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Music manuscripts and early printed editions: Manuscripts

An illuminated ms. page

Using the Collections

The Fondren microform collection is housed in two places.  Some microforms are kept in the Government Publications Department in the Fondren Library basement, 713-348-5483.  A large portion of the microform collection is kept in the off-campus Library Service Center.  For information about using these collections, check here.   For more information about the music microform collections, contact the music librarian at 713-348-2593. or

Manuscript locators

Finding Info in Fondren Library

Where in the world is the autograph manuscript of [insert musical work title here]?  Check these resources---

  • The composer's thematic catalog.  Search the Fondren online catalog for keywords [composers last name] and THEMATIC to find it.
  • The composer's collected works.  The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians includes a work list at the end of every article on a composer.  If a collected works edition exists, the list will give a volume/page number for every musical work in it.  Introductory material in the volume contains more information about the autograph.
  • Facsimile edition of the manuscript.  To find facsimiles of music manuscripts in the Fondren online catalog, use the subject keyword FACSIMILES.  If there is a facsimile, read the introductory material to learn more about the ms.
  • Significant biographies on the composer.
  • For catalogs of music manuscripts, search by subject keyword for MUSIC and MANUSCRIPTS and CATALOGS or browse the music shelves in the ML135 and ML136 ranges.   Also check references to archival collections in research guides or in major books and periodical articles on your topic.

Music Manuscripts

 Music Manuscripts from the Great English Collections. Harvester Press/Research Publications et al.

      Series 1:  Bodleian Library, M2 .B63  Guide

      Series 2: St. Michael’s College, Tenbury, M2 .S24 1986 Guide

      Series 3: Christ Church, Oxford, M2.3 .E6 O9 1981 Guide

      Series 4:  British Library, M2 .B75 Guide

      Series 5:  Royal College of Music, M2 .R69  Guide

      Series 6:  Cambridge Libraries (Cambridge Univ. Library, Ely Cathedral, King’s College, Fitzwilliam Museum)  M2 .C36 Guide

      Series 7:  Royal Academy of Music, M2.3 .E6  Guide

      Series 8: Gerald Coke Handel Collection M2 .G47 1987  Guide

      Series 9: Music collections of chapel and cathedral libraries. Pt. 1: The music collection of St. George's Chapel, Windsor, M2 .C36 1987 Guide


European Music Manuscripts in the British Library: Austrian, French, German, Russian, Spanish, and Other European Music, c. 1640-1820, Primary Source Media.  M2 .B75 E95


Italian Music Manuscripts in the British Library, Harvester Press.  Guide

      Section A: c. 1640-1720, M2 .B75 I8

      Section B: c. 1720-1740, M2 .B75 I82

      Section C: c. 1740-1770, M2 .B75 I83

      Section D: c. 1770-1820, M2 .B75 I84


Autograph Music Manuscripts from the Musikbibliothek der Stadt Leipzig, Adam Matthew Publications; Bach, Haydn, Handel and Mendelssohn, autograph letter of Mendelssohn and Robert and Clara Schumann, M2 .M88 L45 2002.  Guide

Musikhandschriften der Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, Preussitzer Kulturbesitz, K.G. Saur.

      Pt. 1: Bach collection from the Archiv der Sing-Akademie zu Berlin, M2 .S86 P7 B32 1997

      Pt. 2: Telemann collection, M2 .S86 T35 2001

      Pt. 3: Beethoven collection, M2 .S86 P7 B4 2002

Die Bach-Sammlung aus dem Archiv der Sing-Akademie zu Berlin [electronic resource] : Depositum Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin.  K. G. Saur, 8 CD-ROMS   M2 .S86 P7 B32 2002 (ask for these at the 1st floor circulation desk); Also on microfiche at the same call number.  Print guide in the Brown Fine Arts Reference stacks at ML136 .B4 B32 1997.

  Die Sammlung Hoboken in der Musiksammlung der Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek. Teil 2, Joseph Haydn. Olms, microfiche  ML31 .H622 1991

Die Drucke Der Bach-Söhne der Hoboken-Sammlung [microform] Österreichische Nationalbibliothek. Musiksammlung Sig. Anthony van Hoboken.
ML31 .H623 1991

Musikhandschriften der Staats- und Stadtbibliothek Augsburg, H. Fischer, M2 .A93 1997

Musickdrucke der Staats- und Stadtbibliothek Augsbug, 1488-1630, H. Fischer, ML138 .A92 S82 2000 

Early Music, Adam Matthew, ML136 .P45 E37 

      Pt. 1 Pembroke Choirbooks and other music manuscripts from Pembroke College, CambridgeGuide

      Pt. 2 Music Manuscripts, 1500-1793, from the National Library of ScotlandGuide

Gilbert and Sullivan, Adam Matthew, ML410 .S95 A3  Guide

      Pt. 1 Correspondence, diaries, literary manuscripts, and prompt copies of W.S. Gilbert from the British Library.


Bibliographies for Selected Music Manuscript Collections

Subject Guide

Mary Brower
B35-K, Reference Office, Fondren Library, basement; 713-348-2593
Website / Blog Page

Books About Manuscripts

Web Sites

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