Music and Performing Arts Library Special Collections

About the Collections

The Special Collections area of the Music and Performing Arts Library at the University of Illinois (MPALSC) is home to a unique collection of scores, rare books, recordings, pedagogical materials, and other archival materials used for scholarly inquiry and performance by students and faculty at the School of Music, the University of Illinois, and researchers throughout the world. More 

Special Collections Policies

Piano Roll Dvorak

Piano Roll - Dvorak's New World Symphony

News & Events

Kilpinen/Sandborg Collection!

The Music and Performing Arts Library at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign is pleased to announce the acquisition of a comprehensive collection of scores and archival materials related to Finnish composer Yrjö Kilpinen.  The collection was donated to the UIUC Music and Performing Arts Library by Dr. Jeffrey Sandborg, Music Professor at Roanoke College in Salem VA and graduate of the University of Illinois School of Music.  The collection consists of published scores and numerous manuscript copies of published and unpublished compositions as well as photographs, recordings, newspaper clippings, and other ephemera related to the life and works of Kilpinen.  Included are articles, scholarly papers, and other resources on the life and compositional output of this prolific lied composer, many with accompanying English translations.  Please see the Coordinator of Special/Gift Collections for more information.

First Music Digital Project Launched

The MPALSC has launched its first digital project in collaboration with the Open Content Alliance and the office of Digital Content Creation.  Almost 100 piano/vocal scores from the Music  Special Collections Unit have been digitized and can be accessed through the Internet Archive, the Illinois Harvest, or the Libraries' Voyager online catalog.  Represented in the collection is musical theater, comic and light opera, vaudevilles, and university productions in works by composers such as Jerome Kern, Sigmund Romberg, Ivan Carlyll, and many others.





Print Collections

The print collections in the MPALSCU consist of unique and rare scores, historical encyclopedias and periodicals, books on music theory, performance pedagogy, and many other resources valuable to music researchers and performers. 

Alphabetical Index of All Collections

Subject Index of All Collections

Historic US Sheet Music collection description and catalog

Digital Projects

The Music and Performing Arts Library is actively seeking to improve access and preservation of music materials through its digitization program.  Some paper materials considered to be in brittle condition and at risk for continued degradation  have been  digitized through the Libraries' Brittle Books program.  Future projects may include digitization of sound recordings, piano rolls, archival materials, and other resources that support the curricular mission of the School of Music and interests of scholars world-wide.

List of Digital Projects


Sheet Music Samples