Research and instruction materials in music are located in several libraries and archives at the University of Texas at Austin. This guide outlines the resources of the Harry Ransom Center, the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, the University of Texas Libraries, and the Butler School of Music. Click on the panels below for greater detail.
I. The Harry Ransom Center
- Carlton Lake Collection - 19th/20th-century French materials
- Edwin Bachmann Collection - 18th/19th-century printed and manuscript music
- Alfred Cortot Collection - 16th/19th-century sacred vocal music
- H. P. Kraus Libretti Collection - 17th to 20th centuries
- Nicolas Nabokov Papers - from the years 1955-1977
- Ross Russell Collection
- Theatre Arts Collection
- Pre-1600 manuscripts
- 1600-1900 manuscripts
- 20th-century manuscript collections
- Printed book and score collections
II. The Dolph Briscoe Center for American History
III. The University of Texas Libraries
- The Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection
- The Historical Music Recordings Collection
- The Fine Arts Library
IV. Collections of Music Materials in the Butler School of Music
- The Performance Library
- The Ethnomusicology Archives
Harry Ransom Center
The Harry Ransom Center, renamed in 1983 for its founder and guiding spirit, Harry Ransom, is one of the world's preeminent institutions for literary and cultural research. The principal rare-books and manuscripts library of The University of Texas at Austin, its special collections contain approximately 10 million manuscripts, 1 million books, 5 million photographs, 50,000 pieces of literary iconography, and an important collection on the theatre arts. Since the Center's inception in the mid-1950s, the major emphasis of its acquisitions has been on modern literature, principally American, British, and French, and it is these collections which have established and continue to maintain HRC's fundamental strength in the modern field. Included among the books, manuscripts, archives, and other modern research material in the humanities are many items of musical interest, the most important of which are sketched below.
MAJOR COLLECTIONS WITH MUSICAL MATERIAL
1. Carlton Lake Collection - 19th/20th-century French materials
Probably the world's most important collection of musical holographs by Ravel (22 items), Dukas (7 items), and Roussel (54 items).
The Ravel works include Rapsodie espagnole, Ma Mère l'Oye, Valses nobles et sentimentales, and Daphnis et Chloé, all for orchestra; L'Heure espagnole, Shéhérazade, Cinc Mélodies populaires grecques, and Don Quichotte à Dulcinée for voice and orchestra; the last three movements of the sonata for violin and cello; the piano trio; Gaspard de la nuit; the Introduction et Allegro for harp and chamber ensemble; and several sets of songs, some with two different instrumentations.
For Dukas, the collection includes six of his 12 published works, beginning with his first published opus in 1891 (Polyeucte) and extending through 1912 (the ballet La péri), including both the orchestral and the duo piano versions of L'apprenti sorcier (1897). Some 34 of Roussel's 58 opus numbers are represented in this collection, plus four works without number. While some orchestral and stage works are represented by scores in piano reduction only, others have both the full and reduced scores included (Op. 15 Evocations, Op. 36 piano concerto, and Op. 54 ballet Aenéas). Nearly all of the songs from Op. 19 to Op. 55, and nearly all of his chamber works from Op. 21 to Op. 58 are part of this collection.
Among the many other composers represented are the following: Georges Auric (holograph scores and letters, photographs, portraits); Hector Berlioz (autograph of an aria from Benvenuto Cellini); Ernest Chausson (holograph score of Le Roi Arthus); Claude Debussy (holograph scores, several first editions, significant material on Pelléas, letters, portrait); Gabriel Fauré (holograph scores and letters); Franz Liszt (holograph letters, holograph score); Camille Saint-Saëns (holograph scores and letters, portrait); Erik Satie (holograph scores, letters and postcards, portraits); and Franz Schubert (autograph of two songs).
Also included in the collection are: documents concerning the 1909-12 seasons of Diaghilev's Ballets Russes; items of musical interest relating to Apollinaire and Cocteau (sketches and drawings of several composers, including Stravinsky); and papers of Émile Vuillermoz (including first editions and photographs), of Henri-Pierre Roché (including correspondence with Auric, Milhaud, Roussel, and Satie), of Édouard Dujardin (including correspondence with Dukas, Ravel, the Wagner family, and Messaien), and of Georges Jean-Aubry.
On the collection as a whole, see Carlton Lake's exhibition catalogue, Baudelaire to Becket (Austin, 1976). See also Margaret G. Cobb, "Debussy in Texas," Cahiers Debussy, n.s., no. 1 (1977): 45-46. On the Édouard Dujardin material, see William A. Moore II, "The Significance of Late Nineteenth-Century French Wagnérisme in the Relationship of Paul Dukas and Édouard Dujardin: A Study of Their Correspondence, Essays on Wagner, and Dukas's Opera Ariane et Barbe Bleue," Ph.D. diss., University of Texas at Austin, 1986.
On other aspects of the collection, see three articles in Perspectives on Music: Essays on Collections at the Humanities Research Center, ed. by Dave Oliphant and Thomas Zigal (Austin: Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, 1985): "From a Vision of Death to the Genesis of 'Pénélope': The Gabriel Fauré Manuscript Collection," by Robert Orledge (51-67); "A Gradual Diminuendo: Debussy and the 'Trois Ballades de François Villon'," by Susan Youens (69-99); and "Debussy's Settings of Verlaine's 'En sourdine'," by Marie Rolf (205-233).
2. Edwin Bachmann Collection - 18th/19th-century printed and manuscript music
More than 600 printed editions of music by J. S. Bach (St. Matthew Passion, 1830), Handel, C. P. E. Bach, Albrechtsberger, Gluck, Mozart (including first editions of five operas and the G minor Symphony), Haydn, Beethoven (more than 60 items, including first editions of the 5th and 6th Symphonies), Schubert, Weber, Mendelssohn, Chopin (32 items), Schumann, Liszt, Wagner, Verdi, Franck, Brahms (including a first edition of the German Requiem), Dvorak, Debussy, et al. Books include: Leopold Mozart's Versuch and Burney's account of the Handel commemoration at Westminster Abbey. Many other first and early editions of music and treatises on music (including Gafori, Descartes, Kircher, Rameau, Marpurg, et al.), plus a scattering of autograph letters and manuscripts, including works by Haydn (non-holograph manuscript of the F minor String Quartet, Op. 20, no.5, 1772), Mozart (non-holograph manuscript of K.522 that belonged to Franz Schubert), and Viotti.
For an overview of the collection, see Ronald D. Clinton, "The Edwin Bachmann Collection: Perspectives on Early Editions of Solo and Chamber Music with Keyboard," Perspectives on Music: Essays on Collections at the Humanities Research Center, 11-23. See also Clinton's 1983 D.M.A. treatise for a list of the Beethoven items that include piano.
3. Alfred Cortot Collection - 16th/19th-century sacred vocal music
Eighty-two liturgical books, metrical psalters and other psalm paraphrases, sacred songbooks, hymnals, etc., both Catholic and Protestant, dating from 1533 to the 20th century.
See the short-title list by Dell Hollingsworth in "Sacred Vocal Music from the Collection of Alfred Cortot," Perspectives on Music: Essays on Collections at the Humanities Research Center, 25-49.
4. H. P. Kraus Libretti Collection - 17th to 20th centuries
More than 3800 Italian opera libretti, from the beginnings (Rinuccini's Dafne and L'Euridice, published in 1600) to the 20th century. Libretti also for cantatas, serenatas, oratorios, dialogues, and passions, and for non-Italian works performed in Italy. There are 52 libretti from the 17th century, 400 from the 18th century, and the rest from the 19th and 20th centuries. Among 18th-century operas, works by Cimarosa and Paisiello are especially well represented. Twenty-seven Verdi operas are represented, of which eleven are first performances.
5. Nicolas Nabokov Papers - from the years 1955-1977
Includes correspondence with W. H. Auden, George Balanchine, Igor Stravinsky, and many other composers, musicians, performers and writers. Also included are holographs and reproduced holographs of Nabokov's compositions, along with material relating to performances.
Primarily jazz material accumulated by Russell, writer on jazz and founder of Dial Records. Included are 265 books, 400 periodical issues, 15 boxes of correspondence, photographs, some 3500 phonograph records and cassette tapes, some 200 record catalogues, pamphlets, and concert programs, and the business files of Dial Records. Unmatched material on Charlie "Bird" Parker, including rare taped interviews and the most complete collection of his recordings in the world. The collection also contains some material on classical music and musicians, notably 17 letters from Arnold Schoenberg.
See Richard Lawn, "From Bird to Schoenberg: The Ross Russell Collection," in Perspectives on Music: Essays on Collections at the Humanities Research Center, 137-147; and The Bebop Revolution in Words and Music, ed. by Dave Oliphant (Austin: Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, 1994). Material in the Russell Collection is divided between the HRHRC and the Fine Arts Library.
- Some 30,000 pieces of sheet music.
- Some 350 pieces of Ziegfeld Follies and Frolics music.
- Popular sheet music used to accompany silent films.
- Some 200 Victorian songs in sheet music (in the T. E. Hanley Collection).
- Material on early American minstrel shows and other popular performers; 10,000 items.
- More than 5,000 original cast recordings of musical comedies, plays, jazz, and British music hall events.
- Material for Gershwin's Porgy and Bess, Lady Be Good, and Strike Up the Band.
- Much material on music for film, in the David O. Selznick archive. Material for Cole Porter, Jule Styne, Burl Ives, Paul Anka, Mary Poppins, etc.
- Hoblitzelle Interstate Orchestral Music Collection; 75,000 printed and manuscript items.
- Harry B. Smith Operetta Collection; 150 items.
- Much material relating to opera and musicals, including set and costume designs, photographs of singers and stage sets, programs, clippings and reviews, and playbills.
- Some 50 engraved French contredanse pamphlets from the late 18th century, each with a verbal description of a particular dance, its choreographic notation, and musical notation of the tune.
- Three costumes from the original 1913 production of Le sacre du printemps.
As one sample of material from this collection, see William Penn, "The Music for David O. Selznick's Production No. 103 [Duel in the Sun]," in Perspectives on Music: Essays on Collections at the Humanities Research Center, 157-187. See also Frederick J. Hunter, Guide to the Theatre and Drama Collections at the University of Texas (Austin: Humanities Research Center, 1967).
The HRC has several liturgical books, among them two late medieval Italian breviaries, the sanctorale section of a large Dominican gradual from the early 14th century, a 15th-century Italian antiphonal (winter temporale only), a Dominican and a Franciscan processional, a ferial psalter with hymnal, four large Spanish choirbooks from the late Renaissance, a pontifical, several Bibles, and nearly a dozen books of hours. In addition, a collection of single manuscript leaves contains several fine examples from graduals, antiphonals, breviaries, and psalters. The oldest manuscript of musical interest is #29, an 11th-century miscellany from Tegernsee informally known as the "Bede" manuscript, since it begins with Bede's De natura rerum. On fol. 31v a copy of 12 lines of hexameter verse on the constellations by the 4th-century poet Ausonius is provided with unheightened Sangallian neumes. The penultimate work in the manuscript is the so-called Epistle of Jerome to Dardanus, a treatise on musical instruments.
See Charlotte Carl-Mitchell, "Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts at the HRHRC," The Library Chronicle, n.s., 35 (Austin, 1986): 89-105, and the immediately following checklist of manuscripts by Charlotte Carl-Mitchell and Karen Gould, pp. 107-113.
Theodore M. Finney Collection: forty-five bound volumes of 17th-19th century music manuscripts from Italy, France, England, and Germany, that include anthems, glees, accompanied secular songs, operatic arias, and music for keyboard, harp and mandolin. Among the major composers represented are Tallis, Purcell, Corelli, Handel (Coronation Anthems), Pergolesi, Jommelli, Piccini, and Haydn. There is a checklist of the contents of each volume done by Finney himself.
Other holdings include: an Italian manuscript of ca. 1620 with works in tablature (previously described as containing music for trumpets or trumpets marine); the Gostling Manuscript (published in facsimile by the University of Texas Press, 1977), with anthems by Purcell, Blow, Humfrey and others; Giovanni Bononcini: Camilla, full score, ca. 1696; Salvatore Pazzaglia: a cantata and Dies Irae; a requiem purportedly composed by Pergolesi, from the library of Otto Jahn.
10. 20th-century manuscript collections
- Denis ApIvor: holograph scores of settings of poems by T. S. Eliot, Hugo Manning, Dylan Thomas.
- Merle Armitage: scrapbooks, manuscripts, correspondence.
- Auden-Kallman: numerous drafts and translations of opera libretti.
- Arnold and Clifford Bax: correspondence.
- Paul Bowles: drafts and holograph scores, correspondence.
- Anthony Burgess: holograph scores to 120 works.
- Aaron Copland: holograph scores of three early songs and A Lincoln Portrait.
- Ronald Duncan: drafts and typescripts of libretti, correspondence, articles and essays.
- Peter Garland: Soundings Press materials, correspondence with Conlon Nancarrow, Dane Rudhyar, Harry Partch and others.
- David Guion: holograph manuscripts of over 100 compositions, including an arrangement of Turkey in the Straw.
- Kent Kennan: holograph scores, correspondence, scrapbooks.
- Lynn Freeman Olson: holographs of piano pedagogy pieces and textbooks.
- Paul A. Pisk: scores and sketches of his Op. 1 - Op. 113 (inclusive) and for works without opus number.
- Robert Schauffler: papers of the poet, cellist and writer on music.
- Igor Stravinsky: set of parts for Concertino (autograph), holograph of his orchestration of Chopin's Grande Valse.
- William Walton: Façade: holograph scores of the original version and the First Suite for Orchestra.
- Kurt Weill: holograph songs from Huckleberry Finn.
- Eric Walter White: Tippett manuscripts, manuscripts of White's books on Stravinsky and English opera, extensive correspondence with Tippett and Britten as well as other leading figures.
11. Printed book and score collections
- Incunabula and 16th century: several liturgical books and leaves.
- Fritz Oberdoerffer: 17-18th century music theory books.
- 17th and 18th century English song collections and opera libretti.
- Two different printings (one the unique copy) of the libretto for the first performance of Handel’s oratorio Susanna, 1749.
- Journal d'ariettes italiennes 1779, 1787, 1788.
- Scores of operas by Bianchi, Gretry, Anfossi, Sacchini, Philidor.
- Hymnal collection: including early American hymnals and research materials for Katherine Smith Diehl's Hymns and Tunes-an Index (1966).
- English and American popular sheet music and ballads.
- Lindsey: first and early editions of 19th-century music.
- Richard Wagner: 180 paperbound books by and about Wagner published 1860-1950, plus an almost complete run of Bayreuther Blätter.
- Edgard Varèse: his library.
- Michael Tippett: his library.
The HRC has correspondence and other material for a number of significant composers found as part of collections that are chiefly literary; such musical figures include Irving Berlin, Benjamin Britten, Aaron Copland, Edward Elgar, George Gershwin, Camille Saint-Saëns, Virgil Thomson, William Walton, and Kurt Weill.
Dolph Briscoe Center for American History
The Briscoe Center for American History is the world's most important resource center for the study of Texas. Its added strengths in Southern, Western, and Southwestern history make the Center one of the pre-eminent historical research repositories in the nation. The Center's Texas Collection Library contains more than 170,000 volumes of published material, while the Archives and Manuscripts Unit houses some 70,000 linear feet of documents, including four million photographs and more than 50,000 recordings of music and the spoken word. The latter include not only commercial recordings but also field recordings, interviews, and oral history. Other music resources include videocassettes, manuscript and printed music, photographs, poster art, newspaper clippings, and business and personal papers. Recent acquisitions include the papers of composers Otto Wick and Lawrence Weiner, and the record collection of music critic Ed Ward, and the archives of the Professional Touring Entertainment Industry.
Because the Center has emphasized music in its collection building, it now contains more than forty significant collections relating to the folk and popular music of Texas and surrounding regions. They include: 19th century sheet music in the Natchez Trace Collection; folk materials and field recordings of various ethnic cultures in the University of Texas Folklore Center Archives; the folk and country music collection of Townsend Miller; the archives of the Light Crust Doughboys western swing band; the Curtis Kirk/Custom Records (Tyler, Texas) archives; business and talent files for such Austin venues as the Armadillo World Headquarters and Soap Creek Saloon; material on Navasota songster and guitarist Mance Lipscomb; commercial recordings from the 1920s to the present in the Texas Music Collection; the Tom Wright Photograph Collection (featuring The Who and other rock performers); and the archives of Kerrville Festival founder Rod Kennedy.
University of Texas Libraries
The University of Texas Libraries comprise the Perry-Castañeda Library (Main Library), the Fine Arts Library and eight other branch libraries, two storage facilities, and three special collections. The University of Texas Libraries, the Harry Ransom Center, the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, and the Joseph D. Jamail Center for Legal Research (Law Library) together constitute the sixth largest university library in the U.S.A. Many of the works needed by music scholars and students will be found in the University of Texas Libraries. The special and general collections of the University of Texas Libraries are differentiated not only by their subject areas but also by the extent of access. Use of special collection materials is usually restricted to the location in which the materials are housed. General collection materials can usually be taken to home, office, or classroom. The Center for American Music in the Butler School of Music draws on all of the libraries for research materials.
1. The Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection
Renowned throughout the hemisphere for its comprehensiveness, the Benson Latin American Collection contains over 800,000 volumes of printed materials, more than 11,500 broadsides, 19,000 maps, 2,500 linear feet of archives, 93,500 prints and photographs, more than 40,000 serial titles including about 10,000 currently received titles, and an extensive body of material on microfilm, microfiche, cassettes, compact discs, and film strips. The music holdings comprise approximately 3,000 monographic and serial titles on Latin American music and over 6,500 phonodiscs, tapes, compact discs, and cassettes of both Mexican American and Latin American music. Included in its strong holdings of Mexican American and Northern Mexican recorded music are the Migrant Border Ballad Project Collection, field recordings of folk ballads from the Rio Grande Valley; the Rio Record Shop Collection with extensive inventory files and over 500 phonodiscs of Mexican American popular music of the 1960s to 1981; and the Joe Nicola Collection of 800 phonodiscs of norteño, conjunto, and ranchera music of the 1940s to the 1960s.
The Latin American recordings are primarily of art music by major Latin American composers and of indigenous folk music, although representative selections of protest and popular music are also acquired. Sound recordings from all regions of Latin America are included, but the largest sections are of Argentine, Mexican and Brazilian works of the mid and late twentieth century. The music resources of the Benson Latin American Collection have been strengthened by the Dan Dickey, Stanley Ross, Marjorie and Francis Burgess, and other collections of popular music from the 1930s to the present. Representative music from other countries in Latin America and the Caribbean is also collected. Recent acquisitions include 470 pieces of printed Argentine folk and popular music dating from the 1940s through the 1960s, and the Appleby Brazilian collection comprised of 2,000 scores, several hundred sound recordings, and books.
See G. Béhague, "Music in the Benson Latin American Collection," The Library Chronicle, 22, no. 3 (1992): 109-115.
2. The Historical Music Recordings Collection
Begun in 1981 with a nucleus of some 40,000 78-rpm discs and 5,000 LPs, the Historical Music Recordings Collection (HMRC) now contains over 200,000 audio recordings. Most formats, including reproducing piano rolls, are included, with the oldest recording dating from 1894. Many in-house and broadcast performances from the major performing venues in Austin, Dallas and Ft. Worth and a substantive quantity of the broadcasts of the Metropolitan and New Orleans Opera Companies can be found in the collection. The HRMC is the designated home of the concert recordings of the Houston and Austin Symphony Orchestras.
The holdings of the former Longhorn Broadcasting Network are in the HMRC. There are tapes of many series including: The Music of Ross Lee Finney, The Music of Don Gillis, (both narrated by the composers) The Music of Ernest Bloch, (narrated by the composer’s daughter) The Koussevitzky Legacy (includes interviews with Roy Harris and Walter Piston), The Art of Glenn Gould, This is Ragtime, and The Nielsen Centennial. Other programs include a series of broadcasts on jazz, narrated by Nat Hentof and many locally produced arts programs which feature interviews with recognized musicians, writers and artists including Wendy Wasserstein, Paula Robison, Ned Rorem, Uta Hagen, and Ruth Warrick. The Mary Henrietta Chase Collection features most of the commercial and many of the broadcast performances of Bing Crosby. The 1,700 tapes of the Irving Feld Collection of Radio Dramas contain a substantial sampling of series such as: The Black Museum, The Detectives, NBC University Theater, Inner Sanctum, Theatre Royal and The Lives of Harry Lime. University of Texas School of Music concert performances and lecture recordings feature Vladimir Ashkenazy, Lazar Berman, Michael Tippett, Charles Seeger, Harold Schonberg, and many others.
3. The Fine Arts Library
Established in 1980 from existing collections, the Fine Arts Library primarily serves the course and research needs of students, faculty, and staff in music, art, theatre and dance. The library is housed in the Doty Fine Arts Library and Administration Building next door to the Bass Concert Hall. The music holdings cover all types and periods, and comprise about 80,000 scores, 70,000 books and bound periodicals, 220 current periodicals, 47,000 CDs, other audio and visual materials, and about 6,000 microform items. M.M. and D.M.A. recital tapes are kept in FAL. There is a 20,000-item browsing collection of choral music. Popular music is well supported, with over 500 song collections as well as many items of late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century sheet music. There are three seminar rooms. Library use instruction is regularly given. The Fine Arts Library Media Center is equipped with a wide variety of machines (including electronic music keyboards) and software.
In the summer of 2009, the former Audio-Visual Library was incorporated into the Fine Arts Library.
The Fine Arts Library has added the following collections to its holdings of printed music:
- Adolfo Betti: string quartet repertory and music for piano. See Donald Jones, "The Adolfo Betti Music Collection at the University of Texas," M.M. thesis, University of Texas at Austin, 1956.
- Ainslee Cox: 20th-century orchestral scores.
- Whit Dudley: harp music scores.
- Frank Elsass: music for brass.
- Gerstner: piano pedagogy materials.
- Fritz Oberdoerffer: scores.
- Lynn Freeman Olson: piano pedagogy materials.
- Bertram Shapleigh: scores of almost all his published works.
Butler School of Music
The Performance Library
The Performance Library serves the needs of the opera, orchestra, band, choral, chamber, and jazz divisions for multiple copies and sets of scores. It contains music for over 18,000 works. The library also houses archival copies of tapes of ensemble and faculty performances.
The Ethnomusicology Archives
The Ethnomusicology Archives contain about 1,000 field recordings of music from all ice-free continents. Latin American and South Asian musics are particularly strongly represented. Housed in Music Building East, the Archives include a transcription laboratory.
This guide was first prepared in 1989 by Rebecca A. Baltzer and David Hunter. Revised 8/1992, 11/1994, 9/2003, and 10/2009 by David Hunter. Reformatted by Francesca Giannetti in 10/2013.