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Music Manuscript Lists, Catalogs & Databases
RISM = Répertoire International des Sources Musicales-- an ongoing, international project focused on indexing all pre-1801 manuscripts, printed music, works on music theory, and libretti.
Manuscript Sources to 1600 (from Oxford / Grove Music Online)
Lengthy article from Grove Music Online listing and describing the main manuscript sources of music in use before 1600, arranged by subject matter and also chronologically. Click on the "i" for a detailed outline of the contents.
RISM-OPAC: International Inventory of Musical Sources
Open-access database of over 700,000 mainly manuscript sources, most written before 1800, from hundreds of libraries and archives around the world. This catalog gives public access to the RISM A/II series: Music Manuscripts after 1600. Search by composer, title, thematic catalog number, music incipit, library, etc.; some catalog entries include links to digitized sources. Sponsored by Répertoire international des sources musicales.
RISM: United Kingdom & Ireland
"This database holds details of the 17th- and 18th-century music manuscripts preserved in libraries and archives in the UK and Ireland. It includes manuscripts from national, public and academic libraries, county and city record offices, cathedral and chapel libraries and some private collections."
The Swiss RISM records music manuscripts and printed musical sources in Swiss libraries and archives. Click on the "i" for more information.
Major Microfilm Collections
Early English Books Online (EEBO)
Partially searchable digital images of books printed in England, Scotland, and Ireland, as well as works in English printed elsewhere. Based upon the Pollard and Redgrave Short Title Catalogue (1475-1640) and the Wing Short-Title Catalogue (1641-1700)
Eighteenth-Century Collections on Line (ECCO)
Partially searchable digital images of about 150,000 books, primarily British, printed in the eighteenth century. Based on the Eighteenth-Century Short-Title Catalogue
English Short Title Catalog (ESTC)
Imprints before 1800 from Britain and its dependencies.
A digital library of more than one million images in the areas of art, architecture, the humanities, and social sciences with a set of tools to view, present, and manage images for research and pedagogical purposes. Don't be fooled by the name! This resource is rich in music images and photographs.
Digital Sheet Music Collections
ArchiveGrid is an important destination for searching through historical documents, personal papers, and family histories held in archives around the world.
Current directory describing over 200,000 collections of primary source material housed in thousands of repositories across the U.S., U.K. & Ireland. Includes ArchivesUSA, containing the entire holdings in the National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections (NUCMC).