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 1916-2005; served 1947-1984), in honor of her lifetime of service to both the Library and the Eastman School of Music.
Materials from Sibley’s rare books collection, archival collections, and the Eastman School of Music Archive are on display throughout the library and in Eastman’s main building. Our current and past displays are also viewable online.
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.
Popular Sheet Music Collections
A descriptive list of the library’s popular sheet music collections, which together comprise 110,000+ items of music spanning 1790 to the present.
The official repository for the School’s historical, institutional, and administrative records and other materials that document the history, activities, and contributions of the Eastman community.
Policies and Services
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.
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
Archival collections on deposit
The Ruth T. Watanabe Special Collections department is host repository of the archival papers of the following associations and entities:
- Sigma Theta Chapter of the Sigma Alpha Iota International Music Fraternity since 2019
- 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.