Access Policy for ESM Archive

The Eastman School of Music Archive, which is housed in Ruth T. Watanabe Special Collections at the Sibley Music Library, contains the official records of the School as well as related collections and materials that document the history, activity, and contributions of the School community. The Archive is open to all researchers, including ESM/UR students, faculty, staff, alumni, and the general public. We are committed to providing open access to these materials to the greatest extent possible within the limits of privacy, confidentiality, and preservation. Records that contain sensitive administrative, institutional, and personal information are restricted.

On-site Research

The primary form of access to the Eastman School Archive is on-site study in the Special Collection reading room during the department’s operating hours. The vast majority of the materials in the Archive is open to the public, including the School’s historical papers and records, faculty and alumni collections, school publications, photographs, books, scores, artifacts, and memorabilia. Most administrative records, such as materials pertaining to the finances, personnel, and other internal considerations of the Eastman School of Music, are restricted; access to those materials can only be granted with the explicit permission of the Dean’s Office of the Eastman School of Music.

All use of Special Collections resources in the department’s reading room is supervised either by the Head of Special Collections or by a member of the Department Head’s support staff. On being admitted to the reading room, patrons will be asked to sign a registration form and to bring only those implements required for note-taking. Normally, those implements shall be pencil and paper and/or a laptop computer. In those exclusive and limited instances in which permission for same has been granted, a camera may be used in the reading room, but without flash. Application for permission to photograph must be made in writing.


While the department accepts requests for duplications of materials, consideration of those requests is dependent on the following:

  • an item’s physical condition, together with the potential for damage by handling during duplication
  • availability of staff resources
  • availability of access to a non-invasive technology for making the duplication
  • extent of the duplication requested
  • copyright or any other restrictions that may have been imposed

The department reserves the right to decline any duplication request on any of the above grounds. Further information is provided on the page describing Duplication Services.

Policy on acceptance of the professional papers of Eastman alumni

  • The Eastman School of Music Archive accepts, at the discretion of the Head Librarian and the Special Collections Librarian/Archivist, the professional papers of alumni of the Eastman School of Music.
  • Notwithstanding the tremendous pride that the Eastman School takes in the achievements of all of its alumni, considerations of limited space and finite financial and human resources oblige the Sibley Music Library to accept or decline collections based on their potential to further the School’s curricular objectives. Accordingly, each collection will be considered on the merits of its potential for the widest possible research application.
  • Collections of personal papers are accepted only as unrestricted gifts. The Sibley Music Library reserves the right to retain or discard materials from any collection, such judgments being made according to the interrelated factors of (1) curricular objectives at the Eastman School, (2) archival considerations of the Eastman School, (3) research potential of the papers, and (4) the availability of resources—space to store the collection, and the financial means to process the collection in a timely way.
  • The Sibley Music Library sincerely appreciates each and every offer of the professional papers of Eastman alumni.

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