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Collection Information


Rafael Joseffy collection of piano music and other materials


Sousa Archives and Center for American Music; a relatively small number of editions and manuscripts have been cataloged individually or as collected manuscript sets and are located in the Music and Performing Arts Library’s Special Collections


Personal collection of concert pianist, composer, and editor Rafael Joseffy (1852-1915) donated by surviving members of the Joseffy family.

When acquired



Approximately 2,000 items in 74 shelf boxes and some individually cataloged items.  Collection consists mainly of solo piano music but also includes orchestral scores, miscellaneous manuscripts, and a few items of vocal music. Primarily U.S. and European editions of the period from 1870 to 1915, including many works by composers who were contemporaries of Joseffy. A number of items have marginalia, fingerings, etc. in Joseffy’s hand, and autographs of composers.


Materials are arranged alphabetically by composer, thereunder by title. Cataloged materials are interfiled among other items in Music and Performing Arts Special Collections according to shelf number.

Access/Finding Aids/Bibliography

See the Rafael Joseffy Music and Personal Papers, 1812-1915 Finding Aid at the Sousa Archives and Center for American Music.  Refer to the archive for access to titles.

Further access within the collection includes a card catalog and a published catalog (See Finding Aid Boxes 72-74/The separate card index, providing access by composer, was prepared during the late 1970s by Jean Geil and Judith Rabin.) Some items pulled individually may remain under temporary (“MO”) shelf numbers in Special Collections. A collection-level record (“Rafael Joseffy collection”) is established for the holdings that corresponds to the finding aid [ M1.A2 IJ67].  Individual items from this group of materials, however, must be accessed through the Sousa Archives.
The Collections File folder (“Joseffy”) contains programs, correspondence between Library personnel and members of the Joseffy family, correspondence involving scholars who have made use of Joseffy materials, packing lists (incomplete), copies of Joseffy’s will and probate documents, a commemorative medal with Joseffy’s portrait on the front and a pianist’s hand on the verso, “From his friends and admirers -New York -1911,” and other miscellaneous documents. Additional personal papers (“Papers, 1867-1912”) were once cataloged as a set for the Music Library’s Special Collections area [ MS q.780.923 J77p]–However, they have most very likely become the Personal Papers Series of the Finding Aid: Boxes 1-4.

(The University of Illinois did not receive all items listed in this catalog. The two copies in reference have pencil check-marks and cross-hatching in various colors, with no key as to what the various markings designate.**)

**2015 Update: Upon looking at the collection in manuscript boxes, it seems as if the university owns the entire musical library as listed in the catalog Musical Library Owned by Rafael Joseffy (with a few pieces missing, and a few cataloged individually) .

Index terms

Joseffy, Rafael; Manuscripts; Piano music

See also

“Joseffy, Rafael” in New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians , 2nd ed. (New York: 2001) vol.13, p.216 or Grove Music Online