This section provides a historical background and general information on various National Library of Scotland materials that are of interest to the music reader.

  • Books on music: Most books on music are part of the printed book collections (British books, rare books, and foreign books) of the National Library of Scotland.
  • Early printed music: Much of pre-1800 material has been acquired as part of the special collections (Glen, Inglis, Balfour, Henderson, Hopkinson and other named collections based outside music), but antiquarian purchase has taken place since the early 20th century to complement the special collections.
  • Document Supply Team music collection: There is a separate music collection available via the Document Supply Team. Please contact the Document Supply Team for further information.
  • Manuscript music: Music manuscripts, ranging from the early 16th-century Carver choirbook to 20th-century composers such as Robin Orr and Ronald Stevenson, are administered by Manuscript Collections.
  • Modern printed music: Modern music collections held at the National Library of Scotland include most, if not all, modern publications published in the British Isles. They contain music of every genre from classical to folk and pop. Educational publications are also represented. Music published abroad including scholarly and collected editions are purchased selectively.
  • Other media (CD-ROM, etc.): The music collections include a small number of CD-ROMs and floppy discs. Most of these accompany periodicals and magazines.
  • Sound recordings: There are about 5,000 published sound recordings (78s, reel-to-reel tapes, cassette tapes, LPs, CDs, as well as videos), mainly of Scottish content.
  • Special Collections (Scottish and early printed):

Music Collections main page

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