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Music: Historic Sheet Music Collections and Lyrics

Historic Sheet Music Collections

From the Music Division of the Library of Congress, an online collection of musical scores, recordings, photographs and essays documenting an important but insufficiently explored part of our musical past.


Collection of over 1000 works featuring aeronautical and martial subjects, including examples from as early as 1782. Website includes high-quality color scans of illustrated covers. Located at the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum, Washington, D.C.


Part of the Center for Digital Initiatives, this site features a searchable database of Brown University's digital Yiddish sheet music collection.


A virtual library of some 2,000 items of nineteenth-century California sheet music. Images of covers and text together with searchable records of public domain repertoire.

A digital archive of over 3000 pieces of American sheet music 1850-1920 from the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Duke University. Songs, marches, and piano music with illustrated covers, indexed by composer, date, subject and illustrator.


Color scans of songs and piano pieces (ca. 1890-1920) published in the U.S., portraying technologies through their texts or cover art. Also includes index of related songs available through other online databases. Collection housed at the Lewis Music Library, MIT.
Online home of the Ward Irish Music Archives, Milwaukee, WI. Includes nearly 3,000 freely accessible color scans, mostly songs for voice and piano with illustrated covers.

Important collection in Krakow, Poland, dating back to the 14th century. The library provides digitized manuscripts and early editions of major works by Beethoven (including the Sonata, op. 26, and Quartet, op. 131), Brahms, Chopin, Loewe, Mendelssohn (including the Violin Concerto), Mozart, Schumann and more. TIP: To browse digitized materials, use the Advanced Search function under "Publication description" for resource type "rękopis muzyczny" (musical manuscripts) or "druk muzyczny" (printed music).


"Popular sheet music from the 1800s to the 1920s."

An open collection of digitized sheet music hosted by the UCLA Digital Library Program. Provides access to sheet music records at various libraries, much of it digitized in an effort to allow users “direct access to the music itself and in many cases to the covers and advertisements that offer evidence of the cultural context in which the songs were published.”


Access provided to the digital versions of 450,000 copies of sheet music, anthologies & arrangements for band and orchestra and performances of the songs now in the public domain.


Yiddish American Popular Sheet Music

Link to the Library of Congress' important collection of Yiddish American sheet music, displaying complete contents and artwork of each publication.


Contains alphabetical lists of German folksongs and links to their lyrics. Also includes streaming mp3 renditions of some songs.


A collection of texts used in over 109,000 lieder and other classical art songs as well as in many choral works and other types of classical vocal pieces. The archive indexes texts with many translations to English, French, Italian, Dutch, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, etc.