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Music Research and Collections   Tags: music, s:ed/musi, s:fa/musi, s:gs/musi  

Last Updated: Apr 26, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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[the] music librarian

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Rob van der Bliek
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online collections

The categories reflect the kinds of online resources we have access to at York, with some information on print resources:

  • reference: the main dictionaries you would need to start researching music

  • journals: the periodical indexes that provide access to the literature on music

  • bibliographies: including links to individual bibliographies and discocraphies

  • audio: our subscriptions to online audio streaming services

  • books: a link and some help on navigating our book collection

  • scores: online score collections and help on finding scores in our catalogue
  • web: an admittedly random selection of links that may or may not be useful


in-house collections

York has licenses for Naxos, Music Online, and DRAM, all of which represent several hundred thousand albums. Record labels are in the hundreds, including Albany, Arhoolie, Blue Note, Concord, CRI, Document, EMI Classics, Fantasy, Folkways, Hänssler Classic, Hyperion, JSP, Lyrichord, Mode, Naxos, New World, Prestige, Rounder, Verve, and Virgin Classics (see the audio link in this guide). These collections are for streaming only, however, and do not include the many popular music genres or box set compilations with extensive documentation that are kept in the Sound and Moving Image Library. The library houses about 25,000 LPS and 25,000 CDs, including substantial holdings in jazz and popular music, much of which is generally not collected by university libraries. Of particular strength is the collection of jazz and blues recordings, pieced together from various collectors and including numerous out-of-print or small-label records, with the additional value of liner notes and album cover artwork. We have also been building a large collection of heavy metal music through a local collector, encompassing a vast range of subgenres and independent labels.

Hard-copy books and scores are housed on the fourth floor of Scott Library, but increasingly, for new material, we purchase an ecopy (for books at least) as backup or as a tool for seeing if the book in question is worth retrieving.

Clara Thomas Archives and Special Collections houses a number of significant archival fonds and collections related to music: the entire recording archive of the Music Gallery; the ragtime sheet music collection of John Arpin, with some 120,000 pieces, many dating to the turn of the twentieth century; the records of the Toronto Musicians Association and the Mariposa Folk Festival, and several composer's personal papers, including Louis Applebaum, Paul Hoffert, Jack Kane, and James Tenney.

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