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Syracuse University Libraries

Music Scores & Sheet Music

Browsing Facsimiles in SU Libraries

There are a few ways to locate facsimile images of manuscripts and early editions in the stacks of the library. Many printed scores contain images of specific pages of manuscripts in order to facilitate study of the work, and there are also entire manuscript works reproduced as a printed score.

  • Search Summon for the composer name and some keywords from a work title, plus the word facsim* . That is the abbreviation for the word "facsimile." Shortening the word to "facsim" and putting an asterisk after it is called stemming. That keyword will bring back any results that contain fascim, facsims, facsimile, and facsimiles. 
  • Browse the library shelves in Library of Congress class ML94-96. This is where entire manuscripts that are re-printed in facsimile editions are shelved in the library. 
  • Locate your work in a scholarly collected works edition. There are often images of manuscripts published within those scholarly editions. 

Locating Manuscripts & First/Early Editions in Libraries & Archives

Locating primary source manuscripts and editions for European art music outside of SU Libraries typically requires the use of specialized catalogs and indexes. Primary source scores and manuscripts can be held at thousands of different libraries, archives, museums, and private collections across the world. Below is a list of the main catalogs and indexes to use. 

  1. Search by composer or work.
  2. Visit that library's website to see if they have a digitized collection.
  3. If not, contact that library to inquire about scanning services (often called "document delivery services") for obtaining a scan. (note: there is often a scanning fee involved, and a couple weeks of turn-around time.)