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Collection Information


Joseph Szigeti collection of music, and recordings


Scores in Music and Performing Arts Library Special Collections area (5 boxes, call no. Special Collections M5.S95) and in the University Press Building (78-rpm recordings; which as of 2019 have been transferred to the Internet Archive for digitization).


Personal library of violinist Joseph Szigeti; acquired for University of Illinois at the suggestion of Prof. Paul Rolland of the School of Music

When acquired

Purchased from Szigeti on at least two occasions (1960 and 1967).


According to various lists and memos in the Collections File folder (“Szigeti”), the Music Library received about 215 music editions and over 200 albums of 78 rpm records in 1960. This purchase was supplemented in 1967 by an additional 234 music editions and a collection of 51 manuscripts. Violin music predominates among printed music editions as well as recordings, but the collection also includes a few editions of piano music and nine songs by the Norwegian composer Sigurd Lie, among other materials. While there are relatively few bowings, fingerings, or other performance annotations in the violin music, many editions bear personal inscriptions to Szigeti from composers. Until summer of 2008, about 150 performing editions, together with a few manuscripts were housed in document boxes in Room 214 of Smith Music Hall. These materials were moved to the University Press Building and in 2015 were moved to the Music and Performing Arts Library Special Collections area, where they are stored in 5 boxes at call number M5.S95 (see “collection inventory” link below).


Within the document boxes at call number Special Collections M5.S95, performing editions are arranged alphabetically by composer/title within several categories (violin music, piano music, etc.). However, the material in these 5 boxes does not comprise the totality of Szigeti material owned by the library; the remainder of Szigeti’s library of performing editions has been dispersed within cataloged holdings in MPAL’s circulating collection, or in Special Collections. Recordings are interfiled in the basement of the Illinois University Press building among other 78-rpm records by manufacturer/serial number; as of 2019 recordings at the Press building were transferred to the Internet Archive for digitization. A number of manuscripts that were reportedly in Szigeti’s possession could not be located as of February, 2002.

Access/Finding Aids/Bibliography

A list of the contents of the Szigeti Collection document boxes (as of February, 2002) has been placed in the Collections File folder at the Sousa Archives. This folder also includes several additional lists of Szigeti’s music and recordings prepared  over the years by various Music Librarians; Jay Allen, Thor Wood, William McClellan, and by Szigeti himself. The file also contains  memos, clippings, correspondence relating to the acquisition of the collection, and summaries prepared by a library practicum student in 2001. A listing of scores in the collection (as of 2015) can be found here: Szigeti Collection Inventory.

Index terms

Lie, Sigurd
Recordings: 78 rpm
Szigeti, Joseph
Violin music

See also

“Szigeti, Joseph” in The New Grove Dictionary of American Music (London, 1986), vol.4, p.343, or Grove Music Online.