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A guide for patrons seeking resources for music research and performance at the University of Oregon Libraries.

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UO LibrarySearch - Find articles, books, and more

LibrarySearch offers a streamlined interface for finding books and other media that combines the collections of UO Libraries and Summit libraries.

UO logo with "LibrarySearch" catalog name

Finding UO Recital Recordings

Looking for recordings of degree recitals by UO students?  Use the Advanced Search interface in LibrarySearch, and search the name of the performer (if you know it), or try the phrase "University of Oregon degree recitals" in the title field to see all recordings.

CDs of UO recital recordings from the past five years are available for checkout in the Douglass Room on the 3rd floor of Knight Library.  Recordings older than five years are archived in Special Collections and University Archives on the 2nd floor of Knight Library.

Music Research Tools

Finding music books and scores at UO

The UO Libraries are home to a large collection of books about music and printed music for performance and study, which are located on the 3rd floor of Knight Library.  To find out whether the library owns the book or score you're looking for, as well as its call number and availability, use our online catalog, LibrarySearch.  Be sure to log in with your Duck ID so that you will see complete search results.

Using the Advanced Search option will allow you to combine multiple search terms (such as author & title), and to specify the material type (such as score or book) and search scope (which can be limited to search only in the Music Collection.)  This will help you cut out unrelated search results and find what you want more efficiently.

Advanced Search Query for a score.

Finding music books and scores at other libraries


WorldCat is a large database of material held by libraries all over the world.  If you can't find something you need at UO or another Summit library, you may be able to find it at another library by searching WorldCat.  There are two ways to search WorldCat:

  1. In the Advanced Search interface in LibrarySearch, look for the link to "WorldCat" in the upper right part of the page, and click the link to enter the WorldCat database.
  2. Enter WorldCat from the UO Libraries' A-Z list of databases.

If you find something you're looking for in WorldCat, you can request that it be delivered to UO for you to use by placing an InterLibrary Loan (ILL) request.  You can do that within the WorldCat interface, or through the Interlibrary Loan form .  ILL requests can take between 5 and 15 days to arrive, depending on the availability of the physical item being requested from another library.  You can also use ILL to request journal articles that UO doesn't have; these requests usually take only a few days, as requested articles are sent electronically.

Streaming Audio & Video

UO also subscribes to several streaming audio databases that allow you to listen online, create playlists and examples, and read liner notes:

Recordings at UO

The UO Libraries have a large collection of audio recordings on CD, LP (vinyl), and cassette, housed in the Douglass Room on the 3rd floor of Knight Library.  Patrons may check recordings out of the library to take home, or may listen to them in the library at the listening carrels in the Douglass Room.

Use the Advanced Search interface in LibrarySearch to narrow down the material type to "Audio & Video" when searching:

Advanced search query for a recording, searching by musician's name


When you see your search results, you will also see facets on the left that allow you to filter by specific audio format.  For example, to see only CDs, click the "Audio CDs" facet:

Refining audio search results to filter by audio format.


You can also search for the title of the composition.  If the composition has an opus number or other type of composer number (such as BWV for Bach or K. for Mozart), search for that as the title-- this is particularly useful for searching for works with genre- or form-based titles such as concertos and sonatas, where you might get a lot of results for things you don't want if you just search the composer and title alone.

Advanced search query for a recording using composer and opus number


Streaming Video Resources for Music

The UO Libraries subscribe to a number of online streaming video databases that are accessible to UO faculty, students, and staff.  Several of these databases focus specifically on music content; others have more general video content but include documentaries or instructional films about music.  In some cases, you can use LibrarySearch to find individual streaming videos from these databases, while other databases only allow users to search in the database interface itself.  The list below provides direct links to the databases with the most music-specific content.

Streaming Performances

Archival Video Footage

Documentaries & Feature Films

Finding Music-Related Videos

The UO Libraries hold over 14,000 videos in a variety of formats, including DVD, VHS tapes, laserdiscs, 16 mm films, and streaming video.  UO's video collection includes music-related content ranging from operas, rock/pop concert performances, masterclasses, instructional videos, and ballets and other dance performances with live music.  For a more detailed overview of how to search for video content in the UO Libraries, see the research guide Finding Videos & Films.

To find music-related video content in our physical video collection, try an advanced search in LibrarySearch, limiting the Material Type to "Audio & Video", and trying one or more of the following Subject headings:

  • Operas
  • Operas--Television adaptions
  • Ballets
  • Jazz
  • Concert films
  • Documentary films
  • Rock music
  • Popular music
  • Music--Instructional
  • Music--Instruction and study

When your search results appear, use the filters on the left side of the LibrarySearch interface to further limit Material Type to DVDs, Videocassettes, or eVideo (streaming video). 

We have a number of databases for searching for articles about music in scholarly research journals and trade publications.  Many of these databases provide full-text article downloads, but some supply only the bibliographic citation for the article and an abstract (summary) of the contents.  You can use the FindText button to see if UO has a copy of a cited article, and to place an InterLibrary Loan (ILL) request for articles we don't have and which don't have electronic full-text access.  Journal articles requested through ILL are sent as electronic scans, and are usually fulfilled in a few days.

Databases Focused on Music

Databases in Related Disciplines

Broad Interdisciplinary Databases

Dissertations, Theses, & Senior Projects by UO Students

You can search for doctoral dissertations, masters theses, and senior thesis projects by UO students within LibrarySearch; this is particularly useful if you are looking for a document older than 1996, or if you are looking for something with an audio or video component.  To find graduate theses & dissertations and undergraduate honors theses by UO students, use the Advanced Search option in LibrarySearch, and search the phrase "University of Oregon theses School of Music" as the title, with the search scope limited to UO Libraries.  To find DMA lecture documents, search the same way but using the phrase "University of Oregon lecture documents" in the title field.  To find recordings of degree recitals, search the phrase "University of Oregon degree recitals" in the title field.

Below are some databases that offer citation and full-text access to more recent theses and dissertations by UO students:

Dissertations and Theses from Other Institutions

How to read music call numbers

Music books and scores in the UO Libraries have call numbers based in the Library of Congress classification system, which groups together books on similar topics and scores for similar performing forces.  This lets you browse the shelves and find similar items near each other on the shelf-- a useful way to find more books on a topic you're researching, or more music for your instrument or ensemble.

Each call number is made up of component parts:

Sample call number What it means:
An example of a call number for a book:
ML Sub-classification = music literature
197 Specific topic = music history & criticism, 1901-2000; read as a whole number
.L66 The first letter of the author's last name, and a number that sorts them alphabetically among other authors with the same last initial; read the number decimally
2009 Year of publication


An example of a call number for a score:
Sample call number What it means:
M Sub-classification = printed music
23 Instrumentation = piano sonata; read as whole number
.B416 The first letter of the composer's last name, and a number that sorts them alphabetically among other composers with the same last initial; read the number decimally
op. 27 The opus number or composer work number
no. 2 The number of the specific piece within the opus
1971 Year of publication


There are three sub-classification areas for music call numbers, which can help you know where to start browsing:

  • call numbers starting with M:  printed music (i.e., scores and performing parts)
  • call numbers starting with ML:  music literature (including history, biographies, dictionaries, and musicological works)
  • call numbers starting with MT:  books on music instruction and study (includes music theory, composition, conducting, performance techniques, and pedagogy-- can include anthologies of orchestral excerpts for auditions and etudes meant for technical study rather than performance)

Fall 2020 Trial Database Access

The UO Libraries often will set up free short-term trial access to databases for faculty and students to try them out and see if they are resources we will want to purchase or subscribe to.  You can view the full list of current database trials here.  

We currently have trial access to the following music databasesNote: you must have the UO VPN client turned on in order to access the trial content.

Streaming Audio & Video Collections

A streaming video channel founded by Quincy Jones, dedicated to jazz, soul, funk, and world music. Over 1000 videos, including live concert footage, documentaries, interviews, and archival footage. Descriptions for each video are written by journalists and music experts. Additional features include playlists curated by musical luminaries such as Chick Corea and Quincy Jones.

Access expires: 09/20/2020


The following trial databases are not solely music-focused, but may contain music content that can facilitate remote teaching and learning:

  • EBSCO Faculty Select

    EBSCO Faculty Select empowers academic libraries to directly support textbook affordability efforts. Through a single interface, faculty can search and access quality open textbooks, Open Educational Resources (OER), and request access to unrestricted library e-books from top academic publishers. By leveraging free open materials and low-cost library-licensed resources, faculty can transform their courses and reduce the cost burden for students.

    Submit comment about this database here.

  • National Emergency Library

    Announcing the National Emergency Library, a collection of books that supports emergency remote teaching, research activities, independent scholarship, and intellectual stimulation while universities, schools, training centers, and libraries are closed.

    Submit comment about this database here.

  • Ohio State University Knowledge Bank

For the duration of this crisis, all Ohio State University Press University Libraries’ Institutional RepositoryThe Knowledge Bank monographs, and the linguistics textbook language files, will be open and free to use.

Submit comment about this database here.

  • ​​​​​​​Open Edition (Expanded Access)

    Participating publishers on the list has opened up their content to users.

    Submit comment about this database here.




The UO Libraries are part of a consortium of 37 academic libraries throughout Oregon, Washington, and Idaho that share their materials with each other through a system called Summit.  If we don't have what you need, you can probably get it from another Summit library.  When you search in LibrarySearch, it will automatically search Summit as well as UO unless you've set it to a narrower scope, and you can request delivery of a Summit item within LibrarySearch.  Items sent through Summit take about 5 days to arrive, and you'll get an email notification when something you've requested has arrived and is ready to be picked up.  Note: Summit service was suspended during Spring 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  As of September 2020, service has resumed with a limited number of Summit libraries, but not all libraries in the Summit consortium have reopened, which may impact the availability of materials requested through Summit.


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Music and Dance Librarian

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Ann Shaffer
Pronouns: she/her/hers

I currently work on campus on Wednesdays and Thursdays, and work remotely on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Fridays. I am available for in-person research consultations on Wednesdays and Thursdays, and for virtual consultations (via Zoom, Teams, or phone) on any weekday.
Subjects: Dance, Music