Common Searches

M-121: Early American Sheet Music Collection

DATE: ca. 1840s through ca.1875

SCOPE: The collection dates from the 1840s through ca.1875, and includes numerous local pieces, as well as many St. Louis and regional imprints. Many pieces include color engravings and color lithographs for covers that depict various aspects of the American scene and life in the nineteenth century.

EXTENT: Approximately 1000 pieces.

HISTORY & PROVENANCE: For many years in the nineteenth century, the Mercantile Library promoted concerts and other musical performances in its auditorium, and the earliest collections of music stem from the need for reference copies for such performances. The collection gradually grew and was bound into indexed volumes of songs and other scores. The collection continues to grow to this day through donation.

ACCESS: This collection is available for on-site use only in the Rare Book and Manuscripts Reading Room. Some of the material in Special Collection M-121 may be photocopied, digitally scanned or photographed, subject to condition. For collections marked limited access, researchers are advised to contact the library at least three business days in advance of their visit to submit a request to view the physical material.

Researchers are advised to call ahead concerning changes in hours due to University intersessions and holidays. The St. Louis Mercantile Library is located on levels one and two of the Thomas Jefferson Library building.

In observance of security procedures, certain services may not be available shortly before the daily closing time.

Preferred Citation: When citing the material from this collection, the preferred citation is: From the Special Collections of the St. Louis Mercantile Library at the University of Missouri – St. Louis.