Skip to Main Content

Special Collections: Music History

Contact the Special Collections Research Services Team!

Librarian helps student navigate card catalog, 1940s.


Telephone: 814-865-1793

Campus Address:

104 Paterno Library

University Park Campus

two music programs and one songbook featuring Paul Robeson

Charles L. Blockson Collection on Paul Robeson

Programs of Paul Robeson concerts and songbook with forward by Paul Robeson

program with professional description of composer Cadman and singer Redfeather

Hollywood Bowl program featuring Tsianina Redfeather

Charles Wakefield Cadman collection, 1905-1936 (01460)

Report of the Committee and first page of music for Am I a Soldier of the Cross

The Colored Sacred Harp

Rare Books and Manuscripts, Black History & Literature

green book cover with Music of Ireland in gold foil

O'Neill's Music of Ireland

gift of Samuel Preston Bayard

image of text describing music in play

Description of music (not included in pamphlet)

Pamphlet plays collection (02289)

sheet music for union-related music by Dodds and Guthrie

The Labor Heritage Songbook, "Union Label" and "Union Maid"

Historical Collections and Labor Archives

American Music

American music is a significant part of the diversity of American culture. Special Collections contains a spectrum of music that speaks for many parts of America and American music-making. Below are examples of underrepresented communities and musical histories in American music.

It should be recognized that American music draws from backgrounds of all types, including ones that bring up difficult conversations surrounding race and culture. Many of these collections contain racist illustrations, lyrics, or depictions we find objectionable today, but were considered acceptable by majority groups in the past. Researchers may find harmful and racist depictions of many communities, including African Americans, Asians, Indigenous peoples, Latin Americans, and Pacific Islanders.

European Music