Rare Music

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples should be aware that University of Melbourne Collections may contain images, voices or names of deceased persons, or culturally sensitive content (more information).

The Rare Music collection contains music manuscripts, printed scores, books, archival and other music-related material, including photographs and ephemera. It spans the late 11th century through to the present day. The focus is primarily on European art-music traditions and, to a lesser extent, on popular music. Collection strengths – primarily found in named sub-collections – are in early French, Italian and English music, instrumental methods and music and acoustic theory.

Rare Music also has fine early editions of late 18th to mid- 19th-century Germanic music: a legacy of the musical tastes of University Conservatorium staff and audiences from 1895 to the present. One strength of the collection  includes instrumental music for wind instruments. Australian music is another feature of Rare Music. Colonial and post-Federation music (1855 onwards) is strongly represented in both print and manuscript form, including a collection of works by the winners of the University’s Albert H. Maggs composition award (1967- ). Details of the careers of Australian musicians are also recorded in small archival collections. Rare Music also holds a large repository of Concert and Theatre Programs .

In addition to the strengths of the collection, we are actively developing and acquiring early-20th century European music, particularly French.

Search the Catalogue

Business and personal papers of the Editions de l'Oiseau-Lyre Archive can be found in the University of Melbourne Archives catalogue.

The collections are accessible via the Baillieu Library Reading Room.