Ruth T. Watanabe Special Collections

The Ruth T. Watanabe Special Collections is home to an internationally renowned collection of rare books and scores, an extensive array of named archival collections, the proprietary papers of several professional associations in music (held on deposit), and the administrative and historical records that comprise the Eastman School of Music Archive.

 

The department is named for the second library director of the Sibley Music Library, Ruth T. Watanabe (lived 1918-2015; served 1937-1984), in honor of her lifetime of service to both the Library and the Eastman School of Music.

Archival Collections

Archival Finding Aids

Archival Finding Aids

The department houses more than 180 archival and special collections, including papers of ESM faculty and alumni. Inventories (Finding Aids) for the collections that have been processed are available online.

US Sheet Music Collections

US Sheet Music Collections

Contains more than 100,000 pieces of sheet music published in the U.S. dating from the 1790s through the 1960s.

Iconography Database

Iconography Database

A searchable index of several thousand photographs, prints, and images held in our special collections.

Letter File

Letter File

Contains more than 700 letters written to or from various composers and musicians, including several prominent individuals (e.g., Hector Berlioz and Cosima Wagner).

Policies and Services

Access Policy

Access Policy

We welcome members of the ESM/UR community and visiting researchers. Members of the general public may also apply for use of the department’s resources. See our Access Policy for more information.

Gift Acceptance Policy

Gift Acceptance Policy

The department accepts gifts of single items or collections that will further the school’s academic or performance objectives.

Contact Special Collections for more information.

Duplication Services

Duplication Services

The department accepts requests for photocopies or scans of material housed in the Rare Books or Special Collections

History Collection

The Ruth T. Watanabe Special Collections holds a variety of resources pertaining to the history of music in Rochester and the history of the Eastman School of Music, including special collections, organizational collections, and special subject files, and catalogued materials. The following pages provide descriptions of the department’s relevant resources:

Rare Books and Music

Shapenote Books

Shapenote Books

Sibley Music Library has a variety of resources related to shape-note singing, including several rare 19th-century shape-note hymnals.

Puccini Editions

Puccini Editions.

This catalog contains title-page facsimiles of all editions of Puccini operas held in the Special Collections; a print version is also available.

Anna’s Oboe List

Anna’s Oboe List

Compiled by Anna Hendrickson in 1997, this list enumerates most of the Sibley Music Library Rare Books and Special Collections holdings related to the oboe.

Courtney’s Harp List

Courtney’s Harp List

A bibliography of harp-related materials available in Special Collections, including music, methods and exercises, books and journals, and collections.

Archival collections on deposit

The Ruth T. Watanabe Special Collections department is host repository of the archival papers of the following associations and entities:

  • New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA)  since 1992
  • International Horn Society (IHS)  since 1997
  • Isabel McNeill Carley Library of the American Orff-Schulwerk Association (AOSA)  since 2001
  • Music Theory Society of New York State (MTSNYS)  since 2002
  • The Commissioning Project (TCP)   since 2003
  • Society for Chamber Music in Rochester (SCMR)  since 2003
  • Music Publishers Association (MPA)  since 2005
  • Chamber Music America  (CMA)  since 2012
  • Rochester Flute Association  since 2012 

Please contact the Special Collections department for further information.