treatises by Aribo, Guido of Arezzo, and others.
- Oskar Fleischer collection of manuscripts illustrating musical notation from the 10th to the 16th centuries.
- Petrucci’s printing of Josquin’s Masses, and a number of Palestrina’s sacred works printed by Gardane.
- Orlando di Lasso’s complete Magnum opus musicum (1604).
- Autograph manuscript of a Trio-sonata by Purcell.
- Sketches from Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis.
- Autograph songs by Schubert, Brahms and Fauré.
- Nearly 60 letters in the hand of Berlioz, forming a special collection within a large collection of musical correspondence.
- Rare Wagner scores, including the publication of Tannhauser lithographed by the composer.
- Debussy’s holograph short score of La Mer.
- Holographs by American composers Copland, Diamond, Harris, Hovhannes, Read, Rogers, Sowerby, Thomson, and of course, Howard Hanson.
- Library of the critic Arthur Pougin (1834-1921), some 3,000 volumes on French theater and opera including rare almanacs, and writings of Guerre des Bouffons.
- Henry Krehbiel’s library of several hundred books on folklore and folk song anthologies, and the oil portrait of Mozart by Johann Heinrich Tischbein.
- Performing editions from the extensive libraries of violinist Jacques Gordon and composer/pianist Ferruccio Busoni.
- Oscar Sonneck’s working library, including preliminary materials relating to his development of the Library of Congress classification for music in 1904.
- Sheet music collections numbering some 80,000 pieces.
- A comprehensive collection of editions of “Home Sweet Home,” occasioned by the autograph score of Sir Henry Bishops Clari, or the Maid of Milan containing this air.
- Publishers’ collections including the rental stock (mainly operas) of Schott-Freres (Brussels) and the last copies forming the Archives of Carl Fischer, and first editions of composers Friedrich Kuhlau and Carl Nielsen amassed for their thematic catalogs issued by Dan Fog (Copenhagen).
- Photographic portrait studies of composers and musicians by Leveton and Lou Ouzer.