13,000 sheet music titles now available for research

February 12, 2019
Benjamin E. Bates
Oldest known publication within the ARS Sheet Music Collection.

Staff at the Archive of Recorded Sound have, for the first time, created a complete inventory of the ARS Sheet Music Collection. This culmination of over 13,000 published titles was generated through various donations during the Archive's first 60 years (1958-2018). The vast majority of titles within the collection are popular music scores published in the United States along with publications from England, France, Italy, and elsewhere. 

A notable discovery in the collection was a surviving copy of 'See at your feet a suppliant' from the ballad opera 'The Bohemian Girl' by Michael William Balfe and dated 1845. As with many sheet music publications of the period, this particular score serves as both music to be performed but also as an advertisement. In this case, the cover markets the career of Anne Childe Seguin, a celebrated opera singer who played the lead role of Arline during the opera's New York premiere at the Park Theatre in 1844. The theatre would later be destroyed by fire in 1848.

For futher details about the ARS Sheet Music Collection, please consult our published inventory.

Materials are available for research and require 2 business days in advance of intended use. Please contact the ARS staff for assistance.