Students of music history, historians and music lovers alike can't help but be moved by the sight of an original manuscript by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Now, thanks to a Library of Congress partnership with five other institutions, folks can get up close and personal with some of the world's most valued music manuscripts from the comfort of their own living rooms. A new free-to-view online portal brings together digitized copies of manuscript scores and first and early editions of works by composers such as Johann Sebastian Bach, Richard Wagner, Ludwig van Beethoven, Claude Debussy, Georges Bizet, Arnold Schoenberg and Igor Stravinsky.
The Music Treasures Consortium says that the aim of the site is "to further music scholarship and research by providing access in one place to digital images of primary sources for performance and study of music." The digital music libraries from the Juilliard School's Lila Acheson Wallace Library, the British Library, the Eda Kuhn Loeb Music Library at Harvard University, the Morgan Library and Museum, and the New York Public Library have been merged with the Library of Congress' own collection to offer visitors the chance to drool over treasured materials from the 16th to the 20th century.
The Consortium intends to add more members to its ranks, swelling the already impressive offerings available in the digital archive. I certainly intend to spend an awful lot of time browsing through materials, scrolling through bibliographic information about each item, and getting a closer look at digital images of collections via each custodial archive's website.
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