Public Domain Scores

As a service to scholars and musicians, the Sibley Music Library of the Eastman School of Music will make for personal use digital copies of scores from its collections that are in the public domain. For U.S. publications, that means published before 1923 or for which evidence can be provided that the item is no longer under copyright. For items that were published in a country that is a member of the European Union, we are–for now, pending review of the legal issues–limiting our digitization efforts to those works by composers who died more than 70 years ago. Please use this form for such requests.

Scores and books are digitized in pdf format. There is at present no charge for this service. Requesting a significant number of items at a time may cause this policy to be revisited. Please limit requests to two per week.

Rare and fragile items housed in the library’s Special Collections department (that is, with a location of “Sibley Music Rare Books” in the catalog record) will be scanned only if deemed safe for scanning . You will be advised by email if the requested item cannot be scanned. Please note that due to the nature of the items, the staff time involved, and the sheer volume of requests, Rare Books items may take several months to process.

Please note that while items in the library’s general stacks are usually digitized free of charge, it will be necessary to levy a fee for any item that also requires this kind of special handling. Decisions regarding treatment of materials from the rare books collection will be referred to the Special Collections Librarian.

Please note the following instances where we may not make digital copies:

  • Any score that is still under copyright
  • Any score that is still in print, even if a reprint edition
  • Out-of-print Carl Fischer publications are not part of this service and should be pursued through the Carl Fischer Archival Reprint Service (contact David Peter Coppen for more information)

Users are encouraged to search not only our Digital Repository to see if an item has already been digitized, but also the International Music Score Library Project. IMSLP contains thousands of digitized scores that are in the public domain. They also accept scores that we will not digitize, for example scores of standard repertoire by common publishers.

We have an ongoing project to digitize public domain scores and add links to them from our online catalog. Search our Catalog before filling out this form, both to see that we have the item you need, and to see if we have already digitized the score. Please allow 3-4 weeks to process your request. If any questions arise, we will email you.

Public Domain Score Request

  • paste from catalog
  • paste from catalog

*Please note that you cannot request a score published after 1923 without verification that the work is in the public domain.