Collected editions provide authoritative, scholarly publications of music that have been edited and researched by experts. These multi-volume editions are useful to scholars and performers alike because they are based on research of the original manuscript and print sources; they also often contain essays with much information about the history of the pieces contained, the extant sources, and performance practice of the composer's time.
Collected editions generally fall into two types: editions of the complete works of an individual composer (call numbers starting with M3); and editions of music by various composers, grouped by time period, nationality/region, or instrument (call numbers starting with M2). Examples of each are below:
It can be challenging to locate individual compositions within multi-volume collected works editions, or to find scholarly editions for more obscure composers. Below are several published indexes that can help you locate a work within a collected edition: