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Research Guides

Music Guide: Find Manuscripts and Early Editions

Finding Music Manuscripts

Online Resources

Print Resources

Finding Early Editions

RISM (Répertoire International des sources Musicales) is a reliable source for finding early printed music titles, from the 16th to the 18th centuries.  

  • RISM A/I: Einzeldrucke vor 1800. Printed Music before 1800 (first editions). 9 volumes and 5 volumes of supplements.  Arranged alphabetically by composer.  Ref Is. M113 .I6 Ser. A v.1. pts. 1-15.
  • RISM B/I: Recueils Imprimés XVIe - XVIIe Siecles. First editions of collections between 16th and 17th centuries.  Arranged chronologically by year.  Ref Is. M113 .I6 Ser. B v.1. Years 1500-1550 are available online at the above link.
  • RISM B/II: Recueils Imprimés XVIIIe Siecle. First editions of collections in the 18th century.  Arranged alphabetically by collection title. Ref Is. M113 .I6 Ser. B v.1.

Early Editions at UW

William Crawford Collection Catalog

The Crawford Collection catalog of rare musical scores, held within UW's Special Collection. For more information see: 

Music Manuscripts at UW

The UW houses several collections of music manuscripts, including the University of Washington Digital Score Collection which contains manuscripts from 1600-1850. 

In order to find manuscripts after 1850 in the UW catalog, you may need to reference a thematic catalog, such as the one listed below. More information on Thematic catalogs can be found here

Additional Sources to Find Manuscripts