New U of I concert programs and historic sheet music databases

The Music and Performing Arts Library has two great new online resources, the University of Illinois Historic US Sheet Music Collection and the School of Music Concert and Recital Programs Database.

The Historic US Sheet Music Collection is tool that searches for and gives you information about the historic US sheet music MPAL currently holds in our Special Collections. The Concert and Recital Programs Database provides information about performances in the School of Music over the years, as well as gives you a way to search for specific recitals or concerts. Each of these tools describes items in our collections but does not provide digital reproductions of the sheet music or the concert programs.

To access these online tools, simply go to MPAL’s home page and under “MPAL” in the left hand column, click on “Collections”. It will take you to a list of our music, theater, and dance collections. From here you will be able to access the:

University of Illinois Historic US Sheet Music Collection

and the

School of Music Concert and Recital Programs Database

Once you follow one of these links, you will see a screen like this: bibleaves1

In yellow circle, you can see there are different facets you can search by such as author, contributor, or subject term. In this case, contributor means composer.

In the red circle, you can see the collection we are searching. Both collections have a similar layout so it is important to look at the collection to make sure you are searching the correct one.

Also, on the left hand side, below the collection name, there are different facets to help narrow a search, such as format and publication year. Make sure to try those out when searching!

An example entry from the Historic Sheet Music Collection. The entry provides the composer (contributor) along with telling you the format, call number and location. On the right hand side under “tools” you have the option to send yourself this information for easy reference later. To see any of these items, bring the call number to MPAL’s service desk and let them know the item is in the Historic Sheet Music Collection upstairs in Special Collections.


Below is an entry for the Concert and Recital Programs Database. Under “contributor” you can see the composer, along with the performers in the program. Publication date will tell you when the performance took place. Look under “concert program” to see which volume and page the program is in. To see any of the programs in person, come to MPAL and look in our reference collection, where all of the bound programs are arranged by year at call number ML42.U7I3 C66. Lastly, in notes, you can see if the performance was recorded, which is this case it shows it was.


To find more information about School of Music Recordings, see (Pre-1992) or (Post-1992).

If you are not on campus and would like to request a scan of either items in our historic sheet music collection or in the School of Music concert programs collection, please send us an email at .

If you run into any problems or have questions feel free to Ask Us!


Printing from WorldCat

To print out an individual record for an item with the full description from WorldCat, follow these steps. Click on the pictures below to enlarge them.

1. To the right of the title of the individual record you want to print, click on the Sharing and Permalink drop down menu (see image below with orange circle).

2. In the Sharing/Permalink drop down menu, click on Record link (see orange arrow):


This will open a window with a link for the individual record.WCPrint2

3. Paste this URL link into a new browser tab or window. This will open the detailed WorldCat record for that item.

4. Click on the “Description” section of the detailed record (so the detailed information is showing):


5. Finally, once you have the full description displaying, press Ctrl “P” and this will  print the detailed record with the pertinent info: title, author, edition, publisher, ISBN, OCLC Number, etc.


I had never heard about this alternate form of piano notation before coming across a score using it today. Klavarskribo was developed around 1930. You can read more about it in Grove (in Oxford Music Online for U of I patrons) or in Wikipedia (for non-U of I patrons).

Here is a the first page of Beethoven’s fifth symphony arranged for piano by Liszt in regular notation. You can make out the famous theme pretty easily. (Click on images to enlarge.)


Here is the same opening theme, in klavarskribo. Still somewhat recognizable, but I am not so sure how easy it would be to play!


We have about about two dozen klavarskribo scores in our collection and one book about the system.

Remembering Wars Through Music


The Music and Performing Arts Library has a large collection of historic American sheet music, including some digitized Civil War materials and digitized World War I materials. While we do not have all of it digitized, you can search all of our historic sheet music holdings from the collections’ web page.

The Library of Congress has a Civil War Sheet Music Collection and a World War I Sheet Music Collection.

A helpful text on conducting research about music and war is this title:

Music and war : a research and information guide by Ben Arnold, 1993.
Music & Performing Arts Reference [non-circulating]
Call Number: ML128.W2 A76

We have many materials relating to Civil War songs in our collections.

For more information about World War I songs, see also:

World War I sheet music : 9,670 patriotic songs published in the United States, 1914-1920, with more than 600 covers illustrated
by Parker, Bernard S., 2007.
Music & Performing Arts Reference [non-circulating]
Call Number: ML128.W2 P37

World War I songs : a history and dictionary of popular American patriotic tunes, with over 300 complete lyrics by Frederick G. Vogel,1995.
Music & Performing Arts Reference [non-circulating]
Call Number: ML3561.W3 V63

We have many other books, music scores, and recordings in our collections related to music and war. Check them out!

Welcome to our New Blog!

Welcome to the Music & Performing Arts Library’s new blog! Here we’ll share information about news and tools relevant to music, dance, and theatre researchers and performers, as well as information about new items in the collection. We’ll also post about news in the arts world that may be of interest to the Music and Performing Arts Library’s users.

Looking for a previous post? Our old blog is still active and can be found here.

Audio holdings in the British Library Endangered Archives Programme

The British Library Endangered Archives Programme “[aims] to contribute to the preservation of archival material that is in danger of destruction, neglect or physical deterioration world-wide.”

A quick search of the word “audio” brings up these collections which will no doubt be of interest to world music scholars. Not all of these projects have been completed, so not all content is yet available online.

EAP736: Preservation of the music and dance archive at the Music Museum of Nepal (NFMIM)

EAP008: Folk Theatre Tales: Preserving images, sounds and voices of rural Tuscany

EAP088: The Golha radio programmes (Flowers of Persian Song and Poetry)

EAP115: Collection and digitisation of old music in pre-literate Micronesian society

EAP124: Pages of Azerbaijan sound heritage

EAP190: Digitising archival material pertaining to ‘Young India’ label gramophone records

EAP298: Preserving endangered ethnographic audiovisual materials of expressive culture in Peru

EAP468: To preserve Indian recordings on ‘Odeon’ label shellac discs

EAP592: The music of Burma on record

The EAP also offers grants to researchers

Vote on a New MPAL Website!

We’re currently working on a redesign for our library website and we want your feedback! Even though we really want to give the website a visual facelift, we also want it to function and serve the needs of our users (aka you!). Please consider the following questions when looking at our two new mockups:

    • What do you usually use the Music and Performing Arts Library website for? Can you still do this on the mockup?
    • Could you find your way to article resources in your subject area?
    • Is there anything you can’t find your way to in either design?
    • Which mockup do you prefer? Why?

Click the links below to view the two options. (Keep in mind they’re just images created in Paint, so any font/color/alignment issues won’t actually exist in the real thing.)

Version 1

Version 2

Please feel free to shoot us an email at with your feedback! We appreciate you taking the time to do this.

Updates from the Music & Performing Arts Library

We’ve a got a few new things happening at MPAL this semester:


  • Listening rooms 3, 4, and 5 now have upgraded equipment with new speakers, turntables, cassette decks, and CD players. Check it out in the picture to the right, or stop by the Circulation Desk to ask for a key so you can see it in person! (Don’t forget–there are also keyboards in these rooms.)
  • The upstairs service desk is now open from 1-4pm, Mon-Fri. Feel free to check out scores there, ask about the items in our Special Collections, or just say hi!
  • Planning on checking out a show at Krannert this semester? Take a look at our monthly Krannert Library Guides for library resources about the artists, genres, works, and more.
  • We’re now circulating 5 iPads for a one week loan period. Stop by the Circulation Desk to ask about borrowing one! You can also find more information in our previous blog post.
  • Minrva, the library’s Wayfinder/GPS locator tool, now has MPAL capabilities! Use it to help you find that sneaky book or score in the stacks. More information can be found in this blog post.
  • We recently procured a new microfilm/fiche reader and scanner with some pretty cool capabilities. If you run into any issues when using it, please feel free to ask a staff member for help or view the tutorials listed here.
  • There’s a new 8″x11″ scanner on the second floor near the service desk so you don’t have to wait for the ones downstairs! We still have the two 8×11″ scanners and the large format (11″x17″) scanner in the downstairs computer area as well.


New microform reader/scanner

You might have noticed that MPAL got a new microform reader/scanner this semester. If you need help using it, feel free to ask a staff member, or check out these short YouTube tutorial videos from another library.* We have a slightly newer model of scanner, but the instructions should work the same.

How to Use the Microform Reader: Introduction

How to Adjust Images on the Microform Reader

How to Find Your Place on the Microform Reader

How to Print and Save on the Microform Reader
(This one is slightly different than our procedures, as we have a different printing system.)

Happy scanning!

*Thanks Center for Jewish History!

Minrva – The New Wayfinder App for MPAL

Have you ever found an item in the catalog only to realize you don’t know where the item is in the library or what those call numbers mean? Minrva can help!

Minrva is a locally developed mobile tool for libraries that helps students stay organized and find what they are looking for, all on the go! Originally designed for the Undergraduate Library at UIUC, the Minrva app has expanded to include the Music & Performing Arts Library. By selecting the Music & Performing Arts Library, students can use the Wayfinder module to locate specific items within the library on a map.

Minrva%20Icon.png Minrva also provides the following useful functions:

  • Search the entire UIUC catalog
  • Search all I-Share libraries
  • Check your account for checked out materials, requests, blocks, and fines
  • Check for course reserves
  • Search online journals for articles
  • Cite sources using the new citation module

Download Minrva for Android here:
or scan the QR Code below with your phone:

In order to use the Wayfinder tool…

1. Start at the home screen and select University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign >> Music & Perf. Arts as your location

MinrvaHomeScreen%26Location.jpg   MinrvaSelectLocation.jpg

2. Go back to the home screen by selecting the house icon in the upper left corner
3. Select Catalog Search to look for items
4. Go back to the home screen and select Wayfinder

MinrvaSearch.jpg   MinrvaHomeScreenwithWayfinder.jpg

5. Use Wayfinder to locate the items you have searched for on the map

Here, the location of Guide to Chamber Music is shown on the map with the red dot in the upper right. Wayfinder will also keep a list of items that you have searched for using Minrva under Book Sel.. on the bottom right. All searched for items that are listed in the Recent Search History can then be located on the map using Wayfinder.

MinrvaWayfinderMap.jpg   MinrvaSearchHistory.jpg
*** There is a Minrva app available for Apple products but it has not yet been updated with MPAL capabilities. Stay tuned! ***