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Music: Music Collections

Make a Recommendation

Not everything can be purchased but there are alternative ways of obtaining what you need.

For items not held in Cambridge you can request a digital copy or use the Inter-Library Loans service. 

These services can be very helpful for single articles or out-of-print titles.


Requesting scans

Music Faculty students and staff can request scans of notated music held in our collections under the Higher Education Printed Music License.

Scan & Deliver allows current staff and students to request an individual scanned copy of one chapter (or 5%) of a monograph or one article per issue of a journal from collections held by Cambridge University Libraries, subject to relevant conservation approval and copyright permissions.  

Free digital scans of University Library Special Collections items may be ordered for personal research use if the material is suitable for scanning and the volume of the request is reasonable.  

It is possible to order a printout of a chapter or article from material held as Electronic Legal Deposit (usually accessed via designated computers). This material will be delivered in printed form only for a charge of £2 per full printout. 


Collections Showcase

Pendlebury Library Reading Room

Pendlebury Library Reading Room

Overnight loans at the Pendlebury

Overnight loans at the Pendlebury

Audiovisual collections at the Pendlebury Library

Audiovisual collections at the Pendlebury Library

University Library Music Department Anderson Room

University Library Music Department Anderson Room

University Library Music Collections Display

University Library Music Collections

Information about the music collections

The Pendlebury Library supports undergraduate and graduate teaching and research at the Music Faculty. The library houses an outstanding collection of music scores, books, sound recordings, video recordings. It also contains significant research materials, including microfilms, rare books and facsimiles.

The main collections for music are held at the University Library. The very extensive collections contain printed music, literature about music, music manuscripts, concert programmes and archival materials. The Anderson Room is the reading room for modern music collections. Music special collections including notated music published before 1900, manuscripts and archival materials can be consulted in the Rare Books or Manuscripts Reading rooms. 

The music collections provide access to various online music resources including journal articles and ebooks

Classification schemes

The music collections at the Pendlebury Library and University Library Music Department use in-house classification schemes.

The system for bound music and books on the open shelves is very similar and contains a three-figure subject, a size element, an indication of date and a numerical sequence number. 

The University Library also uses various other music class numbers



Beyond iDiscover - Music Department

Music collections at the University Library are mostly held at the music and the manuscripts departments. The main online catalogues are iDiscover and ArchiveSearch

It is essential however to look beyond these catalogues, since both departments offer additional print and online finding aids for significant parts of the collections: 

At the music department we can also help you discover uncatalogued items. You can contact us to enquire about specific items. We also offer appointments to come and browse closed access cards for uncatalogued items and search internal databases.  

Beyond iDiscover - Pendlebury Library

Most of the Pendlebury Library collections can be found through iDiscover. There are a few exceptions:

  • 33 rpm LP collections can be found using the card catalogues
  • Steve Hills CD collection: not yet catalogued but browsable on request
  • Pre-1900 printed items have partly been catalogued on iDiscover. Some items are listed on cards held on closed access; others are available via RISM. Part of the collection has not yet been listed.
  • Sheaf catalogues for microfilms are available in addition to iDiscover holdings. 

Online finding aids include:

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