Rare Music Collection

Rare Music comprises music manuscripts, printed scores, books, archival collections and other music-related materials that are rare and in some cases unique.

Music manuscript
Fragment from a sanctorale (13th century; MS ANON 3)

The collection includes items from the late 11th century through to the present day. Our rich holdings of European music have at their core the Hanson-Dyer Collection of 15th to early 19th century music imprints, first editions and music manuscripts. Transferred to Melbourne in 2005, this 245-item strong collection includes French operatic works, British publications, works of the Italian renaissance and books on music theory, establishing collection strengths that have been built on with recent acquisitions.

Rare Music also includes the very substantial archive of the French music publishing house, Editions de l’Oiseau-Lyre (1932–2013), founded by expatriate Louise Hanson-Dyer (1884–1962). Editions de l’Oiseau-Lyre is celebrated for its scholarly and pioneering editions and sound recordings of early music.

Also of particular significance are the following:

The majority of Rare Music is catalogued with over 12,000 items searchable through the University Library Catalogue.