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Listed here are specialized websites that contain or point to digitized manuscripts, early imprints, and first editions of research and historical interest, including many collections focused on one composer.
Early Music: Portals to Manuscripts & Imprints
DIAMM (Digital Image Archive of Medieval Music): Sources with Images
A portal and "leading resource for the study of medieval manuscripts" pointing to collections and individual sources of medieval polyphonic music dating up to 1550 (plus copious information and research about them). As of 14 June 2017, a little over 16% of the cited sources have image links. New site
launched in 2017 with greatly enhanced search and browse features. Only a fraction of the cited sources have accompanying images.
RISM Online Catalog of Musical Sources: Digitized Music
To produce a list of RISM entries for manuscripts and printed scores with direct links to digitized images, click on the above link. At the top of the faceted list in the left sidebar under "Narrow results," select "Digitized music." Note that this page offers many additional search limits within digitized scores by genre, composer, source type (e.g. manuscripts or prints), etc. As of 14 June 2017, RISM is still developing a direct link outside a session ID that will produce a dynamic list of all records featuring links to digital score images without this workaround. Resource maintained by the International Inventory of Musical Sources / Répertoire International des Sources Musicales (RISM).
Codices Electronici Sangallenses (CESG) = Digital Abbey Library of St. Gallen
Creates a digital, virtual library of the medieval codices (currently numbering 600 and growing) in the Abbey Library (Stiftsbibliothek) of St. Gallen, Switzerland, 19 of which contain musical notation
e-codices: Virtual Manuscript Library of Switzerland
A continuously updated and expanding virtual library accessing all medieval and a selection of modern manuscripts held by 70 Swiss libraries. As of 30 May 2017, there are 1,749 manuscripts online, 78 of which contain musical notation
Early Music Online
Digitized collection from holdings at the British Library of over 320 volumes of 16th-century anthologies of printed music (mainly partbooks of vocal polyphony), representing ca. 10,000 musical compositions, published in Italy, Germany, France, and England. Maintained by Royal Holloway, University of London and the British Library.
Resource lists of composer sites:
Online Resources for Music Scholars: Composers/Scores
Combined composers+scores resource types subset from the larger guide to online resources maintained by Harvard University's Loeb Music Library.
Retrieves the "people" subdivision of the Virtual Library of Musicology's Digital Collections. Many of the sites offer digital scores.
Selected single composer sites with substantial content:
Digital library of Johann Sebastian Bach's autograph manuscripts and original performance parts.
Beethoven Autographs Online (Center for Beethoven Research, Boston University)
Links to digitized images of Ludwig van Beethoven's manuscripts held by numerous libraries.
Beethoven-Haus, Bonn: Digitales Archiv (Digital Archive)
Includes manuscripts and first editions of Beethoven's works.
Brahms-Institut: Digitales Archiv
Includes autographs, edited proofs, and first and early editions of compositions by Johannes Brahms.
Databases of Handschriften and Werke contain links to digitized manuscripts and early and old complete editions. Underwritten by the Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften. Navigation of digital content on this site is challenging.
Chopin's First Editions Online (CFEO): Works
Click on left-sidebar filters to browse by work, genre, or publisher. The CFEO is a virtual digital archive comprising ca. 5,500 images (270 scores) of Chopin’s first editions, drawn from the holdings of five lead institutions: Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Bodleian Library, British Library, Narodowy Instytut Fryderyka Chopina, and the University of Chicago Library, with contributions from 17 other institutions. The CFEO project, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, began in March 2004 and ended in August 2007, and is hosted at the University of Cambridge. A 2014-15 grant from the Mellon Foundation funded a revised version of the CFEO website. One of the three components of Chopin Online
Machaut on the Web
Maintained by the International Machaut Society, a scholarly organization founded in 1985 and devoted to the study, criticism, performance, research, and exchange of ideas related to all aspects of the works of the poet and composer Guillaume de Machaut (ca. 1300-1377) and their manuscript and performance traditions.
Ignaz Pleyel Early Editions (University of Iowa)
Digital collection of over 200 early printed and manuscript scores of French composer and music publisher Ignaz Pleyel (1757-1831).
Arnold Schönberg Center: Archive: Music Manuscripts
The main repository of Arnold Schönberg’s archival legacy. The Database
comprises a Catalogue of Works and Sources, and provides links within the entries to about 8,000 digital facsimiles of manuscripts and other sources.
Composite digital image collection of over 500 music manuscripts and 600 first and early editions of Franz Schubert's works drawn from the Vienna City Library (Wienbibliothek im Rathaus), the National Library of Austria (Österreichische Nationalbibliothek), the Berlin State Library (Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin--Preussischer Kulturbesitz), and the National Library of Norway (Nasjonalbiblioteket).
Schumann Autographs (University Library, Bonn)
Digital facsimiles of Robert Schumann's autograph manuscripts (Schumann-Autographen) held by the Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn / Universitäts- und Landesbibliothek Bonn