The Library of Congress > Wise Guide > March 2011 > A Diva's Delight
A Diva's Delight

The Library has vast holdings of dramatic music of all kinds, including operas, musicals and musical revues, and film music. In a new presentation, “It’s Showtime! Sheet Music from Stage and Screen,” the Music Division presents a database of more than 18,000 shows and productions dating from the 1690s to the present, containing more than 67,000 songs. These pieces come from all over the world and cover every conceivable topic, portraying the culture and history of their time and place in unique and valuable ways.

Singer at the Café Metropol, New York City / Lisette Model. 1977. Prints and Photographs Division. Reproduction Information: Reproduction No.: LC-USZ62-97600 (b&w film copy neg.); Call No.: PH - Model (L.), no. 10-10 (Portfolio) [P&P] “I Left Her on the Beach at Honolulu.” 1916. Music Division. Reproduction Information: Call No.: 36/2476

Some titles are as familiar as the “Ziegfeld Follies,” while others are as seemingly obscure as “Betta the Gypsy.”

It should be noted that “It’s Showtime” is a database compiling bibliographic data, such as names of composers, lyricists, publication dates, lists of songs within the individual shows and call numbers. No actual digitized assets are available in this particular presentation.

However, the presentation “Historic Sheet Music Collection, 1800-1922,” includes some 9,000 items published from 1800 to 1922, from such show-tune notables as Jerome Kern and Irving Berlin.

And, speaking of sheet music, in anticipation of baseball season, make sure to check out compositions on America’s favorite pastime.