THE BRITISH LIBRARY

Music blog

16 April 2020

Digitised music collections online

Following our blog post on accessing our online printed and manuscript music collections, we have put together some further links to digitised music content that can be freely accessed online, both from other collection areas in the British Library as well as external sources.

  • The Digital Resources for Musicology (DRM) website, created by the Centre for Computer Assisted Research in the Humanities, an affiliate of the Packard Humanities Institute at Stanford University, is a wonderful inventory of digitised music content freely accessible online. The website provides links to resources grouped by composer, library collection, repertory and genre, and includes a brief description of each resource.
  • RISM (Répertoire International des Sources Musicales) is an international catalogue of printed and manuscript musical sources, up to about 1800, held in libraries and archives across the world, with links to digitised sources where these are available.
  • RIdIM (Répertoire International d’Iconographie Musicale) is an international database of visual sources of music, dance, theatre and opera, listing paintings, engravings, illustrations and other, that depict composers and musicians, musical instruments, musical scenes, etc. with an online gallery of digitised content.
  • The British Library Sounds website gives access to unique sound recordings, including recordings of classical, pop, world and traditional music, as well as interviews, talks, plays, and wonderful nature sounds!
  • The EThOS (Electronic Theses Online Service) website lists UK PhD theses and gives free access to those that have been digitised.
  • The Endangered Archives Programme (EAP) at the British Library facilitates the digitisation of archives around the world that are in danger of destruction, neglect or physical deterioration. The web-pages are full of stories relating to particular projects, a number of which are music related: from Chilean scores and recordings, Serbian choral societies, to North Indian classical music.

These links are not exhaustive but we hope they can provide a useful start to users who are looking to access digitised music collections online, especially during this time.

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