Libraries + Collections
Explore the vast resources that are housed in Yale’s libraries, collections, and galleries.
The Irving S. Gilmore Music Library
The Irving S. Gilmore Music Library contains more than 300,000 pieces of performance and research material and provides access to more than 400 music periodicals and databases. It is located within the Sterling Memorial Library and offers teaching and study facilities in addition to the stacks and the archive, which includes papers and works by composers formerly associated with Yale as teachers or students, including Charles Ives (B.A. 1898), Paul Hindemith (YSM faculty 1940–1951), and many others. The archive is also home to autographed manuscripts by J.S. Bach, Chopin, Brahms, Schumann, and Liszt.
Oral History of American Music (OHAM)
How would you like to listen to Aaron Copland’s describe how he settled on the title Appalachian Spring? Or to John Cage talk about mushrooms and musical form? These stories and more are part of the Oral History of American Music archive, which is home to more than 1,800 audio and video recordings.
The only ongoing project of its kind in the field of music, OHAM collects audio and video memoirs in the voices of influential musicians and their colleagues and friends. The sound of a voice can be a direct link to the past. Gestures, laughter, and quirks of speech reflect the atmosphere of one’s time and place in history and provide reminders of an artist’s personality.
Historical Sound Recordings (HSR)
Yale University established the Yale Collection of Historical Sound Recordings (HSR) as a department of the Yale University Library in 1961–its purpose to collect, preserve, and make available for study important historical recordings in the fields of Western classical music, jazz, American musical theatre, drama, literature, and history. Approximately 280,000 recordings currently reside at HSR, the majority of which are 78s and LPs. The remaining portion of the collection consists mostly of reel-to-reel tapes, CDs, audio cassettes, and cylinders. Also, in support of this collection, HSR maintains a large library of printed materials that provide biographical and historical information, background information about the recording industry, and discographical information useful in locating and dating recordings in the collection.
Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library
The Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, located down the street from the Yale School of Music, is one of the world’s largest libraries devoted entirely to rare books and manuscripts. Opened to the public in 1963, the Beinecke is Yale’s principal repository for literary archives, early manuscripts, and rare books. The Beinecke’s robust collections are used by scholars from around the world.