Fact Sheet


  • Dedicated in 1989
  • Architect: Macon & Chaintreuil Associates
  • 45,000 square feet on 3 floors; seating for 200
  • Features: open and closed stack areas; 2 seminar rooms; conservation laboratory (the only such facility in the world housed in a music library) ; Ruth T. Watanabe Special Collections, including the Eastman School Archives, the Eastman Audio Archive, and vault

Collection Information

  • Approximately 375,000 cataloged books and scores
  • Subscriptions to more than 300 music periodicals
  • A recorded sound collection of more than 100,000 LPs, CDs, and tapes, including the Eastman Audio Archive
  • A world-class Special Collections Department containing manuscripts, first and early editions of scores and treatises, iconographic material, and letters
  • Public Domain Score downloads in UR Research: nearly 12 million
  • Website pageviews: 83,714  (Calendar year 2020)


  • 9 Librarians (director, acquisitions, cataloging (3), public services (2), conservator, special collections)
  • 1 Professional Staff (library technology)
  • 8 FTE Support Staff 
  • Approximately 50 student assistants

Music Library Technology

  • Wi-Fi throughout the building
  • CD players
  • Audiocassette players
  • Turntables
  • VHS players
  • DVD players
  • Laserdisc player
  • Blu-ray player
  • 3 Xerox copy machines
  • Scanners ( sheet feed, flatbed)
  • Microform readers
  • Microfiche/card reader
  • Microfilm ScanPro 3000

Ruth T. Watanabe Special Collections

The Ruth T. Watanabe Special Collections include scores, books, and journals, as well as manuscripts, sheet music, and various archival collections. Notable items or collections include:

  • 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.
  • 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 Leventon and Lou Ouzer.

Sibley Music Library Timeline


Hiram Watson Sibley (1845-1932) founds the Sibley Music Library

Hiram Watson Sibley


The holdings are transferred to the Eastman School of Music

Eastman School of Music


Barbara Duncan comes to Eastman from the Boston Public Library

Barbara Duncan


The first separate building in the country to house a music library is erected on Swan Street


Ruth T. Watanabe’s era starts at Sibley

Ruth T. Watanabe, the second director of Sibley Music Library, displays a first edition printing of Handel’s Messiah (1767).


Mary Wallace Davidson designs the third-and current-home of the Sibley Music Library

Mary Davidson


The Sibley Music Library is moved to its present location


Dan Zager’s era starts at Sibley

Dan Zager


Jonathan Sauceda begins at Sibley

Jonathen Sauceda