U of Illinois Sheet Music Collection

About the Collection

The U.S. Sheet Music Collection in the Music and Performing Arts Library at the University of Illinois contains about 100,000 titles of popular music (as well as some classical) from the early 19th century through the 1980s. The U.S. Sheet Music Collection is divided into two main categories: Vocal/piano music and Instrumental piano music. The music is located in the Special Collections Unit on the second floor of the library and is designated for building-use only. It may not be checked out. Items may reviewed in the library, or copied when items are in the public domain or when appropriate permissions have been obtained. 


How to Search the Collection

In order to search for a piece of music, you will need to know if you're looking for vocal or instrumental music. The system defaults to searching for your items among both vocal and piano databases. If you wish to limit your search to one database, click inside the appropriate box to deselect.

Search the Online Sheet Music Database

  • You will need to know the title and/or composer to begin
  • Enter as much data as you know. The "number" field is an index number assigned to each work cataloged within a specific year (see sample call number below). This doesnot refer to opus numbers, etc.
    Piano Sheet Music (M1.A2IP52) -- 1934, no. 3
      Composer: Coward, N. Title: Conversation piece
  • Do not key in punctuation such as apostrophes.Replacing punctuation with a space will result in more hits. For example:
    • Don t fence me in NOT Don't fence me in
  • Click on the 'Search' button at the bottom of the form.
  • Copy the call number and request the item at the circulation desk
  • Still no luck? Ask Us!

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