Collection Information

Young sheet music


Barnard and Morris Young Collection


Major collections of materials are deposited in several locations:
Music and Performing Arts Library, Special Collections area:
-American sheet music, including items related to African-Americans
-Individually-cataloged items, including songsters, 19th-century sacred and secular vocal collections, college song anthologies, etc.
-Cataloged LP recordings

Music and Performing Arts Library, open stacks areas:
-Reference resources
-Opera scores, miscellaneous 20th-century music editions
-Choral octavo editions (added to Choral Reference File)

Music and Performing Arts Library Special Collections catalog in cabinets, upper level (unknown location):
-Serial song text publications
-Uncataloged individual items (songsters, hymnals, etc.)
-Manuscripts, broadsides, ephemera

Music and Performing Arts Library, Special Collections office, upper level (unknown location):
-National anthems collection

University Press Building Library Storage Area
-78-rpm and 45-rpm recordings
-Uncataloged LP recordings
-Miscellaneous 20th-century art music editions (interfiled among uncataloged holdings)
-Papers and archival records of Barnard and Morris Young, the Life Music Co., and other Young business enterprises
-Metal pressing plates utilized by Young in sheet music publishing
Personal papers, music manuscripts, memorabilia of composer Merle Kendrick and songwriters George Whiting and Eddie Wicks
-Dance orchestra parts sets Other units within University Library system:
-Books: English poetry editions and items duplicating existing Music Library holdings, and selected materials relating to U.S. broadcasting or other topics not primarily concerned with music (approximately 150-200 titles; some books may not have been retained)
-Serial publications: six cartons of "Radio Logs" and other serials in the area of broadcasting forwarded to Communications Library in 1991
-Radio scripts: Gloria Parker Show, Barry Valentino "Show (one carton forwarded to Communications Library in 1991)

When acquired

1985 (initial purchase); a further segment (consisting of additional sheet music, recordings, business archives, and other materials) was donated to the University of Illinois in 1986 by Morris Young.


The collection was described in Resources of American Music History as consisting of "20,000 items, mostly 1790-1910, containing 48,000 music titles, and comprising 10,500 sheet music items, of which the black American collection of 3500 items is particularly important..." (Krummel, et al., p.263). These conservative totals were considerably enhanced by the 1986 donation of a supplementary segment of "over 70,000 items, mostly issued 1902-1961 [including 21,750 sheet-music items, 3,000 45-rpm sound recordings from the period 1950-75..." (Collections File memo from Music Librarian William McClellan, "Background material on Morris Young," 1993).


-Sheet music: Interfiled in U.S. sheet music holdings by medium/year/accession number. Some fragile items remain among uncataloged materials in storage.

-Songsters, college song collections, other vocal anthologies: Most items individually cataloged and arranged by their Library of Congress classification numbers in the Music and Performing Arts Library's Special Collections area

-Dance orchestra parts sets: Arranged by title as a separate collection in the University Press Building Library storage area.

-Recordings: Interfiled by manufacturer/serial number in the University Press Building Library storage area. Some LP recordings may have been cataloged individually for the open stacks or Special Collections areas in the Music and Performing Arts Library.

-Choral octavo editions: Interfiled among existing holdings in Choral Reference File cabinets by type of ensemble/title.

-Other materials: Cataloged for open stacks collections, or still unprocessed among materials in the University Press Building Library storage area or in the Special Collections cataloging backlog cabinets on the upper level of the Music and Performing Arts Library.

Access/Finding Aids/Bibliography

See the Morris and Barnard Young Music Business Records, 1832-1988 Finding Aid at the Sousa Archives and Center for American Music.  Individually-cataloged materials may be accessed through online catalog. Sheet music may be searched by composer, title, and year of publication in the Music and Performing Arts Library's online sheet music catalog.

Index terms

African-American music Recordings: 45 rpm
Alverson, Eleanor
Binder's collections
College songs
Dance orchestra music
Davis, Gussie L.
Edwards, Gus
Foster, Stephen
Harrigan & Hart
Hutchinson Family
Joplin, Scott
Kendrick, Merle
Lind, Jenny
Minstrel groups
Motion picture music
Music business records
Music ephemera
Music journals
National anthems
Recordings: 78 rpm
Recordings: L
Rosenfeld, Monroe
Sheet music: United States
Show tunes
Smith, Chris
Song text serials
Sousa, John Philip
Vocal music
Whiting, George
Wicks, Eddie
Williams, Bert
Young, Barnard
Young, Morris

See also

Shim, Eunmi. Chris Smith and the ragtime song (M.M. thesis, University of Illinois, 1993)