Boston Public Library

Electronic Resources in the Music Department

3rd Floor, McKim Building, Central Library

Electronic Databases

Grove Music

Available at all library locations, In Library Use Only

This database includes the full text of the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 2nd edition and the New Grove Dictionary of Opera.

RILM Abstracts of Music Literature

Central Library, In Library Use Only

Continuously updated bibliography of music literature providing international coverage, including records in over 100 languages from 3,700 journals. (1969-Present)

RIPM: International Index to Nineteenth-Century Music Periodicals

Central Library, In Library Use Only

Access to nineteenth-century periodicals of international significance from 15 countries. Find contemporary writings about composers, performers, and compositions.

Schwann Online

Central Library, In Library Use Only

The electronic edition of the classical recording catalog information of Schwann Opus and the pop, rock, jazz, world music recording information of Schwann Spectrum.

Archival Resources

Available at all library locations, In Library Use Only

This database contains over 510,000 collection records and over 19,000 encoded finding aids for special collections held in institutions across the country and around the world. Searches can be done by keyword, title, subject, date, personal, organization, or geographic name, genre and repository.

Wilson Biographies Plus Illustrated

Available at all library locations, In Library Use Only

Contains more than 95,000 biographies and obituaries and more than 26,000 photographs of the subjects. Many of the biographies are enhanced with full text, abstracts, and citations from H. W. Wilson databases. Wilson Biographies Plus Illustrated contains the full text of the articles from more than 100 volumes of biographical reference books published by H. W. Wilson, including all the articles from all volumes of Current Biography, the World Author Series, Nobel Prize Winners, World Artists, World Film Directors, American Reformers, and numerous biographical books on musicians and composers from throughout history.


Christian Music Finder

Search by song title, artist name and composer name and the collection title. Updated quarterly.

CPM - Catalog of Printed Music

The British Library Catalog records. The most comprehensive collection of printed music in the world.

Dance On Disc

An index based on the New York Public Library's Dance Collection holdings. The Dance Collection is the world's leading repository for materials and bibliographic information on all forms of dance. It covers all media; books, periodicals, pamphlets, films, videotapes, photos, playbills, costume and set design drawings, choreography charts, letters and diaries of famous figures in dance history.


Contains over 25,300 first lines and chorouses and the full text of more than 15,100 hymns and songs. The opening bars of over 12,100 melodies can be both viewed and heard.

International Index to Music Periodicals

Draws content from more than 300 international music periodicals from over 20 countries. IIMP also includes retrospective coverage from over 165 periodicals.

Music Catalog of the Library of Congress


Music Index

Subject, author guide to music periodical literature. 1979-1998.


Retail music database. Check to see what music is in print.


Find all types of music in a variety of formats. The database can be used to find a song without knowing the artist or title, or to find specific types of music such as reggae, folk or country.


Classical and popular music in print.


Music manuscripts after 1600 to 1800.

The Performing Arts in Colonial American Newspapers, 1690-1783

Assembles and indexes all references to music, dance, theater, and poetry in American newspapers from the earliest extant copy (1690) through the end of the Revolutionary War (1783), including those in the French and German languages.

Images from the music collection