Top of page

Collection Historic Sheet Music Collection, 1800 to 1922

About this Collection

Pictured above, Cover art for for "Alice's reverie, op. 18," by J.P. Melmoth, published by Chas. W. Held, New York, 1890.

This sheet music collection consists of approximately 9,000 items published from 1800 to 1922, although the majority is from 1850 to 1920 [view finding aid for the collection]. The bulk was published in many different cities in the United States, but some of the items bear European imprints. Most of the music is written for voice and piano; a significant minority is instrumental. Notable in this collection are early pieces by Irving Berlin and Jerome Kern, as well as music by other popular composers such as Victor Herbert, Jean Schwartz, Paul Dresser, Ernest R. Ball, Gussie L. Davis, Charles K. Harris, and George M. Cohan. Numerous arrangements of classical tunes by Bach, Beethoven, Schubert and other famous classical composers are also well-represented.

Please note: These items were selected from a collection that is thought to have originated with the recording division of Thomas A. Edison, Inc. and/or its predecessor, the National Phonograph Co. (though this has not been confirmed).