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Music manuscripts and early printed editions   Tags: editions, manuscripts, music, primary sources  

Last Updated: Apr 3, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Manuscripts Print Page

An illuminated ms. page

Web Sites

Manuscript locators

  • RISM
    Series A/II: Manuscripts after 1600. Gives description and location information.
  • OCLC Worldcat
    Giant union catalog contains holdings of many north american libraries and selected libraries outside of north america. Limit 'type' to archival materials to search for primary sources.
  • RISM Series B
    This series is a finding guide for music manuscripts and early printed music. Each volume covers a specialized type of source. These are books, not a database--located at Music Reference ML113 .I s. B

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.


Fondren Music Mss. Collections on Microfilm

 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

Italian Manuscript Sources of 17th Century Keyboard Music. Studies in Musicology 18. - Silbiger, Alexander.
Call Number: ML128.H35 S5

Catalogue of Manuscripts Written or Owned in England Up to 1200 Containing Music. - Hartzell, K.D.
Call Number: Music Ref. ML135 .H37 2006

Census-Catalogue of Manuscript Sources of Polyphonic Music, 1400-1550. - Call, Jerry, and Herbert Kellman.
Call Number: Music Ref. ML169.8 .R46
Compiled by the University of Illinois, Musicological Archives for Renaissance Manuscript Studies. v. 1-5.

Resources of American Music History: a Directory of Source Materials from Colonial Times to World War II - Krummel, Don, ed.
Call Number: Music Ref ML120 .U5 R47

Catalogue of manuscript music in the British museum
Call Number: Music Ref ML136.L8 B72 v. 1-3

Catalogue des manuscrits musicaux anterieurs a 1800 conserves au departement de la Musique - Bibliotheque nationale (France). Departement de la Musique
Call Number: ML136 .P2 B5 1999

I manoscritti musicali della Biblioteca universitaria di Pisa : storia e catalogo
Call Number: ML136 .P43 B79 1998

Thematic catalog of a manuscript collection of eighteenth-century Italian instrumental music in the University of California, Berkeley, Music Library.
Call Number: ML128 .I65 C3


The Making of Medieval Illuminated Manuscripts

Subject Guide

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B35-K, Reference Office, Fondren Library, basement; 713-348-2593
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Books About Manuscripts

Medieval Manuscripts for Mass and Office: A Guide to Their Organization and Terminology - Hughes, Andrew.
Call Number: BX1973 .H83 1982

The Medieval manuscript: art and function [videorecording]
Call Number: Z107 .M4 1988 (Library Service Center)

Editions and Musicians: A Survey of the duties of practical musicians & editors towards the Classics - Emery, Walter
Call Number: ML63 .E55 1958

Grier, James - The Critical Editing of Music
Call Number: ML63 .G745 1996

Editing early music - Caldwell, John
Call Number: ML63 .C29 1995

La Critica del testo musicale : metodi e problemi della filologia musicale - a cura di Maria Caraci Vela
Call Number: ML93 .C75 1995

Music and medieval manuscripts : paleography and performance : essays dedicated to Andrew Hughes - edited by John Haines and Randall Rosenfeld
Call Number: ML170 .M84 2004


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