Academic journal article Notes

Digital Media Reviews

Academic journal article Notes

Digital Media Reviews

Article excerpt

19th Century American Sheet Music Digitization Project [UNC]. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 7 September 2000.

19th-Century California Sheet Music [UCB]. Designed and managed by Mary Kay Duggan. University of California, Berkeley, 2000.

African-American Sheet Music, 1850-1920: Selected from the Collections of Brown University [LC-Brown]. Library of Congress, 10 September 1999.

Charles H. Templeton Sheet Music Collection [MSU]. Mississippi State University, 2 January 2001.

Florida Sheet Music Collection [USF]. University of South Florida, 2001.

Historic American Sheet Music [Duke]. Duke University, 1999.

Historic American Sheet Music, 1850-1920: Selected from the Collections of Duke University [LC-Duke]. Library of Congress, 3 May 1999.

Inventions of Note Sheet Music Collection [MIT]. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 24 June 2001.

Keffer Collection of Sheet Music, ca. 1790-1895 [Penn]. "Focus on Philadelphia." Content and design by John Bewley. University of Pennsylvania, 13 May 1998.

Music for the Nation: American Sheet Music, 1870-1885 [LC-Nation]. Library of Congress, 13 September 1999.

Lester S. Levy Collection of Sheet Music [JHU]. Johns Hopkins University, June 2001.

[Music portion of] Performing Arts in America, 1875-1923 [NYPL]. New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, 2001.

Popular American Music Digital Archive [UCLA]. University of California, Los Angeles, 2001.

Sam DeVincent Collection of Illustrated American Sheet Music, ca. 1790-1980 [SI]. Smithsonian Institution, 5 January 2000.

"We'll Sing to Abe Our Song!": Sheet Music about Lincoln, Emancipation, and the Civil War, from the Alfred Whital Stern Collection of Lincolniana [LC-Lincoln]. Library of Congress, 25 August, 1999.

This review attempts to assimilate the content and style of fifteen Web sites that contain databases of American sheet music. A discussion of the methodology, selection of sites, and definitions of categories used in the tables below precedes a narrative comparison of Web site features. Web sites are cited using the abbreviations given in brackets in the citations above. All sites were last accessed on 10 January 2002.

In this review I originally intended to discuss popular music databases more generally, but a number of reasons led me to concentrate on American sheet music. Many sheet music collections in both public and private libraries focus on popular music, and their title pages and covers are often graced by images relating to popular culture. Sheet music has a popular appeal to researchers in art, dance, theater, music, history, sociology, fashion, and other disciplines. Despite the interdisciplinary nature and potential usefulness of these resources, however, much sheet music in American libraries remains uncataloged. Savvy librarians across the country have taken advantage of emerging technologies by mounting Web versions of sheet music databases in recent years. The nature of such sites continues to evolve as their number increases.

The Music Library Association's Sheet Music Collections page (, prepared by Lois Schultz of Duke University, provides an excellent starting point for research. …

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