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Loeb Music Library

Digital Scores and Libretti Collection


The Loeb Music Library is engaged in an ongoing program to digitize scores and libretti selected for their rare or unique natures and their popularity as objects of research and teaching. By providing online access to historical editions from its holdings, the Library seeks to make primary source materials available for classroom and research use at Harvard and to scholars all over the world. As items from the collection are digitized, they are made available in the library's Virtual Collection of Digital Scores and Libretti. The digital versions can be viewed online or downloaded as PDFs.

The scores and libretti in this Virtual Collection include first and early editions and manuscript copies of music from the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries by J.S. Bach and Bach family members, Mozart, Schubert and other composers, as well as multiple versions of nineteenth century opera scores, seminal works of musical modernism, and music of the Second Viennese School. Many, such as variant editions of nineteenth century operas and related libretti, fall into intellectually related sets that are meant to be seen and used together. As a group, they give scholars a window into the study of historical performance practice.

Searching the Virtual Collection

Search Strategies

  • Put phrases in quotation marks
  • Search or browse for titles using words from the title or the uniform title
  • To find a publisher's name, use the keyword anywhere search
  • To find musical forms (e.g. ballets, sonatas, symphonies), use the subject search or browse
  • To retrieve records for manuscript materials in the virtual collection, use the Category qualifier or browse the collection for the subject terms "Manuscript Music" or "Manuscript Text." To retrieve records for printed materials in the virtual collection, use the Category qualifier or browse the collection for the subject terms "Printed Music" or "Printed Text." Use the shift key to select multiple categories
  • Accents can cause problems with browsing. If the initial letter of a title might be accented (for instance, Étoile du nord) please look to the beginning of the alphabetical sequence if the title is not in its expected place.  Accents do not affect keyword searching

Restricted access files

A few of the scores in this collection are restricted to on-campus or in-library access only. For help using these scores for research or teaching, please consult the Music Library Staff.

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