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Finding Music for the Community User

Finding music related materials can be difficult for those without an academic affiliation. This is a guide to tools available to you.

General Introduction

Getting Access to Music Materials

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Music materials are often difficult to locate, whether it's because they are in a local library or collection that you don't have any official connection to or, even more likely, at a library at some distance to you. There are often ways to get ahold of things, you just need a help doing so. That is the purpose of this Guide.


The basics:

The Internet is a great resource to get access to libraries at a distance such as The Library of Congress or The New York Public Library, but it's not the first place to go most of the time.

Your local public library, and especially the librarian, should often be your first stop. They provide access to article databases, physical scores and recordings, and general reference help. The library catalogs, and most of the database resources, are available from outside the library through your computer. They often have online email reference services, sometimes even a live-chat mechanism that gives instant gratification.

Nearby academic institutional libraries are usually open to the public. You just need to ask what your options are.


This Guide will identify Milwaukee-area resources as well as some beyond that are particularly useful.