Thematic catalogs are fundamental resources for serious research on a composer's body of work, providing not only musical incipits to the works, but also basic information on dating and provenance, surviving manuscripts, early performances, publication history, modern location of sources, and much other key data.
Composer-based research guides can provide excellent starting points for any project focused on the work of a particular composer. They inevitably include annotated bibliographies of key primary and secondary resources, lists of works, references to important editions, and much other useful information. At Princeton, nearly all of these guides are found in the Reference Collection (SV) under the basic call no. ML 134, arranged by the composer's last name (making browsing fairly easy). Representative examples are cited in this LibGuide under the Historical Periods subtabs in the Composer Research Guides boxes. To search the catalog for these guides, use a subject search on [composer last name] and bibliography.