As a leading institution for music research, UNC-Chapel Hill holds a number of collections containing primary source materials for research purposes. In addition to music materials in the Wilson Special Collections Library (the Southern Folklife Collection, the Rare Books Collection, and the Southern Historical Collection), the UNC Music Library has been collecting rare materials for over 85 years. More than ten thousand rare music books, libretti, and scores are held in the Music Library Vault and managed by the Rare Books Collection. Among these include the UNC Italian Opera Libretto Collection, which must be requested through the library catalog for viewing in the Special Collections Research Room at Wilson Library.
There are also rare and archival collections managed directly by the Music Library. The 19th-Century American Sheet Music Collection, UNC Sheet Music Collection, Richard Luby Collection, UNC Collection of College Songbooks, Don Yoder Collection of American Hymnody, Recordings of UNC Department of Music Concerts (Fall 2000–Spring 2017), and Concert Programs from UNC Department of Music Concerts (1937–2017) are all found in the closed stacks of the UNC Music Library and are available upon request at the Music Library service desk for library use only. Wholly or partially digitized collections include the UNC Italian Opera Libretto Collection, 19th-Century American Sheet Music Collection, UNC Sheet Music Collection, Don Yoder Collection of American Hymnody, and the UNC Department of Music Concert Recordings (Fall 2016–Present).
UNC Italian Opera Libretto Collection
In 1983 the UNC Music Library acquired a large collection of Italian opera libretti through the British firm of Richard Macnutt, Ltd. The whole of the collection, more than 4,000 titles, has been cataloged, and the majority of it has also been digitized in cooperation with the Internet Archive. There are many important works from the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries, including the first opera produced in Europe, Peri’s and Rinuccini’s Dafne, published in Florence in 1600.
19th-Century American Sheet Music Collection
The 19th-Century American Sheet Music Collection contains approximately 3,500 popular vocal and instrumental titles from the 1830s to the end of the century. It was acquired as 125 bound volumes which were individually gathered by the original owners of the music, often young women who wanted to collect their favorite pieces of sheet music into one volume. In some cases, the original owner’s name was embossed on the cover. The Collection site contains catalog descriptions and digital images of the individual pieces in the collection.
UNC Sheet Music Collection
The UNC Sheet Music Collection contains approximately 4,900 individually cataloged song folios from 1841–1997. Most are popular music titles, dating from the 1870s to the 1950s. All titles about World War I have been digitized. The song folios are in varying conditions and must be used in the Music Library.
UNC Collection of College Songbooks
The UNC Music Library owns approximately 100 collections of college songs from across the United States. Some are collections of school songs published by individual institutions and some contain songs from multiple schools. These have not been digitized.
Richard Luby Collection
The Richard Luby Collection consists mainly of parts but also scores owned and marked by Richard Luby, professor of violin at UNC-Chapel Hill from 1979 until his death in 2013. This music was often used and copied by students of Prof. Luby because of the valuable markings and bowings he made. A considerable percentage of the collection comprises of works by Antonio Vivaldi and Arcangelo Corelli.
Don Yoder Collection of American Hymnody
Don Yoder (1921–2015) was an American folklorist who specialized in the Anabaptist religious traditions of Pennsylvania, including the Amish, Mennonites, Quakers, and the Pennsylvania Dutch. His collection of hymnals and tunebooks, originally acquired by the UNC Program in Folklore, is now held by the UNC Music Library. Rich in German language sources, it also includes a selection of important English tunebooks. His papers are held by the Southern Historical Collection in Wilson Library. Most of the Yoder collection is digitized.
Recordings of UNC Department of Music Concerts
The UNC Music Library holds recordings (MDA: Music Department Archive) of departmental ensemble concerts on compact disc dating from Fall 2000 to Spring 2017. Music Department concert recordings from before this period are held in the University Archives. See the finding aid of the Department of Music, UNC-Chapel Hill Records (1937–1983, 2016–2019) for scope and contents.
A UNC ONYEN is required to access the UNC Department of Music Concert Recordings from Fall 2016 to Present in the UNC Digital Collections Repository.
Concert Programs from UNC Department of Music Concerts (1937–2017)
The UNC Music Library holds copies of UNC Department of Music concerts from 1937 to 2017. These are not digitized. Some originals are kept in University Archives. Programs from more recent concerts may be included in the UNC Department of Music Concert Recordings from Fall 2016 to Present in the UNC Digital Collections Repository.