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The Oberlin Conservatory Library's Special Collections has an impressive collection of historical musical treatises. Drawn primarily from the Frederick R. Selch Collection of American Music History, and the The Violin Society of America / H. K. Goodkind Collection, the materials highlighted here represent some of the most influential writings in the history of Western musical thought. They include foundational texts relating to organology and music theory, important works on the philosophy and iconography of music, and historical treatises pertaining to specific instrument types.
Many of the texts included here have been digitized and can be read online in full. Each title's link will take you to the catalog record, and from there you can click on the "Connect to resource" link; you can also browse all the digitized books from the Selch and VSA Collections on the Internet Archive's Oberlin Conservatory Library Special Collections page.
RISM: Repertoire International des Sources Musicales
An international, cooperative effort to identify and describe the world's pre-1850 musical sources, to record what primary sources exist, and to identify their locations. These sources include manuscripts or printed music, writings on music theory, and libretti.
IMSLP: International Music Score Library Project
More than 200,000 scores and nearly 20,000 recordings, all freely available in the public domain.
HathiTrust Digital Library
Contains digital versions of works scanned from the libraries of the more than sixty partner institutions. Use the advanced catalog search to limit results by format.
An online digital library that includes materials from libraries around the world.
Music Printing History
Website explaining the techniques and methods used for printing music in the Western world, such as woodblock, movable type, engraving, lithography, music typewriters, and more.
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