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Special Features of the Music Division

Additional programs address the specialized needs of music professionals, scholars, and the general public. Working cooperatively with major institutions throughout the world, the Music Division pursues numerous joint projects that address a broad range of acquisition and access issues. A variety of services brings scholarly research to the widest possible audience and communicates the vitality of musical expression.

Loan Program

Under special circumstances, the Division makes loans to other institutions for major exhibitions. Exhibitors are expected to meet museum standards of display, security, insurance, and art transport, and to pay the cost of a Library courier. . (See Loan Guidelines for Prospective Borrowers for more information.)


The Division's long and distinguished history of music publication is fueled by the belief that musical knowledge is communicated through performance. It therefore works to make its rare materials more accessible. Its Collected Works of Scott Joplin--the first publication of the complete works of an African-American composer--helped to initiate the ragtime revival. Other publications have included Richard Wolfe's pioneering study, Secular Music in America, 1805-1825, The Little Book of Louis Moreau Gottschalk, and Democratic Souvenirs: An Historical Anthology of 19th-Century American Music, as well as facsimiles of important manuscripts in the Division. Our most recent publication is a facsimile and transcription of Debussy’s Les Papillons. Such ventures make available to the adventurous performer music that might otherwise be impossible to obtain.


At annual free lecture-demonstrations sponsored by the Toscanini Memorial Archives, noted scholars use archival materials as a springboard for discussing textual and performance problems.

Consulting and Cooperative Services

The Music Division works closely with other institutions, sharing information, developing models for cataloging and preserving rare materials, and pursuing cooperative acquisition projects to ensure that the music of our time is adequately documented. Libraries throughout the United States and abroad strengthen their collections by acquiring microfilm copies of important materials held by the Division. When republishing materials, music publishers often turn to the Division for copies of scores they no longer maintain in inventory.


Through a variety of live concerts, the Music Division brings together artists and audiences to share the glories of musical expression. Performances, often given in conjunction with exhibits, range from solo recitals to chamber concerts (see our Calendar of Programs).

Using the Electronic Keyboard on the Third Floor

There is an electronic keyboard available exclusively for those using material from the Music Division General Research Collections.

Use of the keyboard is limited to 30 minutes each day and advance registration is required.

Please click here to register.