Contributors features libraries Library Hub Discover

The Music Libraries and Conservatoires of Jisc Library Hub Discover

In this month’s blog post we will be focusing on the incredible music libraries of Jisc Library Hub Discover and exploring further the resources that they have to offer.  Sheet music, scores, sound recordings, light music, film scores, chamber collections and so much more! Here is a selection of the wonderful music libraries that you can explore on Discover:

The Jerwood Library Trinity Laban
The Jerwood Library, Trinity Laban Image copyright: Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance

Jerwood Library of the Performing Arts at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance

The Jerwood Library of the Performing Arts is one of the jewels in Trinity Laban’s crown. Three time winner of an IAML Excellence Award for Music Libraries, the collection contains over 100,000 items, predominantly sheet music and scores, along with a large collection of sound recordings and books about music.

With collections of international significance, the library’s varied special collections and archives include manuscript music, archives relating to the former Trinity College of Music, and rare printed music dating from the early eighteenth century. Light music is a particular strength, from eighteenth century catches and glees to early twentieth-century popular song and film scores. The music resources also include the remarkable Alan Cave chamber music collection numbering around 2,000 sets of parts, principally wind chamber music but also music for wind and strings or brass. Find out more about the library and explore on Discover.

The Royal Academy of Music Library – The library of the Royal Academy of Music holds over 200,000 items, including remarkable collections of performance materials and historical collections of international significance. The library describes itself as a “place to immerse yourself in the past and discover ideas for the future” whilst providing their students and staff with everything they need for their research, lessons and recitals.
The collections include 16th-century lute books in the Robert Spencer Collection, autograph manuscripts by Purcell, Sullivan, Vaughan Williams, Kenny Wheeler and other leading composers. The Orchestral Library, run by the Concerts Department, has approximately 4,000 sets of parts, constantly augmented with new acquisitions.

The extensive Special Collections and Archives have Designated status (awarded by the MLA) as collections of national and international importance. These include the personal libraries of individuals such as Henry Wood, Yehudi Menuhin, Charles Mackerras, and the Robert Spencer collection of early English song and music for lute and guitar. Find out more about the library and explore on Discover.

The Royal College of Music Library
The Royal College of Music Library Copyright: The Royal College of Music Library

The Royal College of Music Library – Supporting teaching and performance at the Royal College of Music, the RCM library contains over 500,000 items ranging from rare, early 16th Century printed music to standard musical repertoire and from 78rpm recordings to compact discs and DVDs. With an outstanding lending collection of major encyclopaedias, bibliographies, catalogues and standard works in most musical genres, the library offers its patrons an amazing collection of resources.

In addition to the lending collection, the RCM Library holds internationally significant materials such as the manuscripts of Mozart’s C minor Piano Concerto K491, Elgar’s Cello Concerto and Chopin’s Minute Waltz. In addition to these, the library houses the Anne Boleyn Music Book—one of the most significant manuscripts of the early 16th century, believed to have been owned by Anne Boleyn.

The museum and library also curate a range of interactive digital exhibitions, drawing on key social and historical themes to enrich understanding of music history. Find out more about the library and explore on Discover. 

Curzon Library – Royal Birmingham Conservatoire – Birmingham City University – The Curzon Library, the biggest of Birmingham City University’s four libraries, provides a wealth of resources and material for a wide range of subjects, including for the support of staff and students at the amazing Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. The library includes over 8,000 books, 1,300 orchestral and band sets, 1,100 sets of vocal scores, about 100,000 individual scores and parts and around 12,000 sound recordings. With a new audio room with an upgraded suite of listening and recording equipment plus two separate cubicles for listening and viewing, the library provides exceptional facilities. Alongside this, the library also provides wide-ranging and substantial collections of books and journals, specialised print and computer-based resources such as the British Humanities Index, RILM, JSTOR, New Grove Online, NAXOS and the Classical Music Library.  Find out more about the library and explore on Discover.

Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama Library.
Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama Library. Copyright: Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama / Coleg Brenhinol Cerdd a Drama Cymru.

Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama – With a focus on performance, the collection at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama holds over 70,000 items including books, playscripts, journals, performance scores, orchestral sets and audio/visual materials. The Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama provides specialist practical and performance-based training in music and drama, enabling students to enter and influence the world of music, theatre and related professions. Find out more about the library and explore on Discover.

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