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Digital Libraries

Research Tools

Available Online


August Wilhelm Bach musical quote

The Miscellaneous Letters and Documents File, Misc. Ms. 372

The collection is composed of over nine hundred unique letters, fifty-nine of which are online, from composers and musical performers, acquired by the Gilmore Music Library through purchase and gift. The collection includes manuscript letters from many of the greatest names of the classical music canon such as Beethoven, Brahms, and Tchaikovsky as well as famed American composers like Elliott Carter, Virgil Thomson, Aaron Copland, and many others. Altogether the collection includes letters from over two hundred and seventy famous composers, performers, conductors, musicologists, and critics.

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harte tonarten

Music Theory Treatises : A Digital Collection

This project realized in collaboration with Professor Patrick McCreless at the Yale Music Department and with the Yale Library Conservation, supports the curriculum of a course entitled "Theory and Aesthetics". This class consists in a study of the principal nineteenth-century writings in music theory (tonality, harmony, counterpoint, rhythmic theory, form, etc.) and musical aesthetics. In support of that curriculum, the Gilmore Music Library at Yale makes a collection of rare music theory treatises available to students. These books are mostly 19th century music theory treatises, most of these in German, and have not been not been scanned by anyone
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gilbert and sullivan mikado

Manuscripts, Rare Editions, Trading Cards, and Portraits from Our Special Collections

Through many years of service to the world's music research community we've accumulated an incredible amount of digital images, that we want to share with a wider audience. This collection brings together images from a variety of our collections. You will find everything from Gilbert and Sullivan trading cards to historical American sheetmusic or caricatures of great composers!
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bas sheva opera

access limited to yale  affiliates Online Manuscripts and Rare Books from the Gilmore Music Library

(access restricted to the Yale Community)

This collection brings together treasures from our collection that are still subject to access restrictions. Access is limited to the immediate Yale community.
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haydn twelve ballads

Online Manuscripts and Rare Books from the Gilmore Music Library

(Open Access)

This collection brings together treasures from our collection that are have no access restrictions.
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vermischte musicalische choral gedanken

Vermischte musicalische Choral Gedanken

In 2008 the Irving S. Gilmore Music Library acquired a manuscript containing sixteen chorale preludes from the Orgelbüchlein, BWV 599-644. Before auction, this source had been unknown to scholars and unrecorded in the critical works. The date of 1747 on its title page places it within the company of a small number of extant sources of the Orgelbüchlein copied within the lifetime of the composer. Johann Christian Kleingünther is identified as the copyist on the manucript's title page.
The manuscript is available here...


Beinecke Rare Books and Manuscripts Library:
Collections with Musical Contents

frederick r. koch collection
The Frederick R. Koch Collection

The Frederick R. Koch Collection consists of musical, literary, and historical materials collected by Frederick R. Koch (Yale School of Drama, 1961 MFAD), principally through purchases at public auctions, from 1979-1986. Including individual items, concentrations of related materials, and several extensive archives, the collection is a broad and deep resource for study of the lives and works of a range of composers, authors, and other historical figures.

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mellon chansonnier
The Mellon Chansonnier

Sacred music occupies a distinguished place among Beinecke's early books and manuscripts. MS 91, known as the Mellon Chansonnier after its last private owner, Paul Mellon, who presented it to Yale in 1940, is one of the world's most celebrated collections of medieval songs. This beautifully calligraphed manuscript on parchment, Neapolitan in origin and dating from the mid 1470s, may have been prepared for the wedding of Beatrice of Aragon, daughter of the king of Naples, and Mathias Corvinus.

In it are songs by two of the greatest names of medieval music, Johannes Okeghem (ca. 1410-1497) and Guillaume Dufay (d. 1474). A third composer represented in the Mellon Chansonnier is Gilles Joye (ca. 1424-1483).

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mellon chansonnier
The Osborn Collection

A collection of early modern British literary and historical manuscripts, the Osborn collection’s strengths include commonplace books, poetry, grand tour diaries, household and estate accounts, political diplomatic correspondence, and annotated books. The collection also contains substantial music holdings.

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mellon chansonnier
The William Walton Online Archive

Sir William Walton (1902-1983), a British composer and conductor, was best known for his works Façade: Suites for Orchestra, (1926) a jazz-influenced orchestral work based on the poems of Edith Sitwell and the oratorio Belshazzar's Feast (1931).

Among the works digitzed by the Beinecke Library are Symphony, no. 2 (score and first movement, original version, 1959-60); Partita (orchestra, 1957); and The Forsaken Merman (cantata, 1916). Currently, only a portion of the Library's Walton holdings are available online.

To browse all of Beinecke's digitized Walton manuscripts, including partial works, search for "William Walton" in their Digital Images database.