NYPL’s Heiskell Library Receives Massive Collection of Braille Music

By NYPL Staff
November 14, 2023
Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library
Braille music cover

"Night and Day" by Cole Porter published in Braille

The New York Public Library’s Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library now has the second largest collection of Braille music in the country. The collection was donated by the Filomen M. D’Agostino Greenberg Music School (FMDG), a nonprofit institution dedicated to blind and vision impaired students. 

Braille music can be hard to find, resulting in unequal access for blind and low vision musicians, but thanks to this gift Heiskell now has 2,500 jazz, classical, and contemporary music scores for the public to check out. “Summertime” by George Gershwin, “Sunny” by Bobby Hebb, and “Eleanor Rigby" by The Beatles are among some of the collection’s popular titles. 

Faculty and students from FMDG attended a reception at the Heiskell Library on November 14 to celebrate the gift. The reception included musical performances from the collection.

Twelve-year old Student Iolanta Mamatkazina performed with her teacher Dalia Sakas on piano performed “Time to Say Goodbye (Con te partirò)” by Frank Peterson, Lucio Quarantotto, and Francesco Sartori, and “La Spagnola” by Vincenzo Di Chiara.

School faculty members Richard Thai on tenor saxophone performed with Yo Kano on piano performed “I'll Close My Eyes” by Buddy Kaye and Billy Reid, and “Stompin' at the Savoy” by Edgar Sampson.

shelves of book with Braille sheet music

The collection of Braille music now at the Andrew Heiskell Library

Two people lean over Braille sheet music laid out on a table

A group of people examine the Braille music on display.

A person examines one of the Braille sheet music while another person sits at a table where there are more Braille sheet music laid out