Collection Policies

General Collection Guidelines
Collecting Codes

The purpose is to support faculty research and instruction. Instructional support is for undergraduate degrees in performance, composition and music education. Instructional support is also given to graduate level courses in the above areas and music history. Graduate level support is for the Master of Arts in Humanities and for the Master of Science in Education. There is overlapping interest with other departments, which include: English, History, Theater, Dance, Art and Education. The music collection also serves as a resource for performing groups in the Tidewater area.


Language: English is the primary language of the music literature collection. Translations into English from other languages will be selected if they are seminal works or of major importance to the profession. Works of music with text are collected in the original language with English translation, when possible.

Chronological Guidelines: There are no chronological restrictions on the collection of music materials. Materials from all periods require selective representation on the basis of musical and historical significance.

Geographical Guidelines: There is an emphasis on the western tradition in Europe and America for both music and works about music. At this time non-western music and music literature is not collected.

Treatment of Subject: Juvenile and popular treatments are not collected. Textbooks in the areas of theory, composition, analysis, music education, instrumental and vocal technique are evaluated on an individual basis. Biographies, autobiographies, and letters of significant composers, and, to a lesser extent, conductors and performers are also collected.

Types of Materials: The principal types of materials collected are books, scores and periodicals (back runs retained both in bound and microform). [Compact disks are the current choice of format for sound recordings, but other formats form a part of the music collection. Recordings of core collection works should be replaced when the quality of sound deteriorates.] Music scores are collected primarily for the purpose of reference and research. A concerted effort will be made to coordinate the purchase of recordings and printed scores, so that both the printed score and audio format can be studied. It is assumed that performance majors will develop their own libraries of performance materials. Sets of parts for chamber music, orchestra and band music and multiple scores for choral works are not collected. Manuscript materials will not normally be collected.

Formats of Materials: Formats should include both print and electronic resources.

Date of Publication: There are no restrictions on the date of publication. Reprints provide suitable access to otherwise unobtainable primary and secondary source materials.

Other considerations:

key to collecting codes
LC Class Subject Division
Collecting Level
ML159-ML3920 Music History
ML3800-ML3923 Philosophy and aesthetics
ML3793-ML3799 Ethnomusicology
MT6-MT67 Theory 
MT58-MT64 Form and Analysis
MT40-MT67 Composition
MT70-MT86 Conducting 
ML3919-ML3920 Music Therapy
MT1-MT960 Music Education
M1-M2199 Scores 
Vernon McCart