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First Floor (Plaza Level)
Phone: (212) 870-1624
Fully accessible to wheelchairs
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The Orchestra Collection is located on the first floor of the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, just past the elevators and the copy room. Due to the specialized nature of the Collection, access is limited to four hours per week and is only open during the concert season, September through June. Materials for summer loan are checked out during the month of June and must be returned before or on the September due date. For more information see Summer Loan.
The Orchestra Collection contains scores and parts for orchestral, choral, operatic, and solo vocal works, representing over 2,000 works in the standard orchestral repertory. It is a fee-based lending library for use by professional, student, and community orchestras. Fees are charged on a sliding scale depending on the status of an orchestra's members as either professionals or amateurs, and the number of items borrowed.
Holdings of the Collection are now found within the main NYPL Catalog. The most efficient way to search is to use the KEYWORD field, with the phrase "orchestra collection" (making sure to use the quotes) included in your search. For example, if you wanted to see if Beethoven's Christ on the Mount of Olives, Op. 85 is available in the Orchestra Collection, your KEYWORD search would look like this: "orchestra collection" Beethoven 85 -- which is enough unique information to find the holding. Everything found within the Orchestra Collection will have the call number: ORCHESTRA
The Orchestra Collection lends materials to organizations, not individuals. We require representatives of the orchestra, typically conductors or librarians, to apply for use of the collection on the official stationery of the orchestra or its sponsor. Application for borrowing privileges includes payment of a nominal fee, and must be renewed annually. Four items are needed to register:
- A letter, on the organization's stationery, granting specific orchestra members permission to borrow material from the Orchestra Collection on their behalf.
- A completed registration form (PDF).
- A check for the appropriate amount (as per the fee schedule on the registration form) made out to "NYPL Orchestra Collection." Cash is also acceptable, but be sure to bring exact change, and to ask for a receipt.
- A current identification.
There is no interlibrary loan for this department.
Use of collection
Only registered users may pick up and return material. Borrowing is limited to complete sets of orchestra music. Individual instrumental parts are not available for loan. The Orchestra Collection's rules spell out all of our policies and procedures.