Music Special Collections at the Main Library
noun Library Science.
a collection of materials segregated from a general library collection according to form, subject, age, condition, rarity, source, or value.
Music and culture existed in Pittsburgh before the arrival of the Internet. Music Librarians collected and preserved the music history of the region found on newspaper and magazine clippings, concert programs, and the like. In those days, musicians and music lovers attended music events and played music using sheet music, much like they do today. The big difference is the way things were published, the way information was transmitted, the type of music that was popular, and the formats available for recorded music. Here in the Music Department, we’ve worked to preserve that history for years to come.
Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh’s Music Special Collections are not as extensive as the special collections of the music division in the Library of Congress, but we have our share of great resources. Most of our collections have a Pittsburgh connection, each collection has its own (sometimes quirky) history, and each deserves a blog post of its own.
Here is an overview of our major collections:
- Oral History of Music in Pittsburgh – Over 300 interviews of a great variety of people associated with music in Pittsburgh.
- Pittsburgh Music Information File – A large collection of newspaper clippings, magazine articles, and other ephemera.
- Pittsburgh Concert Programs
- Pittsburgh Music – Archival Material – Links to finding aids.
- Pittsburgh Sheet Music Collection – A unique collection of over 1000 titles of sheet music published in Pittsburgh or nearby since the early 19th century.
- Pittsburgh LP Collection – Vinyl records featuring musicians, musical groups and composers from the Pittsburgh region.
- Pittsburgh Music Shelf – Cataloged books about various aspects of music in Pittsburgh, on a shelf near the Music Reference Desk.
- The Bakaleinikoff Tablecloth – This tablecloth, framed and hanging in the Department’s front room, was autographed by friends and associates of Vladimir and Julia Bakaleinikoff.
- The Musical Forecast – Periodical from 1921-1948, reflecting musical life in Pittsburgh.
- Pittsburgh International Contemporary Music Festival 1952 – This Festival is considered a benchmark of important musical composition in the middle of the 20th Century.
- Pittsburgh Music Newsletters – Historical holdings.
- Pittsburgh CD Collection – Database pending!
Librarians in the Music Department are happy to discuss questions concerning personal collections of music-related materials.