International Collections at the Irving S. Gilmore Music Library

The Irving S. Gilmore Music Library has principal responsibility within the Yale University Library for collecting, preserving, and making accessible research materials in the areas of music performance, music history, and music theory. With a primary focus on concert music in the European tradition, and a secondary focus on world music, the holdings of the Gilmore Music Library are by their very nature international in scope.

General Collections

The majority of holdings in the Gilmore Music Library collections address some aspect of European concert music. Virtually all of the major European composers, from the Middle Ages to the present, are represented by published scores and parts for performance and sound recordings. The library also holds scholarly collected works, published letters and documents, biographies, analytical studies, journal articles, and other secondary literature relating to European composers, performers, and musical scholars. Substantial secondary collections in all formats reflect musical traditions from the rest of the world, both in the context of concert music and in relationship to native, vernacular, and commercial genres. Of particular note are the library's holdings of materials that illustrate and describe musical instruments from all parts of the world, which have been assembled to support Yale's renowned Collection of Musical Instruments.

Special Collections

Books and scores printed before 1850 comprise a major portion of the special collections of the Gilmore Music Library. Hundreds of European publications represented in the rare collection were acquired by the American composer and educator Lowell Mason (1792-1872) during two extended buying trips on the European continent. Especially prized to this day are Mason's collection of European theoretical treatises about music, as well as the collection of German music manuscripts that he acquired from the estate of Johann Christian Heinrich Rinck. Among the library's extensive holdings of archival materials, the papers of composer Franz Schreker and music critic Paul Bekker document music in Germany between the two world wars. The archives are especially strong in holdings of European musicians who emigrated to the United States. These include Kurt Weill and Lotte Lenya, Vladimir and Wanda Toscanini Horowitz, Paul Hindemith, E. Robert Schmitz, Thomas de Hartmann, and Isidor Achron.
A checklist of archival collections in the Gilmore Music Library is found at Individual autograph music manuscripts and letters by major European composer such as Johann Sebastian Bach, Ludwig van Beethoven, Frédéric Chopin, Robert Schumann, and Johannes Brahms complement and enhance the large archival collections in the library.

Outreach and International Involvement

The Gilmore Music Library supports study and teaching in the Department of Music (Yale College and the Yale Graduate School), the Yale School of Music, and the Institute of Sacred Music, as well as extracurricular music making throughout the campus. The Yale School of Music, in particular, is home each year to graduate students from a dozen or more countries outside the United States who take advantage of the library's holdings, exhibits, and instructional programs. Staff of the Gilmore Music Library routinely provide reference and special collections assistance to scholars from around the world, though exchanges of electronic mail, correspondence carried through traditional mail, and over the telephone. Since 2002 the Gilmore Music Library has maintained a strong partnership with the music librarians and collections in Vilnius, Lithuania. Librarians at Yale have helped to develop the music holdings at the National Library of Lithuania, the Art and Music Library branch of the Vilnius Public Library, and the library of the Academy of Drama and Music in Vilnius. Finally, librarians from the Gilmore Music Library are regular attendees at the annual conference of the International Association of Music Libraries.

Irving S. Gilmore Music Library / International Collections

International Collections at the Irving S. Gilmore Music Library India-irrigation Persian wheel title=
Johann Sebastian Bach, Bennie Goodman, Johann Christian Heinrich Rinck, Lowell Mason (1792-1872), Kurt Weill and Lotte Lenya, Vladimir and Wanda Toscanini Horowitz, Paul Bekker,  E. Robert Schmitz, Paul Hindemith
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