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Notable collections

Our Subject Librarians collect, curate, and maintain unique and important collections in all formats and subjects, ranging from rare books, maps, and manuscripts to web archives and data sets. Selected notable collections are highlighted here; SearchWorks contains many others.

First-person histories of the pioneering individuals who challenged the ways women were seen by the reigning art establishment.

Ma Ragtime Baby, by Fred S. Stone. NY: Myll Bros., 1899

Sheet music depicting African Americans, or written by African American composers.

Alan Farley

The Alan Farley Collection consists primarily of recordings made for the radio program Book Talk on KALW 91.7 FM in San Francisco, California.

Ambassador Auditorium, Pasadena, CA

Files of the organizational departments of the Ambassador Auditorium as well as audio and video recordings.

YWCA photo

Miss Elsie Anderson spent seventeen years in China as a Secretary for Young Women's Christian Association of China (YWCA) 中華基督教女青年會 between 1920s-1940s.

The Schmidt Collection contains primarily photocopies of original and transcribed music for lute gathered from a variety of libraries and archival repositories.

Blanche Thebom as Laura, in La Gioconda

The Blanche Thebom Collection consists of scores, correspondence, publicity, production notes, and media from the mezzo-soprano's post-Met career as teacher and director.

The Williams Quartette

Bob Arnold was a popular music historian and collector in Albany, California.

Cesar Chavez, 1973

The Bob Fitch photography archive is the complete archive of activist photographer Bob Fitch of Watsonville, California.

Ambolina Snow, by Bodine and Maywood. London: Wickens & Co., 1896

White perceptions of African American as portrayed in the cover illustrations of sheet music.

Bai Mao Nü

Chinese comic books (连环画) are a popular medium to entertain and to educate the public in China.

Primavera [1928], manuscript detail

Includes manuscripts of musical compositions, and correspondence (1924-1973)

Nemo, King of the Tramps

Complete texts of 100 books from the series, Secret Service, illuminate perceptions of race in turn-of-the-century America.

Donald Pippin, Artistic Director of Pocket Opera

The Donald Pippin Collection consists primarily of Pippin's English translations of opera librettos available as pdf files.

Steve Jobs, 1986

Photojournalism, fine art documentary work, and commercial photography capture the people and places of an emerging Silicon Valley.

"Cuando tu vuelvas a mi," words by Fernando Fernández, music by Abel Domínguez, 1944.

Includes popular sheet music, often either in manuscript or with annotations.

Florence Underwood

Florence Underwood studied with Darius Milhaud at Mills College in the 1940s.

Lehmann  as the Marshallin

Includes correspondence and research notes related to Hickling's discography of Lehmann's performances.

Antheil's signature

George Antheil was born on July 8, 1900 in Trenton, New Jersey. He studied briefly with Constantin von Sternberg and Ernest Bloch.

Gerhard Samuel

Papers and recordings from American conductor and composer Gerhard Samuel (1924-2008), particularly from his years conducting the Oakland Symphony, Minneapolis Symphony, and University of Cincinnati Philharmonia Orchestra.

Frank Lloyd Wright

Correspondence, blueprints, drawings, photographs, and other records relating to the planning, design and construction of the campus home of Professor and Mrs. Paul R. Hanna designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.

Anne Parker Wigglesworth, Portrait of Henry Cowell. 1964. Oil on canvas, 92 x 60 cm. Gift of Henry Cowell Coolidge Wigglesworth.

This collection contains Sydney Cowell's donations of published scores and recordings of her husband's music.

This is the collection of former Yale professor Herbert Matter, known for his films, photography, and experimental art printing.

Ba Xian dang an

Philip C. C. Huang and Kathryn Bernhardt are Professors of Chinese History at UCLA. Prof.

Arturo Toscanini poses on a ship's deck (undated)

The Jack Lund Collection contains personal papers of Jack Lund, an avid classical music collector, as well as numerous newspaper and magazine clippings, photographs, and music books.

James Schwabacher

The James Schwabacher Collection consists of sound recordings, correspondence, scores, scrapbooks, clippings, programs, teaching material and other papers from San Francisco philanthropist and lyric tenor James Schwabacher.

A selection of cover images from the Japanese DVD and BluRay Collection.

Starting in 2014, the Japanese collection at Stanford started acquiring noteworthy movies. Currently this collection boasts over twenty recent Japanese documentaries and award-winning films.

An image from one of the books in this collection, Akushu da, shows a boy trying to shake hands with a massive storm.

There have been many publications related to the 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear accident, but among the most poignant are the efforts of authors to explain this incident to children.  Stanfor

An example of an Edo-period woodblock print from our collection.  This souvenir print is from Karasaki Shrine in Shiga province.

The Japanese collection boasts a large collection of prints from the 17th through the mid-20th century.

A few examples of the materials in the Stanford textbook collection

Stanford has over 400 Japanese textbooks from the early twentieth century (and some more recent ones also!).  Perform a subject search for "Stanford kyokasho collection" to review the list!

Privately produced Leopold Auer recording, signed by the artist on June 7, 1920.

The Heifetz Collection features recordings by the violinist and a rare unpublished recording by Leopold Auer.

Detail from Lind's vocal exercise book used at the Royal Conservatory.

The collection includes correspondence (1835-1897), financial papers, musical compositions, and other papers.

l to r: Jim Cullum Sr., Willson Davis, Louis Armstrong, Harvey Kindervater, and Jim Cullum Jr., 1965.

The Happy Jazz Band was formed in 1962 by Jim Cullum with his son, Jim Cullum, Jr. in San Antonio, Texas.

Grażyna Bacewicz

The Judith Rosen Collection consists of unpublished recordings of performances, lectures, and radio programs concerning classical music, focusing on twentieth century composition, as well as women musicians and composers.

Detail from Danza Tropical (1922)

The collection includes over 100 music manuscripts by Spanish composer Julio de Osma.

Earl Hines, New York, ca. Mar. 1947

The Ken Ackerman Collection consists of broadcast recordings of live jazz performances from the 1950s and 60s, captured at various clubs in San Francisco, particularly Club Hangover.

Kirsten Flagstad

Kirsten Flagstad (1895-1962) was known as the premier Wagnerian soprano of her time.

Kronos Quartet (l-r: Hank Dutt, David Harrington, Jeffrey Zeigler, John Sherba)

The Kronos Quartet has donated part of its collection of chamber music to the Music Library.

KSFO logo circa 1950-1965

The KSFO collection consists of audiovisual material and ephemera from this San Francisco radio station's years owned by Golden West Broadcasting, 1956-1983.

Leigh Ortenburger was an American mountaineer and photographer. He wrote the classic mountaineering guidebook, A Climber's Guide to the Teton Range.

Engravings, etchings, mezzotints, lithographs, and acquatints, circa 1600-1850.

Melinda's Wedding Day, by Goodwin/McCarthy/Piantadosi (c. 1913)

Lucie King Harris, born in Sonoma in 1883, was an arts patron, a philanthropist, and an ardent horsewoman.

Detail from engraving by P. Mignard.  In Lully, homme d'affaires, propriétaire et musicien : notes et croquis à propos de son hôtel de la rue Sainte-Anne et de son mausolée aux / Radet (1891)

The Lully Archive is a repository of primary sources on microfilm originally gathered in support of publication of the complete works of Jean-Baptiste Lully (1632-1687).

Mario Ancona

The Mario Ancona Collection includes photographs, memorabilia, sound recordings, and more related to Ancona's career.

Schofield collection bookplate

Mary L. Schofield Collection of Children's Literature in Special Collections

Gaetano Donizetti. Excerpt from Betly (La capanna svizzera). Original manuscript. 1836. MLM 264

Scores of operas, symphonic works, chamber music, and choral works by major composers from the 17th to 20th centuries.

Law School

Photographs of Stanford University buildings done by Baer for the architects for the University.

Catgut Acoustical Society logo

The MARL collection consisting of nearly 60 linear feet of materials is dedicated to the study of all aspects of musical acoustics.

Letter from Debussy to G. Moureg, 1919

Letters, manuscripts and printed works by composers including Brahms, Debussy, Cimarosa, Piatti, and Franchomme.

A hidden jewel of the Japanese collection is

John Perry & Ken Taylor

Philosophy Talk is a talk radio program co-hosted by Stanford professors John Perry and Ken Taylor.

San Francisco city views, public buildings, and landscapes, as well as San Jose, Stanford University, the U.S. Navy Yard at Mare Island, San Diego, and San Luis Rey.

Richard Bonelli

The Bonelli Collection includes letters, programs, scores, scrapbooks, recordings, posters, and news clippings.

Richard Crooks as Pinkerton

Richard Crooks was a tenor with the Metropolitan Opera Company.

Richard Finnie and colleagues

Open reel tape recordings made by documentary filmmaker, photographer, ethnographer, and historian Richard Sterling Finnie.

Richard Hadlock

Open reel tape recordings of the “Annals of Jazz” radio program produced and hosted by historian and educator Richard Hadlock, broadcast on KCSM, San Mateo between 1982 and 1991.

Tape container for Wind (1961)

The Richard Maxfield Collection consists of electronic music written by Maxfield on open reel tape from 1959 to 1964. Some tape boxes appear annotated by the composer.

Riverwalk Jazz logo

Riverwalk Jazz: Live At The Landing educated and entertained public radio listeners with a program devoted to celebrating traditional jazz and popular music of the pre-war era.

Ruth and Mario Chamlee in Manon

Tenor Mario Chamlee sang at the leading opera houses in the United States and abroad. His wife Ruth was a soprano and noted singing teacher.

A part of the East Asia Library's robust collection of award-winning Japanese-language books for children.

The East Asia Library has started to collect award-winning Japanese children’s books.

A few titles from the collection of Japanese manga held at the East Asia Library.

Stanford has a robust manga collection boasting more than 330 titles.  To review the titles, search for "Stanford manga collection."

An image from Stanford's collection of hanpon


Stanford has a nearly 550 titles of Japanese books printed during the 18th and 19th century.  To review the list of titles, perform a subject search for "Stanford hanpon collection."

Aldine printer's device

Books from the Aldine Press, founded in 1494 by Aldus Manutius and continued by his grandson, Aldo, until his death in 1597.

Kline Roethke Field Room collection case

Eighteenth and nineteenth century books of English literature, international politics, and illustrated works.

Monterey Jazz Festival logo

Recordings of live performances throughout the history of this enduring American cultural institution.

Bookplate for the Samson collection of Judaica

Samson collection of Judaica once belonging to the Jewish Community of Copenhagen, Denmark.

Dupuis, Charles-François. Planches de l'origine de tous les cultes, ou Religion universelle: par Dupuis. Paris: H. Agasse, 1794.
Image: Dessiné par Ducondray, gravé à l’eau-forte par Pauquet, terminé au burin par P. H. Triere.

Thirty-six digitized texts, written in French between 1716 and 1835, investigate the mysterious perimeters of knowledge beyond Locke.

Taube-Baron collection of Jewish studies and culture, from the library of Professor Salo Wittmayer Baron.

A glimpse of The Women's Philharmonic scores, shelved in the Music Reference Room.

From 1981 to 2004, The Women's Philharmonic was a San Francisco-based professional orchestra dedicated to the promotion of women composers, conductors, and performers.

Ted Fagan

This is the personal collection of Theodore Fagan, United Nations translator, author, and music collector.

Richard Venezky

The Venezky Collection contains primers and readers published in the U.S. between the end of the eighteenth century through the early decades of the twentieth century.

French Horn

The William C. Lynch Dennis Brain Collection principally consists of commercial and unpublished recordings of the world renowned British horn player, Dennis Brain (1921-1957).

Broadside advertising Belasco's Girl of the Golden West, at the New Alcazar Theater (San Francisco, 1908)

2,532 individual pieces of sheet music, sheet music lithographs, and music related broadsides from the United States in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Yehudi Menuhin

The Menuhin Collection contains many test pressings of Menuhin's performances as a violin soloist.